United Way goal: $2.3 million

The Greater Ottawa County United Way officially launched its community campaign today with the annual "Day of Caring.' Close to 800 volunteers pitched in to clean county parks, landscape school grounds, stock food pantry shelves, and paint and pound for those in need. Locally, Grand Haven and Spring Lake school staffs swapped sides of the bridge to work on each other's landscaping projects. At a noon picnic for volunteers, Campaign Chairman Scott Remenschneider announced this year's campaign goal of $2.3 million.
Marie Havenga
Sep 15, 2011

 

Last year’s target of $1.9 million was exceeded by nearly 8 percent.

Remenschneider said it’s more difficult to reach a goal now than it was in the beginning or middle of the recession because the reality of budget cuts has hit. But Remenschneider said he’s confident Ottawa County residents will again dig deep and make it happen.

“I firmly believe this county can get to the $2.3 million,” said Remenschneider, a vice president for Huntington Bank. “There’s a tradition in this county and a generosity of spirit that I think is unmatched.”

Remenschneider, who volunteers with his wife and two children, said the United Way’s ability to leverage dollars is no match for legislative cuts.

“I don’t lose sleep over $2.3 million,” he said. “We’re going to nail this thing. We really are.”

Greater Ottawa County United Way President Patrick Moran said like many businesses and individuals in a downturned economy, his agency has learned to do more with less.

Even though wallets may have shrunk, volunteer hours are up, according to Shannon Morton, director of volunteerism for the local United Way. She estimates there are 1,000 more volunteers this year compared to 2010.

“People are definitely volunteering and definitely getting involved,” Morton said.

 

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