WEIRTON - The Weirton United Way is looking to breathe new life into its campaign with new events and ideas while returning its focus to the agencies it serves.
The United Way officially began its campaign this week with a variety of events, all aimed at helping to reach this year's $280,000 goal.
"We have to find new people, new blood, new ideas," United Way Executive Director Kristin Bowman-Cross said.
GOALS OUTLINED — Weirton United Way Executive Board President John Frankovitch, left, and 2012 Campaign Chair John Greco discussed the importance of the United Way and the work of those involved in the campaign during a luncheon held Wednesday at the Salvation Army. The Weirton United Way kicked off its 2012 campaign this week with a series of activities. -- Craig Howell
Among those new ideas was replacing the traditional kickoff dinner with a week of events, including a campaign team luncheon held Wednesday at the Salvation Army.
Other activities this week have included a My 31 party Monday at the Knights of Columbus and a cookbook sale at the United Way offices on Tuesday.
Campaign Chair John Greco thanked the campaign team gathered at Wednesday's luncheon, saying it is important to find new ways of reaching the United Way goal as times change.
Other events being held by the Weirton United Way this week are: a balloon launch 4:30 p.m. today at the Dunbar Recreation Center, and the school walk-a-thon beginning at 9:30 a.m. Friday at Weir High School
"(Vice Chair) Don Gianni and I know we have a great team behind us," Greco said. "I'm very competitive. I will not come in second place."
Executive Board President John Frankovitch recalled the United Way can no longer put its campaign on cruise control and then call Weirton Steel or another major business to help reach its goal at the end of the year. He said he wants to see hard work put into the campaign to make sure they can hit the $280,000 mark.
"We need to reconnect everybody with the agencies," Frankovitch said.
Frankovitch explained, with the changes in the economy and the needs of the community, the United Way has been focusing much of its funds on food, shelter and utility programs, including those programs provided by the Salvation Army.
He encouraged the campaign team to try at least one new thing during their fundraising efforts this year, saying it can have a positive impact on the Weirton area.
"If everyone does that, it's going to continue to shape the community," Frankovitch said.
Other events taking place with the Weirton United Way this week include a balloon launch at the Dunbar Recreation Center at 4:30 p.m. today, and the annual school walk-a-thon taking place at Weir High School beginning at 9:30 a.m. Friday.
(Howell can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)