© 2023 WGLT
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

McLean County United Way Drive Extended Into March

United Way of McLean County
United Way of McLean County

It appears unlikely the annual McLean County United Way drive will hit its goal of raising 8% more in funds and resources than the most previous campaign, which concluded a year ago. During an appearance on GLT's Sound Ideas, campaign co-chair Scott Preston said about $3.5 million has been raised since the effort kicked off in August. The previous campaign raised over $4 million, but recently extra last-minute corporate gifts have been needed to make the goal.

"Is 8% more possible? Yes. Is it likely? Probably not," said Preston. "But we've been focused on connecting new people into the process and we have a lot of successes to tout for that."

Preston says there are a "handful" of corporate campaigns that have yet to report and he characterized them as "good-sized" handfuls.  He say more than 80 companies have increased their giving over last year and more than 20 companies have increased employee donations more than 8%.

He credited Advocate BroMenn, City of Bloomington, McLean County, Unit Five, District 87 and the Pantagraph for increasing giving totals from a year ago. But he says the loss of Mitsubishi has been difficult to overcome. "We're used to seeing $50-70,000 annually from that campaign but this year that line item is zero because we didn't run one," Preston said. Mitsubishi ceased production at the facility in Normal late last year.

Preston says he's hopeful the campaign can wrap-up with a successful event at Illinois State University on March 10. The McLean County United Way helps provide funds for 63 social service agencies and programs, including Marcfirst, Midcentral Community Action, and Project Oz.

Willis is a Bloomington, IL, native. During his senior year at Bloomington High School, he finished third in the "Radio Speaking" division of the state speech contest, the only year he competed.