WEIRTON - The Weirton United Way's 2012 campaign is fully under way, and already is more than half way to its goal of $280,000.
Campaign officials and guests gathered at the Serbian American Cultural Center Friday for the Weirton United Way's first report luncheon of the campaign year to hear the status of the ongoing fundraising efforts.
"It's been a really exciting start to the campaign," Executive Board President John Frankovitch said.
Following the divisional reports, it was announced the campaign has brought in $147,891.98 - or 53 percent - of this year's goal.
"We're more than half-way home," Campaign Chair John Greco said.
The guest speaker for the luncheon was Tina Edwards, representing the Dunbar Center.
Tina Edwards, of the Dunbar Center, discusses the impact of the Weirton United Way on the center and the programs it can provide for local children. Edwards was the guest speaker Friday during the United Way's first report luncheon of the 2012 campaign. -- Craig Howell
Hancock County Savings Bank recently contributed to one of the Weirton United Way's campaign fundraisers by purchasing 100 totes as part of a 31 party held by the United Way during its kickoff week. A percentage of the profits from the party will go to the United Way. The bank will use the totes in its own marketing efforts. Pictured are, from left, United Way Executive Director Kristin Bowman Cross, Campaign Chair John Greco, Bank President and Chief Executive Officer Catherine Ferrari and Campaign Vice Chair Don Gianni Jr. -- Craig Howell
Edwards noted, as a child, she spent time at the center herself and learned much about helping others and giving back to the community under the guidance of Roberta Colliers.
Edwards explained the Dunbar Center works to provide a variety of events for children, including tutoring, bible study and assistance with developing social skills.
Among some of their newer activities is a program to honor students at the center who have been named to their school's honor roll and graduated from high school.
"We just wanted to try it and see how it turned out," Edwards said.
She noted the recent work of a local Boy Scout who performed a beautification project at the Dunbar Center, including the installation of a new sign, as well as the addition of line dancing each Wednesday for the parents of children who attend the center.
"Without the help of the United Way, none of this would be possible," Edwards said.
Frankovitch said the Dunbar Center is one of the local organizations he personally holds close to his heart, and he often stops by to see how things are with the children and everyone there.
He explained the Dunbar Center is a place where the children are able to enjoy themselves, adding visitors can tell the children are there of their own desire.
"That was their home," Frankovitch said. "That is where they're comfortable. That's where they wanted to be."
The Weirton United Way represents 15 area agencies, including the American Red Cross, Boys and Girls Club of Weirton, Girl Scouts Black Diamond Council, Boy Scouts of America, CHANGE, Inc., Community Bread Basket, Dunbar Recreation Center, Healthways Inc., Hancock/Brooke/Ohio/Marshall Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, Hancock County Sheltered Workshop, Hancock County 4-H Foundation, Weirton Medical Center Foundation, Mary H. Weir Public Library, Salvation Army and the Weirton Christian Center.
(Howell can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)