The United Fund of Warren announced on Friday that their Torchlight Campaign was a success.

This year’s goal of $665,000 was met and exceeded by nearly $3,500. The campaign is the largest annual fundraiser in Warren County.

Campaign co-chairs Terri Swanson and George Lilja were both thankful for the Warren community’s help.

“It is a pleasure to again thank all of the generous people in Warren County who helped us achieve our goal, which supports all of the member agencies of the United Fund,” Swanson said.

Lilja concurred, saying “This campaign is a broad-based community effort, and its success year after year speaks volumes about the generosity of Warren County.”

Lincoln Sokolski, the chairman of the United Fund’s Board of Directors, noted that this was the 92nd annual campaign that has been undertaken.“Over the years,” he said, “millions of dollars have been raised to make sure that our neighbors who need help can receive it. Our agencies are remarkable in their service, just as the community is remarkable in its support.”

Jim Goodling, United Fund director, broke down the sources of contributions. The largest portion, by far, comes from the industrial and financial companies within the county. Corporate contributions and the payroll deductions of employees bring in 58 percent of all donations. Individual gifts come to the campaign through direct solicitation (9 percent) or a general residential campaign (2 percent). Commercial establishments and professional offices contribute 3 percent, and governmental, hospital, educational, and member agency staffs give 5 percent of the total. The remainder (23 percent) is received through income from various trusts which were established to benefit the United Fund.

In turn, the Fund supports 20 agencies through the donations it receives. About half the money collected helps kids through programs such as scouting and 4-H. Support for seniors accounts for 20 percent of the campaign, helping to fund such organizations as the senior centers in Sheffield and Warren. Counseling through Hospice of Warren County and Family Services receives about 10 percent of the money, with 15 percent going for emergency services through the Red Cross and The Salvation Army. Disability services through organizations such as Don Mills Achievement Center and BEI complete the roster of support.

Goodling noted that all campaign contributions go directly to the agencies. Campaign and administrative expenses are paid for through income from the Community Foundation, so all contributions to the campaign go to agencies to helped with their work.

Donations to the United Fund can be made throughout the year in person, by mail, or online at 

AuthorAndrew King