Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

August 28, 2013

United Way kicks off fundraising campaign

Tony Huffman
Effingham Daily News

EFFINGHAM — For the past three years, United Way has exceeded its fundraising goal, and one company leader believes it's time the nonprofit organization shoots for a bigger one.

United Way has raised more than $300,000 annually, and even though the board set the same goal during its annual fundraising campaign kickoff luncheon Tuesday, Siemer Milling Company President Rick Siemer hopes the organization raises its expectation in coming years.

“United Way should push their goal to $400,000,” said Siemer.

Siemer's desire for additional fundraising stems from his interest in the amount of good the organization does for the community.

    “We should be able to take care of many of the issues in our community without government assistance,” he said. “This is our local charity that fulfills the needs of the community.”

Businesses have stepped forward to help fulfill that need by conducting fundraising campaigns to benefit the 21 local nonprofit agencies the United Way disperses funds to.

Representatives from local businesses shared at the luncheon ways they raised money, from a cookbook with more than 200 Siemer Milling employee recipes that raised $1,200 to a Crossroads State Bank employee rummage sale that raised more than $1,000.

Leading the way for the current fundraising campaign will be Midland States Bank. The pacesetter company was introduced at the luncheon Tuesday.

“We are happy to help,” said Mel Stock, Commercial Relations manager. “Midland States Bank is a big supporter of what the United Way does.”

The company has already begun fundraising plans for the upcoming year, beginning with one at Joe's Pizza and Pasta on Sept. 23. From 5 to 7 p.m., the restaurant will be opening its doors on a day it's otherwise closed to allow Midland employees to serve customers and earn tips to be donated to United Way.