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United Way campaign comes to a close

PRINCETON — Final fundraising numbers should be available by the end of the week on the 41st annual Bureau County United Way (BCUW) campaign.

On Monday, BCUW Executive Director Michelle Lymberopoulos said about 165 people attended Saturday’s Caribbean-themed spring fundraiser for the BCUW at the Wise Guys Bar & Grill in Princeton, which was the final event for the 41st campaign. Going into Saturday’s event, the BCUW had reached about 68 percent of its $120,000 goal. Hopefully, that percentage was increased significantly Saturday evening, she said.

As reported earlier, the local United Way chapter has operated with a $120,000 campaign goal for the past several years with 88 percent of its goal raised last year.

The Bureau County United Way plays a vital role in area communities, helping individuals, families and non-for-profit agencies, Lymberopoulos said. Planning for the 42nd campaign will begin later this spring.

“I believe that without our local United Way, the strain of added fundraising needs and added numbers of people in need would further strain our local, not-for-profit agencies,” Lymberopoulos said.

Looking more specifically at the outreach of the BCUW, Lymberopoulos said the BCUW helps fund 15 local health and human services organizations and agencies, as well as provides referral assistance to local residents in need. The BCUW also provides Community Impact Grants to local organizations and also has its own community projects, including the Christmas for Kids Toy Drive which served 500 Bureau County children in need in December.

“There’s a good chance that we all know someone who has been helped by the Bureau County United Way, a neighbor, family member, co-worker, friend,” Lymberopoulos said on Monday. “It’s important that our residents understand that the BCUW and its member agencies provide vital services, and that we never know when we ourselves may need help. Having local help available in a crisis is so important. Donations to the BCUW stay local, helping people locally.”

On a personal note, Lymberopoulos said she enjoys the opportunity to serve as BCUW executive director, to serve others and help problem-solve for people in need. Of course, all BCUW work is made easier through its many volunteers, a number which has increased quite a bit in the last few years, she said.

“I feel fortunate to have the help and support from so many awesome people. It’s a privilege to have met and worked with all of them, as well as local businesses and donors. We couldn’t run this organization with out all of them,” Lymberopoulos said.

Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com.

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