NAUGATUCK — The United Way of Naugatuck and Beacon Falls kicked off this year’s fundraising campaign Thursday, setting a goal of $415,000.
“This is going to be another challenging year, as we all know, and more people are going to need the United Way, so we have to try that much harder,” said Susan Cable, first selectman of Beacon Falls.
The money will go to benefit 14 charitable organizations and four youth athletic leagues in the community, including The Salvation Army, Wellpath, and the Naugatuck YMCA.
“When you walk into these places, you can just feel the positive environment they’ve created,” Campaign Chair David Rotatori said. “You just know that every dollar you’re giving is really contributing to something positive and special.”
This year’s pacesetters, or the top five contributors, so far include ITW Powertrain Fastening, the Naugatuck YMCA, Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan, Naugatuck Savings Bank, and the Naugatuck Board of Education. They have contributed $190,000 combined, Rotatori said.
Donations from public school employees in the borough had been declining in the past few years as many teachers retired, but they have contributed $14,300, or 10 percent more so far this year, Rotatori said.
The organization expects to raise another $30,000 through a series of fundraisers by the end of the year, including an Oct. 22 bus trip to Salem, Mass., and the annual Halloween Gala on Oct. 28 in the Neary Building downtown, Rotatori said.
Including the projected revenue from the fundraisers, the organization has raised 52 percent of the money it needs, Rotatori said. Only 48 percent had been raised at this time last year, Rotatori said.
“We’re well on our way, but obviously we have a lot to go,” Rotatori said.
The United Way set the same goal last year and slightly exceeded it, raising $417,000, Rotatori said.
For information about the fundraisers, call the United Way of Naugatuck and Beacon Falls at (203) 729-1564. Donations can also be made at www.unitedwaynaugatuck.org