KSU United Way beats donation goal by $13K+

Tony Lange

Money will help keep programs available for community members

Despite an economy in turmoil, Kent State’s United Way campaign surpassed its donation goals for 2008 by more than $13,500.

The university’s campaign raised $138,567, eclipsing its original goal of $125,000, said Provost Robert Frank, the campaign co-chair. The money raised at Kent State will help aid more than 40 community outreach programs across Portage County. Kent State provides more than 10 percent of the county’s total United Way Campaign funding. The campaign includes contributions from Kent State employees.

“That’s exactly what I would say: Wow,” said Robert “Yank” Heisler Jr., co-chair for the campaign. “Kent State has a lot of generous, sincere people who responded to this difficult environment and the economy with a big heart and a wonderful gesture.”

Heisler, who is also the dean of the College of Business Administration and the Graduate School of Management, said the county’s United Way needed a strong contribution from Kent State this year.

“We thought we should challenge all of us to try to hit a level here that was pretty significant,” Heisler said. “That’s why we put this together.”

Frank said the key to last year’s successful campaign was raising awareness for the cause.

“The basic goal in any United Way campaign is to help people understand what a difference it makes in the community,” Frank said.

Steve Kleiber, president of the United Way of Portage County, said the money donated will translate into continued funding for programs used by community members.

“The dollars raised at Kent State will allow more programs to maintain services,” Kleiber said. “Those services are used by thousands across the community each year.”

Frank and Heisler will act as advisers for Kent State’s 2009 campaign, Frank said.

“We felt (donors) were very generous this time,” Frank said. “But there’s always a little bit more you can do in these kinds of campaigns.”

Contact social services reporter Tony Lange at [email protected].