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United Way of Whiteside County just shy of 2016 campaign goal

STERLING – The United Way of Whiteside County came within a hair of making its 2016 workplace fundraising goal, officials announced at its annual recognition luncheon March 15.

The goal was $720,000 and nearly 99 percent of that – $710,648 – was raised. When you add money raised outside the campaign, the total for 2016 jumps to $755,648 in funds to help 24 agencies and programs that serve county residents.

Among the organizations it supports are Big Brother Big Sisters, Home of Hope Cancer Wellness Center, Catholic Charities, Morrison Day Care, Rock Falls Civic Fund, Woodlawn Arts Academy, and its own Let’s Feed Our Children free summer lunch program.

Donations have declined in recent years. The agency raised $753,210 in 2014 and $739,432 in 2015.

A goal for the next campaign, which begins in the fall, was not announced, but new CEO Diana Verhulst said she hopes to see the agency raising $1 million a year by 2022.

The United Way’s annual recognition awards also were given. The winners are:

President’s Award – Wahl Clipper Corp.

Company of the Year – Franz Manufacturing

Government Organization of the Year – City of Sterling

Largest Increase in Agricultural Sector – Green Rose Farm

Good Neighbor Awards – Sterling Federal Bank and CGH Medical Center

Community Engagement Award – Walmart Distribution Center

Agency Award – YWCA

Small Business of the Year – SBM Business Equipment Center

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