Bath-area United Way again misses fundraising goal

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BATH — Although it missed its campaign goal this year by almost $200,000, United Way of Mid Coast Maine hopes to make up the difference by year’s end.

The organization set a goal of $1.8 million, of which $1.6 million was raised by the Nov. 9 campaign finale. United Way also missed last year’s $1.9 million goal by about $200,000.

“I think part of it really is shifting demographics,” Executive Director Barbara Reinertsen said in an interview Nov. 10. She referred to a suggestion by campaign Chairman Bill Brillant, that many of United Way’s longtime, largest donors are retiring and leaving workplace-based campaigns.

It is “a big issue that we face that we’re going to have to deal with for a few years, I think,” she added.

Despite this factor, “we wanted to stretch,” Reinertsen said. “We knew there was a lot of need, and we didn’t want to set too modest a goal. So we did look for increases.”

People can still contribute to this year’s campaign by sending donations to United Way of Mid Coast Maine, 34 Wing Farm Parkway, Bath, ME  04530. Gifts can be made at uwmcm.org/donate, or by calling 443-9752 to give via credit card or ask to be billed. United Way encourages workplaces to call that have yet to hold an employee campaign.

“It’s not too late to give,” Reinertsen said. “… The more donations we get, the more people we can help. So there is an impact as far as how many people we can help when (the money raised) does go down.”

The organization supports social service agencies in Sagadahoc and Lincoln counties, and Brunswick and Harpswell in Cumberland County. United Way and its 38 area partner agencies aided about 20,000 Mid-Coast residents in 2016.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

Bill Brillant, at center, chairman of United Way of Mid Coast Maine’s 2017 fundraising campaign, is thanked at the Nov. 9 campaign finale by Campaign Director Tom Blatz and United Way Board Chairwoman Nancy Jennings. The event was held at Bowdoin College’s Moulton Union in Brunswick.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.