STEUBENVILLE - Area residents will have an opportunity to see volunteers with the United Way of Jefferson County in action as the organization again teams with the Herald-Star to solicit contributions through a live, two-hour online telethon.
The webathon will stream live from the Herald-Star newsroom from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and include presentations of donations from area businesses and organizations, interviews with representatives of United Way agencies and music from guitarist and Herald-Star staffer Mark Miller.
In January about 30 volunteers solicited pledges from the desks of the newspaper's reporters and editors, helping the United Way of Jefferson County to reach its 2011-12 campaign goal of $430,000.
TEAM EFFORT — Preparing for the second-annual Herald-Star Webathon to benefit the United Way of Jefferson County are, from left, Ross Gallabrese, executive editor of the Herald-Star; Michael D. McElwain, the newspaper’s online editor; and Beth Rupert-Warren, United Way executive director. The event will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and streamed live at www.ustream.tv/channel/herald-star-newsroom and accessed also through www.heraldstaronline.com
This year a goal of $440,000 has been set, and thus far 45 percent of that goal has been reached under the leadership of campaign chairman Anthony Mougianis.
Proceeds from the campaign go to 19 area agencies that serve the community in a variety of ways and include the City Rescue Mission, Mingo Social Services, Smithfield Food Pantry, A.L.I.V.E. domestic violence shelter, Jefferson County 4th Street Health Center and the Jefferson County Chapter of the American Red Cross.
Ross Gallabrese, executive editor of the Herald-Star, said, "We're looking forward to the second-annual webathon. Last year's event generated about $10,000 in pledges. But more important than that, it helped energize our volunteers to push our campaign over the top," said Ross Gallabrese, executive editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and board president of the United Way.
Beth Rupert-Warren, executive director of the United Way of Jefferson County, agreed the webathon will play a key role in furthering efforts by the campaign's many workers.
"Everyone's working really hard in their workplaces and in local schools," she said.
Michael D. McElwain, online editor for the Herald-Star and technical coordinator for the webathon, said, "It gives viewers and donors a chance to see some of the behind-the-scenes work involved in a United Way campaign and the participants seem to enjoy the experience."
"Last year's event was fun to put together. Using modern technology in good old-fashioned fundraising is something that's become more common, and the Herald-Star has the unique resources to host such an event," he added.
Webathon 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, is www.ustream.tv/channel/herald-star-newsroom. The link also can be accessed by visiting heraldstaronline.com Thursday and following the links to the webathon.
For information about the webathon or the United Way, call (740) 284-9000.