UW web-a-thon set for Thursday

STEUBENVILLE – Officials of the United Way of Jefferson County believe their third-annual web-a-thon, set for 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday on the Herald-Star Website, will make a major difference this year as the 2014 campaign nears its Feb. 15 deadline.

“We successfully raised approximately $7,000 during last year’s event. That was an increase over the first year and I hope we see another increase again this year. I know we are seeing a stronger response to the web-a-thon each year. And, I am very grateful to Executive Editor Ross Gallabrese and the Herald-Star for hosting the United Way of Jefferson County telethon on its website,” announced Anthony Mougianis, 2014 United Way of Jefferson County campaign chairman.

“I am absolutely confident we will reach our campaign goal of $440,000 again this year. But, as always, it will take some very hard work in the final weeks of the campaign. It’s crunch time and we need to go all out again this year. The need is even greater in 2014 and I hope we have a lot of supporters watch the web-a-thon and participate in the fundraising event,” added Mougianis.

Dave France, United Way board president, said reaching the annual goal, “is always a difficult task.”

“But, we have been successful every year because of our staff and the volunteers who do so much for the annual campaign. I am also very grateful to the Herald-Star for their support. That web-a-thon allows us to reach out to more people in order to pick up the donations that are so vital to our campaign,” remarked France.

“I am encouraging everyone to watch the web-a-thon on the Herald-Star website and to participate by calling in with a pledge. Now is the time to help those in need this year in Jefferson County. Nearly 95 percent of all monetary donations goes directly to the people in real need through the United Way agencies we support,” said France.

“We are looking forward to this third-annual web-a-thon because we raise money for a good cause and because we have fun working together. We do need more volunteers for the event, so any individuals or organizations who want to help us for a couple of hours Thursday can call the United Way offices at (740) 284-9000. All volunteer help will be appreciated,” said Beth Rupert-Warren executive director of the United Way of Jefferson County.

“Our goal this year is $440,000 and we are now at the 77 percent point of reaching that goal. Our campaign officially ends on Feb. 15 ,so we need this final push to put us at the goal or beyond. I have seen the residents of Jefferson County rally behind the United Way this year. Our needs are even greater this year and now is not the time to stop. I believe we can reach our goal and a successful web-a-thon will help us reach our goal,” Rupert-Warren said.

“Through our 19 United Way agencies we help hundreds of households and thousands of Jefferson County residents. The help we all provide will help people to transition through some tough times. There is a greater demand this year than ever before. The United Way campaign always reflects what our community is all about. We always come together as a community when there is a need. And there is definitely a need this year,” said Rupert-Warren.

“Our campaign will end on Feb. 15 and we will hold our annual report dinner in March. That’s when we will announce our campaign co-chairs for 2015,” noted Rupert-Warren.

“Our newspaper has always been ready to support the United Way of Jefferson County in any way we can,” said Gallabrese

“We originally came up with the idea for the United Way of Jefferson County web-a-thon three years ago. It was something new for us, but we heard nothing but words of praise. Last year we refined the web-a-thon and saw greater success and more visitors to the website. This year we are prepared to make even more improvements and are setting the bar even higher for our campaign,” explained Gallabrese.

“We’re looking forward to the third-annual web-a-thon. Last year’s event helped energize our volunteers to push our campaign over the top. Tune in to our web-a-thon from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and join the excitement as we broadcast live from the Herald-Star newsroom. But, more important, take a moment to call in and pledge your support to the United Way of Jefferson County,” urged Gallabrese.

Web-a-thon viewers will be able to donate via Paypal as well as with credit cards, cash and checks.

The direct link for the live event, via Ustream, will be www.ustream.tv/channel/herald-star-newsroom.

The link also can be accessed by visiting heraldstaronline.com Thursday and following the links to the web-a-thon.