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More than 800 people turned out early Thursday to kick off the annual fundraising campaign for the United Way of the Plains in Wichita. Kansas Senator Jerry Moran was the guest speaker for the event at the Century II Expo Hall.
The 2012 campaign chairman is John O'Leary of Airbus, who praised the efforts of the United Way staff and volunteers in getting the fall campaign started. O'Leary said the goal of $15.6 million is about $500,000 more than last year. He said the economic downturn is nothing that Kansans haven't seen before, and "it's time for us to start getting back on our feet."
O'Leary said the key will be to provide leadership and talk to people about the importance of donating to the community through the United Way. O'Leary said the United Way provided 275,000 instances of support last year through its 38 local agencies, and the United Way provides the stability, the knowledge of the community and the standards that are necessary to meet critical needs in the community.
Moran said the United Way is at the forefront of efforts to change the world one person at a time. He said there is no substitute for the personal involvement of each of us in the lives of others. He said support for the United Way makes a difference in individual lives.
The 10-week campaign will wrap up in November.