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United Way Campaign getting close to its goal -- but keep those pledges coming in

With the holiday season in full swing, the 2005 Cornell United Way Campaign is well on its merry way to meeting its goal of $627,000.

"We've come on strong in the last few weeks," said Charles Walcott, chair of the Cornell campaign and dean of university faculty. "But we're not quite there yet. So we encourage everyone who hasn't pledged yet to please do so. That way we'll not only make our goal, but help to make it a happier New Year for those community members who need our support."

Cornell United Way Campaign pledges to date total $565,242 with $24,781 in pledges made the week prior to Dec. 13. The Cornell drive is now at 90.2 percent of its $627,000 campaign goal. The participation rate-to-date also is up at 14.2 percent, but still shy of the goal of 20 percent participation.

Contributions to Cornell's campus campaign account for one-third of the $1.8 million countywide goal set by the United Way of Tompkins County. Walcott emphasized again that United Way member agencies and community councils assist thousands of the Cornell community's friends and neighbors "from infants to people with disabilities to senior citizens," he said.

"The needs of these organizations continue to grow as their service to our community increases. Given recent catastrophic events and the certainty of higher energy and food costs this winter, this year's effort takes on even greater significance."

United Way raises money to support more than 100 local programs through 30 member and affiliated agencies and 11 community councils designed to meet critical needs in the local community.

United Way pledges can be paid through payroll deduction or with a check or credit card. For more information, visit the United Way of Tompkins County Web site at http://www.uwtc.org or Cornell's United Way Web site, where you also can donate online, at http://www.unitedway.sas.cornell.edu.

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