Photo: Michael J. Mullen
The United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties’ 2015-16 campaign exceeded its original goal.
More than $3.45 million was raised — thanks to educational tax credits received after the state budget impasse ended, Tom Donohue and Sandy Chickeletti, heads of the campaign, said Thursday.
The announcement came during the campaign’s “A Celebration of Community Stars” volunteer recognition breakfast at the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel
“We are thrilled,” Mr. Donohue said. “We had a really good feeling...we felt that the community really rallied.”
A revised campaign goal of $2.8 million was surpassed in November. The ending of the state budget impasse in March led to the campaign reaching and surpassing its original $3.45 million goal.
Educational tax credits are received from businesses donations to programs that provide educational opportunities for low- and middle-income families. Interested businesses applied for the tax credits before the budget impasse began. After the budget passed in March, United Way received the educational tax credit donations.
United Way honored companies and employees who helped the campaign reach its goal at Thursday’s breakfast.
“It’s important to us because we are always asking people to help us...We are asking people to contribute their time, their energy, their resources,” United Way President and CEO Gary Drapek said. “This is our opportunity to say thank you.”
Ms. Chickeletti praised those who helped.
“Our community quietly went about doing what Harrisburg refused to do,” she said to attendees. “Countless individuals, families, organizations, companies and foundations came together across Lackawanna and Wayne counties to do everything within their power to ensure that the life-changing and life-saving programs supported by the United Way would continue to be in place.”
The event honored the 10 companies that raised in excess of $1 million for the campaign. These companies include: Fidelity Bank; Gentex Corp.; Gertrude Hawk Chocolates; Moses Taylor Hospital; PNC Bank; PPL Utilities; Procter & Gamble Paper Products Co. — Mehoopany Plant; The Times-Tribune; TMG Health Inc.; and Wayne Bank.
Michael Nelson of United Auto Workers Local 1193 was awarded the William E. Cockerill Sr. Memorial Award, given in honor of Mr. Cockerill’s contributions to the community.
The Spirit of Caring Chairman’s Awards went to Cooper’s Seafood House, Dempsey Uniform & Linen Supply, Hendrick Manufacturing Co. and Jack Tighe.
The United Way 2015-16 campaign officially ends June 30. Officials expect to see the campaign total increase as more educational tax credits are finalized.