United Way Hopes to Raise $20.8 Million

Orange County's United Way this week announced its fund-raising goal for the coming year--$20.8 million.

The agency set an all-time high for donations in 1997-98, receiving $19.5 million, and hopes to raise even more this year for the 100-plus local health and human-service charities it represents, officials said.

United Way Chairwoman Judy Sweeney described the agency as the "mutual fund of giving," because it divides its donations among so many organizations.

Members range from the Boys and Girls Club of Huntington Valley to Orange Elderly Services. Officials noted that last year the organization's affiliated charities provided medical and dental care for 85,000 men, women and children and 42,000 nights of shelter to people in need.

The officials also acknowledged corporate donors that had fund-raising campaigns early to give the philanthropy a push toward its goal. Among them are Ingram Micro, which raised $645,000, nearly double its total from the previous year; Steelcase, which upped its contribution 40%, to $227,000; and Experian, which increased its donation 27%, to $89,000.

Information: (949) 263-6136.

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