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United Way sets goal for upcoming campaign

Megan Aldinger, left end and Karla Bachmeier, right end present a check for $10,000 from the Jamestown United Way to the Imagination Library program. Receiving the check are Optimist members and Imagination Library Board members Bob Toso and Alissa Hanson. Submitted photo

Megan Aldinger and Karla Bachmeier from the Jamestown United Way Board attended the Jamestown Optimist Club’s weekly meeting and discussed the upcoming United Way campaign.

The United Way goal this year will be $210,000, up from the $200,000 goal set last year. United Way has met its goal each year and expects to be able to reach the new target. The funds raised each year help 19 local agencies.

This year, the United Way is kicking off the campaign in style with a media event in Jack Brown Stadium on Sept. 19 that will include an outdoor movie. Another event planned during the campaign is a masquerade ball on New Year’s Eve.

The United Way voted to give $10,000 to the Imagination Library program. This is an international program sponsored by the Dolly Parton Foundation that provides books for infants and young children, up to the age of 5. The Jamestown Public School Foundation is the nonprofit entity handling the revenue and expenses, and Bob Toso, an Optimist member, is handling all of the registrations for new children. The program is available to anyone in Stutsman County, and the number of children enrolled in the program is approaching 500. The children each receive a new book every month that is age appropriate, up to age 5, when they are normally entering preschool or kindergarten. Toso said registrations are going well, and he has even received applications to enroll a child who has not yet been born. Parents and grandparents can find the registration forms at hospitals, clinics and day care facilities.

Optimist President Ken Schulz reminded the club that any new member under the age of 30 who joins before Sept. 30 receives a free one-year membership from the club and Optimist International. Anyone interested in joining can contact an Optimist member or come to a weekly meeting. The Optimist Club meets at noon every Thursday at the Knights of Columbus in Jamestown.