December 10, 2009
United Way campaign raises $4.9 million
The United Way of Racine County held its victory dinner Thursday night, and announced the results of this year's fund-raising campaign: $4.9 million.
That was a hair less than the $5 million raised in 2008 -- but a far cry from the declines seen in other communities (just last week, Milwaukee's United Way was $4 million short, down almost 10% from its $45 million goal as its campaign neared completion -- before announcing Thursday night that it had actually exceeded the goal by $500,000).
Racine County Campaign Chair Chris Antonneau, president of David Insurance, said he was pleased with the result. “We knew we were going to be facing significant challenges this year due to the current state of the economy, but instead of focusing on the negative we worked hard to put into action new and creative ways to reach out to as many people as we could. Racine County stepped up to the challenge, giving generously and providing opportunities for a better life for all.”
Antonneau had not set a specific goal for this year's campaign, stating when the drive began, "We all know there are economic challenges." He led a campaign with 30 community leaders in his cabinet and nine loaned employees, plus hundreds of volunteers who ran campaigns in their own workplaces.
According to GivingUSA Foundation, donations to the human services sector were down 13 percent in 2008 and giving was expected to decrease even more in 2009. But Racine County's decline this year was only about 2%.
“The community has shown that the United Way message, LIVE UNITED, is truly being embraced by the people of Racine,” said Rod French, emcee of the victory celebration and a long-time volunteer. “Tonight we heard stories of local people who give of their time, talent and treasure and from people who benefit from United Way programs. They exemplify the thousands of people who share a common goal with United Way to provide the building blocks of a good life to all people of Racine County. United Way is the organization that leads the community in advancing the common good.”