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United Way kicks off annual giving campaign

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

ST. CHARLES TOWNSHIP – Maj. Ken Nicolai of The Salvation Army said he has seen the importance of the United Way firsthand.

As the one who administers the Golden Diners program for The Salvation Army in Kane and McHenry counties, he said he once delivered a meal to an 88-year-old widow who was living on a limited income and was too frail to cook for herself. In addition to providing her a meal, he said, the visit showed her she was valued and important.

Nicolai shared that story Tuesday during the United Way of Central Kane County’s kickoff to its annual campaign to illustrate the importance of the United Way.

“Let’s do the best we can to unite with them to make sure these things keep happening,” Nicolai told the gathering at Brewster Creek Lodge in St. Charles Township.

The United Way of Central Kane County aims to raise $450,000 this year.

“We’re really going to need your help this year,” said Ed Brooks, campaign chairman.

Of the donations received, he said, 94 cents of every dollar stays in central Kane County.

The money benefits 27 agencies and 35 programs, which affect more than 13,500 lives, executive director Paula Yensen said.

She noted the goal is down from last year’s target of $500,000, which the organization did not meet. The highest percentage of contributions come from corporate worksite campaigns and individual gifts from companies, she said, and there has been a reduction in staffing at the companies United Way has worked with.

The United Way of Central Kane County also hopes to raise money through a virtual fundraiser – an online auction. Visit www.unitedwayofcentralkanecounty.org for the link to the Fall Kickoff Auction.

Yensen is willing to visit companies about the campaign. Call her at 630-377-1930.

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