Mid-Coast United Way begins nearly $2M campaign

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BATH — United Way of Mid Coast Maine is aiming to raise $1.93 million this year.

The organization, which aids people in Brunswick, Harpswell, and Sagadahoc and Lincoln counties, raised 98 percent of last year’s $1.96 million goal.

United Way and 37 agencies with which it partners address basic needs such as health, education and financial stability. The organization also emphasizes attention to early childhood development.

“I’ve always felt that those of us who are secure, economically and otherwise, have an obligation to do things to help others in our community,” campaign Chairman Vin DiCara said Tuesday.

The Brunswick resident, who owns DiCara Training and Consulting, grew up in the 1960s, “an era when people were expected to give back to their communities, and I’ve always tried to do that during the course of my adult years,” he said.

This year’s campaign theme is “Connections,” since “United Way connects local people to work on solutions, and connects generous people to their neighbors, by transforming their caring into practical, important help that changes people’s lives,” DiCara stated in a United Way press release.

“It’s a great feeling to connect to something bigger than yourself,” he added. “And when you connect to United Way, you connect to a community of caring people, and you make great things happen.”

Workplaces around the Mid-Coast, regardless of size, are asked to have a United Way presentation at a meeting to allow employees to learn about area services and decide whether to contribute to the campaign through a payroll deduction. The brief presentations can be arranged by calling United Way at 443-9752.

Those who are not participating in a workplace campaign can send donations to
United Way of Mid Coast Maine, 34 Wing Farm Parkway, Bath, ME 04530.  Donations may be made through credit or debit cards, or donations of securities or stocks. Billing can also be arranged.

As of Tuesday’s campaign kick-off, about $453,000, or 23.5 percent of the goal, had been raised. Among key contributors are Bath Iron Works employees, who are considered “sustained givers” and contribute 1 percent or more of their wages to the cause. With the company’s corporate gift also included, the shipyard has already raised nearly $211,000.

The 10-week campaign concludes Nov. 13.

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

Sidebar Elements

United Way of Mid Coast Maine kicked off its 2013 funrasising campaign Tuesday at the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath. From left are campaign chairman Vin DiCara, United Way Executive Director Barbara Reinertsen, and campaign Director Tom Blatz.

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.