Schuylkill United Way reaches $1.165M goal

Nov. 11—The Schuylkill United Way has achieved its 2023 campaign goal.

During an appreciation breakfast Friday morning at Saint Nicholas Hall, campaign Chairman Mike Joyce announced the annual fundraiser had met the target of $1,165,000.

In announcing the achievement, Joyce, publisher of the Republican Herald, repeated the amount.

"That is absolutely fantastic," he said.

He thanked everyone who had a role in attaining the goal, which was announced in September.

Money raised stays in Schuylkill County, providing assistance to 15 partner agencies.

Kelly Malone, executive director of the Schuylkill United Way, said the campaign was short of its goal by $20,000 on Wednesday, but a generous donation helped them cross the goal line. She said someone called her and said they would provide a matching amount of $10,000 if they had a commitment for the same amount. Malone said she started sending emails on Thursday morning and by noon she had the money. M&T Bank donated $7,500 and and another company whose representative wished to remain anonymous gave $2,500.

"Every donor, every dollar, every partner, advocate and volunteer — including you — makes a difference!" she said. "Sixty-five percent of giving (is) from individuals, whether that's a $10 one-time donation or giving at a Pacesetter's level," she added. "Individuals fuel our programs and the work of our 15 partner agencies."

Malone said, "Because of your generosity, 2023 will be a year of HOPE for so many."

Patrick Kane, who along with Jay Jones chaired the Pacesetters campaign, announced the totals for those who gave $500 or more in a campaign year. In all, there were 785 pacesetters and $603,500 raised, the most ever, Kane said.

Michele Mickonis, president of the Schuylkill United Way Board of Directors, thanked Joyce for serving as campaign chair.

"Being a campaign chair requires dedication and working towards a common goal. Mike, you have shown that dedication and commitment. Your efforts and the time that you have spent helping with this campaign have been so appreciated," Mickonis said. "We could not have achieved this success without you! This is a huge win for our partner agencies, our programs and the Schuylkill County community."

Dr. Greg Koons, executive director of the Schuylkill Intermediate Unit, the 2023 assistant campaign chair and the 2024 chair, said Joyce has "raised the bar" for next year.

Koons also quoted a line from Fred Rogers: "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me look for the helpers. You always find people who are helping." Koons said those at the breakfast are "helpers."

During a interview, Koons said he hopes to reach the education community for support next year.

"I think it's going to be one school at a time," he said.

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