United Way kicks off local effort to raise $42.5M

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United Way of Central Indiana is aiming to raise $42.5 million through its annual fundraising campaign, the not-for-profit announced Thursday.

Donors pledged a record $41 million to the Indianapolis-based agency last year. The money is used to support 93 member agencies in six counties.

Early pledges already amount to almost $8 million, or 19 percent of the goal.

Officials hope to keep improving their results, working up to a $50 million target within five years.

United Way CEO Ann Murtlow kicked off the fundraising effort Thursday afternoon with an assist from the Indianapolis Colts and volunteer campaign chairman Andy Mohr, who owns nine auto dealerships.

This is the Colts’ fourth year as a campaign sponsor. The team is offering donors the chance to win two tickets to the 2014 Super Bowl. Those who make a new gift of $150 (or increase last year’s gift by the same amount) will be entered in a drawing for the tickets.

Mohr is arranging for another prize to spur larger "leadership level" donations: a 2014 Toyota Corolla.

The campaign announcement came during a lunchtime volunteer fair on Monument Circle featuring more than three dozen United Way member agencies.

UWCI also used the occasion to solicit volunteers for its ReadUP youth literacy program. Nearly 700 area residents have signed up to be reading tutors, but the organization is seeking a total of 1,200.

Murtlow is leading her first campaign since taking the reins from longtime United Way CEO Ellen Annala in April.

“United Way’s unique value is harnessing the power of our collective resources to make a difference in the areas of education, income stability, health and basic needs,” Murtlow said in a prepared statement. “This common-sense approach allows us to serve today while also addressing the root causes of basic needs to improve our community long term.”


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  1. Why not take some time to do some research before traveling to that Indiana town or city, and find the ones that are no smoking either inside, or have a patio? People like yourself are just being selfish, and unnecessarily trying to take away all indoor venues that smokers can enjoy themselves at. Last time I checked, it is still a free country, and businesses do respond to market pressure and will ban smoking, if there's enough demand by customers for it(i.e. Linebacker Lounge in South Bend, and Rack and Helen's in New Haven, IN, outside of Fort Wayne). Indiana law already unnecessarily forced restaurants with a bar area to be no smoking, so why not support those restaurants that were forced to ban smoking against their will? Also, I'm always surprised at the number of bars that chose to ban smoking on their own, in non-ban parts of Indiana I'll sometimes travel into. Whiting, IN(just southeast of Chicago) has at least a few bars that went no smoking on their own accord, and despite no selfish government ban forcing those bars to make that move against their will! I'd much rather have a balance of both smoking and non-smoking bars, rather than a complete bar smoking ban that'll only force more bars to close their doors. And besides IMO, there are much worser things to worry about, than cigarette smoke inside a bar. If you feel a bar is too smoky, then simply walk out and take your business to a different bar!

  2. As other states are realizing the harm in jailing offenders of marijuana...Indiana steps backwards into the script of Reefer Madness. Well...you guys voted for your Gov...up to you to vote him out. Signed, Citizen of Florida...the next state to have medical marijuana.

  3. It's empowering for this niche community to know that they have an advocate on their side in case things go awry. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lrst9VXVKfE

  4. Apparently the settlement over Angie's List "bundling" charges hasn't stopped the practice! My membership is up for renewal, and I'm on my third email trying to get a "basic" membership rather than the "bundled" version they're trying to charge me for. Frustrating!!

  5. Well....as a vendor to both of these builders I guess I have the right to comment. Davis closed his doors with integrity.He paid me every penny he owed me. Estridge,STILL owes me thousands and thousands of dollars. The last few years of my life have been spent working 2 jobs, paying off the suppliers I used to work on Estridge jobs and just struggling to survive. Shame on you Paul...and shame on you IBJ! Maybe you should have contacted the hundreds of vendors that Paul stiffed. I'm sure your "rises from the ashes" spin on reporting would have contained true stories of real people who have struggled to find work and pay of their debts (something that Paul didn't even attempt to do).