United Way fund-raising volunteers sent out into community with their mission at kickoff lunch Wednesday

Among the performers at the United Way's 2013 fund-raising campiagn kickoff luncheon was this trio made up of (from left) Love INC Executive Director Joey Spiegel, United Way Executive Director Jenna Strick and Campaign Chairman Nicole Johnson. Photo by Cindy Klepper.

United Way volunteers were sent out in the community on Wednesday, Aug. 21, charged with raising $676,000 for the common good.

The 2013 fund-raising campaign for the United Way of Huntington County was officially kicked off with a luncheon on Wednesday, Aug. 21, at the Parkview Huntington Family YMCA, one of 18 organizations in the community that will receive some of the funds.

The $676,000 goal, which was announced during the kick-off luncheon, represents a $21,000 from the amount raised in the 2012 campaign.

"That's a big goal," said Nicole Johnson, chair of the 2013 campaign. Johnson, however, expressed confidence that the community was up to the challenge.

Johnson also revealed a new way for the community to work with United Way member agencies.

"We are happy to announce the launch of a new online resource," she said.

The website, getcon nected.unitedwayhunting toncounty.org, gives donors and volunteers a way to connect with agencies who are in need of donations and volunteers. Many of the agencies offer links to pages explaining the services they offer, and visitors to the website can search by topic to find agencies that offer the services they need.

Luncheon guests received an advance look at this year's campaign video, which features local comedian David Dean talking with people who have benefitted from programs offered by United Way member agencies.

Johnson thanked the 12 Pacesetter companies that ran their fund-raising campaigns in advance of the community-wide effort. This year's Pacesetters were Beacon Credit Union, Bendix, Huntington Sheet Metal, Bippus State Bank, Village Animal Hospital, First Federal Savings Bank, Miami Tool and Die, Myers Funeral Homes, Otis R. Bowen Center, Pathfinder Services, Teachers Credit Union and Edward Jones.

Complete campaign: A trio made up of (from left) Joey Spiegel, executive director of Love INC; Jenna Strick, executive director of the United Way of Huntington County; and Nicole Johnson, chair of the Huntington County United Way’s 2013 fund-raising campaign, performs as part of a kick-off luncheon for the campaign. The luncheon was held on Wednesday, Aug. 21, at the Parkview Huntington Family YMCA.