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United Way kicks off 2009 campaign

Dave Ihle, center, is the United Way St. Croix Valley 2009 campaign chair. He is a United Way board member and a 3M retiree. With him are John Walker, left, and Nancy Briske, food pantry volunteers. Submitted photo

United Way St. Croix Valley launched its 2009 campaign Monday, Sept. 14. The campaign raised $1 million last year and officials hope to top that mark this year.

The campaign runs through Nov. 20 and features a kickoff community service event Sept. 18, as well as many events at local businesses throughout the season. The annual campaign will fund United Way initiatives and more than 60 local nonprofit programs.

This year's chairman is board member Dave Ihle, who has been working with community members and United Way staff to help ensure the campaign will be successful in a tough economy.

"The needs in our communities are growing during these difficult times so please consider being part of the solution to help your neighbors," Ihle said.

"It is vitally important that we increase the number of new donors to the United Way campaign because there are so many more needs in our communities," said John Coughlin, United Way St. Croix Valley executive director.

"Living United means we won't allow our children to call the back seat of a car their home, go to bed hungry or begin school unprepared to learn - we can change those conditions if we work together," he said.

One way United Way St. Croix Valley is working to meet the increasing need is by hosting its second annual Day of Caring community service event Friday, Sept. 18, from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Teams of volunteers from local companies and individuals will meet at a rally location in Hudson and then proceed to nonprofit agencies and homes of seniors throughout Pierce and St. Croix counties to do small service projects such as raking leaves, washing first-floor windows and painting.

Those interested in participating in the Day of Caring or holding a United Way fundraising campaign in their workplace may contact United Way St. Croix Valley. For more information, call Linda Lia at (715) 377-0203, ext. 105, or go to