The United Way of the Wabash Valley is reaching for the stars.
In a press conference Wednesday morning, The United Way announced a fundraising goal of $2.3 million for the upcoming campaign year.
"This looks to be a breakout year for the United Way," Pat Ralston, 2007 Campaign Chair said. "With our new involvement with companies from Clay County, it will be a very exciting campaign."
The Clay County United Way began a merger with the larger United Way of the Wabash Valley in February, and companies are becoming integrated into the campaign.
Of the nine new agencies announced as part of the 2007 campaign during the conference, eight have affiliations with Clay County, including the Clay County 4-H Council and the Clay County YMCA.
St. Vincent Clay Hospital was also named as one of the 21 pilot companies for the 2007 campaign.
"We had worked with the Clay County United Way for many years, and this is our first year as part of the Wabash Valley campaign," Jennifer French, Campaign Coordinator for St. Vincent Clay Hospital, said.
"We are all very excited to be a part of the pilot campaign for the United Way of the Wabash Valley."
The pilot campaign is a large part of the United Way's fundraising efforts.
Last year, the pilot campaign accounted for 40 percent of their 2006 fundraising total of just under $2.1 million, which was just short of their goal of $2.2 million.
"Our merger with the Clay County United Way has created a wonderful enthusiasm for our 2007 campaign," Jim Bertolli, Executive Director for the United Way of the Wabash Valley said.
With the inclusion of Clay County, the United Way has a total of 44 partner agencies contributing to this year's campaign. The companies are spread out among six counties, including Clay, Parke, Sullivan, Vermillion and Vigo Counties in Indiana, along with Clark County, Illinois.
"It is difficult to raise two million dollars in any year," Bertolli said.
"We have had a great first half to 2007, and we look forward to including Clay County into the relationship to make the second half of the year even better."
For more information on the United Way of the Wabash Valley and how to contribute to this year's campaign, visit the web site at www.uwwv.org.