Mid Coast United Way reduces expectations

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BATH — United Way of Mid Coast Maine on Tuesday launched an annual fundraising campaign that is slightly less ambitious than last year, when it failed to meet its goal.

This year’s goal of just under $1.92 million is down from the goal of $1.93 million a year ago.

But if the goal is reached, it will be a small increase over last year’s fundraising, which reached $1.9 million, according to Executive Director Barbara Reinertsen.

The organization, which supports social service agencies in Sagadahoc and Lincoln counties, and Brunswick and Harpswell in Cumberland County, kicked off its campaign at the Maine Maritime Museum.

Campaign Chairwoman Larissa Darcy, community banking regional vice president for the Bank of Maine, called the endeavor “truly a campaign for all of us” in a United Way press release Tuesday.

“People should know how important their decision on giving is,” Darcy said, pointing out that United Way donations enhance the lives of about 20,000 people annually, through 37 partner agencies.

“United Way helps us build stronger lives, and a stronger Mid Coast Maine community, by focusing on the building blocks of opportunity: education, financial stability, and health,” she said. “When you have a solid foundation, you can build a skyscraper. You can build anything and everything.”

United Way’s new “Diaper Project” was part of the campaign launch, with participants donating more than 4,000 diapers that were stacked in a pyramid, and which will be delivered to food pantries and local programs that serve young families.

Workplaces around the Mid-Coast are asked to make a presentation on behalf of United Way to their employees, who can donate through payroll deductions.

Donations from contributors not involved in a workplace campaign can go to United Way of Mid Coast Maine, 34 Wing Farm Parkway, Bath, ME 04530.

The campaign concludes Nov. 13. Log onto uwmcm.org for more information.

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

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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.