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Published: Wednesday, 1/12/2005

Fulton County: United Way record set, but goal short


WAUSEON - Fulton County United Way received record donations in 2004, but was still short of its goal, and tonight, the board is expected to cut about $23,000 from its plans for the year.

The United Way's final tally for 2004 was just over $326,600, which is about 93 percent of its goal of $350,000. "It was an ambitious goal that we didn't quite make," executive director Gina Saaf said. Last year the county United Way collected $325,700.

The board tonight is expected to re-examine plans with each of the 33 charities it had planned to assist this year and made individual cuts, instead of cutting its gifts to each agency by the same percentage, Ms. Saaf said.

She had notified the 33 charities in November that the county did not appear likely to meet its goal. The United Way had selected in June the agencies that it hoped to help fund. At that time, the county's largest chunk of money was allotted to Red Cross, which was to get $34,000 to help people in emergency situations.

Next highest were Hands of Grace in Delta, which provides daycare and other services for the elderly and handicapped, at $22,200; and Lutheran Social Services, which provides counseling, collects and distributes used furniture and appliances, and operates a food pantry, at $22,000.

Ms. Saaf blamed the shortfall on economic uncertainties.

Donations from employees at Sauder Woodworking Co. in Archbold were lower than United Way leaders had hoped, although the company's employees still provided more than half of the total collection.

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