Last updated: August 27. 2013 5:44PM - 52 Views

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The Sedalia-Pettis County United Way is at 89 percent of its 2012 goal of $575,000, with just two weeks left in this year’s campaign.

Executive director Linda Kirk and campaign chairwoman Deidre Esquivel told the Democrat on Tuesday that while the economy shows some signs of improvement, the group will struggle to meet its goal by Dec. 31, the end of this year’s campaign. The campaign has raised $510,290.63 to date.

Kirk, who took over leadership of the organization that helps fund 25 local social service agencies, said she believes this year’s campaign has gone well and still hopes the organization will hit its goal following successive record-breaking years.

“We had several industries that had to delay their campaigns this year. That is a part of the reason we are late. Normally, we try to wrap at Christmas but we decided to hold it open that last week to see if we could make our goal,” Kirk said. “I feel like we can and we will.”

Kirk said that based on anticipated contributions from area businesses, the group is likely to end 2012 about $32,000 short of its goal.

“We meet with our agencies in the spring and make our awards. That total is what we base the campaign on in the fall. Our agencies need to know what those awards are so they can budget accordingly. This won’t mean agencies won’t get their full contributions, but we will have to dip into our reserves to close that gap,” Kirk said.

Esquivel said she has taken some good-natured ribbing from her fellow United Way board members and campaign volunteers.

“No one wants to be the campaign chair the year we don’t make our goal,” Esquivel said. “But you know, at this point, when you see a community donate a half-million dollars over just a couple months to support the kind of work our agencies do, I can’t say we have been unsuccessful.”

For more information about the United Way or to make a donation, call 826-2980, or visit their website at spcum.org to use the Pay Pal link.

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