Torchlight Campaign heating up; donations reach halfway to goal

Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry United Fund Torchlight Campaign Co-Chairs Lisa To and George Lilja put the 50 percent marker on the campaign thermometer at the Warren Post Office.

The annual United Fund of Warren County Torchlight Campaign has hit the half-way point.

This week, the total in donations and pledges reached $350,000 out of the target $670,000.

Co-chairs Lisa To and George Lilja put the 50 percent heart on the donation thermometer outside the Warren Post Office on Wednesday.

Reaching the half-way mark “speaks to the amazing generosity of the people and businesses of our community,” To, executive director of Hospice of Warren County, said. “A gift to the campaign is a validation for each of the member agencies. All of those agencies serve people living with unique challenges”

The United Fund does not profit from donations. “It exists solely to make everyday life easier and better for our friends and neighbors,” To said.

“The United Fund is such an important source of support for each of the twenty member organizations,” Co-chair and Campaign Community Representative George Lilja said. “Without it, some of these organizations would have to reduce services which are desperately needed by many in our community.”

The 20 organizations supported by the United Fund of Warren County include: A Safe Place, the Allegheny Community Center, the American Red Cross, BEI, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Caring for Life, the Warren and Tidioute Dental Clinics, the Don Mills Achievement Center, Family Services, Hospice of Warren County, Jefferson DeFrees Family Center, New Hope Assistance Dogs, the Ruth M. Smith Center, the Sheffield Area Hospitality Center, the Salvation Army, the Warren Area Student Union, Warren County 4-H, and the YMCA.

Jim Goodling, Executive Director of the United Fund, said that this point of the campaign is always rewarding and challenging. “I am so grateful to every person and every business which has contributed thus far,” Goodling said. “I have no doubt that the campaign will be successful in reaching its goal, but there is always concern until that magic number is achieved.”

The campaign continues until the goal is reached. Contributions to the United Fund are tax deductible and can be mailed to P. O. Box 844, Warren, Pa., 16365, or made online at All contributions received through the campaign go directly to the member agencies. Other sources of income cover administrative and campaign expenses.