University faculty, staff and students can pat themselves on the back for topping the $1 million goal set for this years United Way campaign. Washtenaw United Way officials announced Nov. 11 that the county-wide campaign had raised more than $8 million and local United Way president Jim Cieslar thanked the U-M, United Auto Workers and the auto industry for their generosity.
The U-Ms campaign garnered a 7 percent increase over last years figure, a gain that Cieslar attributed to the turnaround United Way has accomplished since it was rocked by an embezzlement scandal in 1996.
Washtenaw United Way Board member Susan Feagin, vice president for development, acknowledged that United Ways credibility is on the upswing, but also credited the generosity and community spirit at the U-M for raising $1,026,236, the most in three years.
I was impressed at the strength of the broad-based effort across the University, Feagin says. Faculty and staff really came together to produce this extraordinary result, and my brief experience on the board has convinced me of the great importance of this effort to the community.
The U-M campaign was headed by Regent Rebecca McGowan. United Way distributes funds to more than 40 health and human service agencies that directly benefit local families in need.