UW ups goal, set to raise $52,000

Organization will serve more entities in 2012

South Milam County United Way is turning its annual goal around and heading upward.

Raymon Puente, SMCUW president told The Reporter that the organization has set a $52,000 goal for 2012, up from a $50,000 goal in 2011.

Volunteers will gather at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Busy Bea’s for the organization’s annual open meeting and will plan the 2012 campaign, Tom Puccio, SMCUW treasurer, said. The public is invited.

“With the economic challenges facing the Rockdale area, and our 2012 budget, board members have announced that no meal will be furnished for those attending Tuesday,” Puccio said. “Those attending will be responsible for their own meals.”

OVER GOAL—The 2012 goal represents a turnaround for the organization which was hit hard when Alcoa closed its Rockdale smelter in 2008-09.

The vast majority of South Milam County United Way’s pledges and donations each year came from a Rockdale Operations employee drive.

SMCUW’s goal in the final year before Alcoa closed was $120,000.

But volunteers are hopeful the economic climate is turning around. “We not only met our $50,000 goal last year, we went over it by about $1,000,” Puente said.

Officers said persons who wished only to be known as “Scrooge” and “Anonymous” made combined gifts of $5,000, enabling the 2011 drive to meet and surpass its goal.

“We’re staying positive,” Puente said. “Not only are we increasing our goal, we’re planning to serve 20 agencies from our 2012 budget, compared to 19 this past year.”

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