Weirton United Way ready for ’13 campaign

WEIRTON – The Weirton United Way is gearing up for its 2013 campaign, with several events planned for the coming months.

United Way officials discussed some of those events, and thanked those who had helped on the 2012 campaign Tuesday during the organization’s annual meeting at the Millsop Community Center.

Noting the portraits hanging on the wall behind them, Vice President Bill Kiefer said he thought the center’s Weirton Room was an appropriate location to celebrate the work of the United Way.

“It’s inspiring to know we have E.T. Weir and Tom Millsop looking over us,” Kiefer said.

The 2012 campaign officially ended March 14, raising $281,033.03. The goal had been $280,000.

Kiefer said it was probably the latest the Weirton United Way has gone to reach a goal, but added none of it would have been possible without the hard work and dedication of the organization’s staff, volunteers and campaign team led by 2012 Chair John Greco.

“We all know he was exceptionally dedicated to this campaign,” Kiefer said.

Others also thanked Greco for his leadership during the campaign, with several stories from the past year shared.

“He made it a successful year,” said Executive Director Kristin Bowman-Cross.

Greco thanked Bowman-Cross and everyone who supported the United Way for their help, recognizing the committee and event chairs, making particular note of the efforts of Shelley Gutwald and the ways and means committee, Betty McGillen, who chaired the school walk-a-thon, Scott Winwood, who chaired the Pre Super Bowl Party, Kathy Snyder, and Jim O’Brien, who chairs the allocations committee.

“Without Jim and Starvaggi Charities, we would not have met our goal,” Greco said.

The walk-a-thon was a record-breaking event for the 2012 campaign, Greco said, as was the 2012 Golf Classic. Special events such as those, the annual United Way Poker Run and the Ladies Golf Classic make up 40 percent of the funds raised each campaign year, he said.

Greco also handed over the reins to Don Gianni Jr., who is the 2013 campaign chair.

“Every year it gets to be more of a challenge,” Gianni said, adding he learned a great deal from Greco during the 2012 campaign, and will strive to follow in his footsteps.

The 2013 campaign will officially begin in the coming months, with the annual Fashion Show on May 19 at Williams Country Club, and the Weirton United Way Golf Classic on June 10.