MERCER COUNTY — United Way of Mercer County will kick off its 2013 campaign Thursday during its 21st Annual Restaurant Revue Thursday at Avalon at Buhl Park, Hermitage.
United Way will also host a kickoff breakfast and luncheon Friday at its office at 493 S. Hermitage Road in Hermitage.
Fresh from a 2012 campaign that raised $863,317, United Way welcomes the return of Mercer County volunteers from the financial sector to its Co-Chair panel.
At the board of directors meeting Aug. 2, United Way members voted to set 2013’s campaign goal at $1 million.
The co-chairs are actively recruiting volunteers to help distribute campaign materials to businesses throughout the community.
Co-chairs include: Larry Bilko, Huntington Bank; Dan Brinker, FNB; Gary Calleja, Citizens Bank; David DeForest, Stifel Nicolaus; Patty Eagon, Mercer County State Bank; David Grande, Huntington Bank; Dave Lapikas, FNB; Kelly Laughlin, PNC Bank; Deborah McMaster, PNC Bank; Jill Murrin, FNB; Mary Beth McGuire, Northwest Savings Bank; Brian Nespor, FNB; Bob Piccirilli, PNC Bank; and Marty Taylor, FNB.
The 2012 campaign proceeds are being invested in 27 Mercer County non-profit agencies. These agencies receive funding for a combined 41 programs.
Donors made it possible for United Way and its affiliated agencies to meet immediate needs of those adversely affected by the national economic downturn, and to facilitate long-term, positive changes in at-risk individuals to help prevent such circumstances in the future.
Donations also fund the Success by 6 summer program that contributes to the long-term quality of life in our community.
Pacesetter campaigns are underway at Anderson Coach and Travel, Penn Power, Western Southern Life, and several area school districts.
United Way of Mercer County’s effort this year will be to maintain last year’s campaign base amount while reaching out to new donors. All business leaders in Mercer County are invited to stop by between 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Friday at the United Way office.
Pledge packets will be available to take with instructions on running an employee campaign at their place of business.
“If business owners who either do not participate, or who participate at minimal levels, gave only $1 per week, and asked their employees to do the same, we could more than double the money we have available to fund important services and programs for the less fortunate,” said Jim Micsky, United Way of Mercer County executive director. “It doesn’t take much to make a big difference in the lives of everyone who calls Mercer County home.”
United Way of Mercer County, along with Community Counseling Center, Sharon Regional Health System, Primary Health Network, UPMC Horizon, and Mercer County Behavioral Health, are focusing on Mental Health Awareness during the 2013 campaign.
As one in every four people are currently affected by mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, eating disorders and others, the theme of this awareness campaign is Stamp Out Stigma, so those affected don’t delay seeking treatment for themselves or their loved ones.
For information on running a United Way campaign in your workplace or bringing the SOS message to your office, contact Erika Hink, UW campaign associate, at 724-981-1884.