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United Way standing at 68 percent of goal

November 17, 2012
By CRAIG HOWELL - Managing editor ( , Weirton Daily Times

WEIRTON - The Weirton United Way currently stands at 68 percent of its campaign goal, it was announced Friday.

The United Way held its second report luncheon of the 2012 campaign Friday at the Serbian American Cultural Center, where it was reported $191,451.71 of the $280,000 goal had been raised.

John Frankovitch, president of the United Way's executive board, said the United Way and the agencies it serves are among the reasons Weirton keeps moving ahead despite its hardships.

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"This community has had so many economic challenges over the years," Frankovitch said. "It continues to keep going."

During the luncheon, the United Way also recognized three businesses and organizations who have had 100 percent participation from their employees in this year's campaign. Executive Director Kristin Bowman Cross explained the United Way wants to do what it can to recognize those who show such a commitment during the campaign season.

Those recognized Friday included Assure America, First Choice America Community Federal Credit Union and CHANGE, Inc.

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During Friday's report luncheon, the United Way recognized three area businesses or organizations to have 100 percent participation from their employees in this year's campaign. Accepting the awards were, in front from left, Angela Frazier and Lori Magnone of Assure America, Chuck Cronin of First Choice America Community Federal Credit Union, and Dawn Ohalek of CHANGE, Inc. In back are Campaign Vice Chair Don Gianni Jr., Campaign Chair John Greco and United Way Executive Director Kristin Bowman Cross. -- Craig Howell

The guest speaker Friday was Mike Koon, vice president of workforce development and Weirton campus dean of West Virginia Northern Community College, who reflected both on the recent election and historical heroes. He noted the differences between the Republican and Democratic parties, but said they have to be able to find common ground and cooperate to move the country forward.

"In Weirton, we've seen that spirit of working together," Koon said.

One such example, he said, was the creation of CHANGE, Inc., which was formed when a group of local clergy and residents came together to find a way to assist those who had been laid off from Weirton Steel.

He also noted the continued support of agencies such as the Hancock County Sheltered Workshop by the passage of a bond levy to assist with its operations.

"We continually make the goal because people in the community step up," Koon said.

Koon stated there is heroism on display throughout the Weirton area, reflected in the actions of those individuals who give of themselves, without a thought as to how it will affect them, to benefit others.

Organizations such as the Salvation Army, Community Bread Basket and Weirton Christian Center are filled with heroes, he said, because they work to feed and clothe the less fortunate. The Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Boys and Girls Club show their heroism by looking out for the youth of the community, while Weirton Medical Center, CHANGE and Healthways assist with the medical needs.

"We're filled with heroes," Koon said, adding that the United Way holds them all together.

The Weirton United Way's 15 member agencies are the American Red Cross-River Valley Chapter; Boys and Girls Club of Weirton; Girl Scouts Black Diamond Council; Boy Scouts of America; CHANGE, Inc.; Community Bread Basket; Dunbar Recreation Center; Healthways; 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-Weirton and the Weirton Christian Center.

The final report luncheon is scheduled for Jan. 11.

(Howell can be contacted at and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)

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