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SVM ad chief to lead 2014 fundraising campaign

STERLING – Jennifer Baratta, advertising director at Sauk Valley Media, is this year’s Whiteside County United Way campaign chairwoman.

Jeff Detra is United Way board president.

“Baratta has served as a board member for our United Way, and with her role as advertising director at the local paper, she understands United Way’s work in the community and will be able to communicate the benefits of giving to United Way,” Detra said in a news release Wednesday announcing her appointment.

“We look forward to her enthusiasm as she assembles a campaign committee that will represent all levels, in order to make the calls needed to make our annual campaign a success. She has the support of our entire board of directors in helping her to succeed.”

Patrice Vary and Mary Ellen Wilkinson led the 2013 campaign. Pledges and donations came to $735,655, topping the agency’s goal of $730,000.

The goal for 2014 will be announced at an Aug. 13 meeting.

As SVM advertising director, Baratta directs a team of more than 30 account executives, artists and support staff who help local businesses grow and promote their products and services through print and digital advertising.

Baratta also is on the Dixon Chamber of Commerce Board. She is the past treasurer of the Open Sesame Children’s Learning Center’s board of directors, and a past member of the board of Assets Council and United Way of Lee County.

“Last year alone, the United Way of Whiteside County funded programs that served more than 48,000,” she said. “I’m proud to be a part of this United Way. They have always invested in a variety of their own initiatives and programs, such as the L.I.F.E. [Literacy Is Fun Everyone] Dolly Parton Book Program, the Let’s Feed Our Children free summer lunch program, and the pharmacy assistance program, plus joining the 2-1-1 network.

“I look forward to the many programs funded by the 19 partner agencies to make a difference in the lives of our friends, neighbors and co-workers.”

About United Way

Whiteside United Way funds 33 programs in 19 partner agencies with money raised during its annual campaign, and from individual and other donations.

To donate, to volunteer or for more information, go to or call 815-625-7973.

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