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2004 Community Assessment

The Numbers Speak Volumes for United Way Campaign Chairman

by John Bruning and Jayne Murphy Klose

Steve Ley is a numbers man. Ley, who is president of Chemineer, has a background in finance that he brought with him as the 2004 Campaign Chairman. That's why he, along with co-chairman Jim Clark of the IUE/CWA Automotive Conference Board, set three numeric goals for this year's campaign – to double the number of Pacesetter companies, to raise $200,000 from new and lapsed corporate and employee support, and to reach $13 million overall.


With the United Way campaign still going on but nearing the completion of its yearly fund-raising effort, Ley said it's too early to tell if the total goal will be met. He is very pleased, however, with surpassing the Pacesetter goal with a total of $1.3 million in pledges and the increase to date of $200,000 from first-time campaigns.


But this year and in the future he would like to see more employers hosting United Way campaigns for their workforces to participate in. There are challenge-match dollars available to double the impact of the gifts from first-time participants. Ley wants to remind everyone that the campaign needs to grow from year to year, with each new campaign building upon the successes of the earlier years. “We depend on the people in the area, with their donations and volunteer work,” he said. “And it is never too late to give or get involved.”


"The United Way is a multi-year thing," Ley explained. "We need to stay the course and continue to develop. You can't do something in just one year. I especially would like to see more employers become first-time participants, to allow United Way campaigns to be conducted in their workplaces. That's the most important thing.”


Ley readily agreed to take on the significant volunteer role of campaign chair. "This has been a great opportunity for me to get to know the partner agencies and to get better acquainted with all the good that they do." As a long-time supporter, he believes the United Way is the most efficient and effective way to help the community and those in need. "The United Way is a good organization and we all benefit from their work in the community.”

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