12/05/08 — Almost there: United Way total ... so far ... proves this community 'rocks'

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Almost there: United Way total ... so far ... proves this community 'rocks'

It might not seem much like a victory -- $1.32 million, with more than $90,000 still to collect to reach 100 percent.

But the United Way of Wayne County 2008 campaign is an example of what a community can do when it has a charismatic, enthusiastic and determined leader and a whole lot of volunteers who are as dedicated as he is.

With the rather severe economic downturn, there is no way -- on paper -- that the United Way of Wayne County should have been able to be even close to its goal of $1.42 million affecting 28,400 lives.

All you have to do is follow the news to know that this kind of success story is not the norm -- and won't be, especially this year, in many other areas of the state and country.

But, then again, this is not like any other county.

Wayne County takes care of its own.

David Perry and his co-chairman, his wife, Bethany, have done a tremendous job reminding Wayne County what this drive is supposed to be about -- people and community.

And their efforts, their infectious enthusiasm and grassroots approach have made it possible for Wayne County to achieve something that is nothing short of a miracle in a time when so many are suffering economically. More than a million dollars -- anywhere, for anything -- is a victory.

And it is nice to see the United Way having a little fun as well along the way.

But now that the last drum roll has been played and a car has been given away, there is still a little more work to do.

Over the last few weeks, you have seen thousands of dollars come in and many employers and employees step up to the challenge when they were most needed.

But there are still some who have not been able to get a campaign together.

There is still time to end the year at 100 percent.

If you want to be part of this community effort, step up and ask. There are United Way volunteers ready, willing and able to help you get your own effort under way.

And we won't even make you ride a surfboard!

There really is little question that Wayne County will come through for that last little push. There is decades of evidence of the generosity and spirit of this community.

Maybe it is because we know how fragile and short life can be -- or maybe it is that we know we have to count on one another. But whatever the answer, this is yet another example of why it is so rewarding to be a part of this community.

Time and time again we do what other, much larger places, find impossible.

So congratulations not only to the United Way 2008 campaign team, but to the community that continues to remember where its priorities should be -- right here at home.

Published in Editorials on December 5, 2008 10:39 AM