United Way celebrates a banner year

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Alexandrias United Way announced unofficially that it raised $900,000 in its fundraising campaign this year, up $60,000 from last years total, at its annual meeting last Tuesday.

Top contributors to this years campaign included Alexandria City employees, Alexandria school employees and Dominion Power.

Alexandria United Way Chair John Porter, assistant superintendent for Alexandria Public Schools, said in his closing remarks that United Way wants to make sure that those in Alexandria receive what they need for the opportunity of a better life.

The group also presented awards to Alexandrians who served their communities. Kari Galloway and Ann Moore received an award for their work to help the homeless, and Galloway was also recognized for her work with Guest House, which helps ex-offenders transition and reenter society. Charles Konigsberg was given the Outstanding Community Service Award for leading the Alexandria Health Department, and Kirstin Banks, a senior at T.C. Williams, was awarded the Outstanding Youth Community Service Award for her efforts to tackle teen pregnancy, drugs and alcohol and sexual violence as president of the Alexandria Youth Council.

Although recent economic troubles have made fundraising difficult for nonprofits, and community organizations are starting to see drops in funding, the sense at the meeting was that Alexandrians are still committed to giving back to their community. Its tough with the difficult economic times, but we had a substantial increase in funding, it looks like, said Councilman Tim Lovain, the fundraising campaign chair for the past two years.

Porter said after the meeting that it was reaffirming to see people giving to help those  in need in the community, even in an economic downturn. Were extremely encouraged and hope to continue the trend next year, he said.

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