Monday, September 03, 2001

Warren charity drive sparked

By Nancy Young
Enquirer Contributor

        LEBANON — Warren County's United Way campaign officially kicks off Tuesday, but several companies are awell into fund-raising activities.

        Car washes, carnivals, pet contests and silent auctions are just a few of the methods being organized by Mitsubishi Electric and GE Card Services of Mason, Sam's Club of Deerfield Township and Abilities First of Middletown.

        The early fund-raisers are part of the campaign's Pacesetter Drive.

        “These companies are well-organized and on their way to successful campaigns,” said Pacesetter co-chairman Tom Bloom of Basco in Middletown. “Staff members have been eager to get started, and their efforts are paying off.”

        Sam's Club has offered payroll deduction to its 150 employees to raise money for United Way. Volunteer coordinator Debbie Kroener expects more than $2,000 in donations.

        Bruce Gilmore is leading GE Card Services' campaign.

        A silent auction, bingo, pet show and carnival have raised money.

        “We also host a manager car wash, hold book and video sales, and offer food tasting events,” Mr. Gilmore said. “Proceeds from a daily snack cart go to the campaign, too.”

        GE Card Services employs 800 people.

        Mitsubishi Electric's creative ideas include a DVD raffle, split-the-pot and a pet/owner look-a-like contest.

        The company also has an annual Mitsubishi car show, together with an antique dealers' flea market to benefit United Way.

        A three-on-three basketball tournament is Oct. 6. Billie Schatzle, assisted by Beth Muncy, leads the company's campaign.

        A campaign kick-off ceremony will be at noon Tuesday at the Marriott Northeast.

        Ohio Rep. Tom Raga, R-Mason, will be the keynote speaker.

        Warren County residents who work outside the boundaries can request their donation go to Warren County organizations.

        A designation/donor option card can be requested from employers, or interested residents can call the United Way office in Lebanon at 513-932-3987.


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