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July 10, 2014

United Way sets $2.05M goal for campaign

NORMAN — A game of “Jeopardy,” a popular middle school principal, a video featuring community volunteers and campaign co-chairs with big hearts teamed up to kick off the 2014 United Way of Norman Pacesetters campaign at a Sarkeys Foundation luncheon Wednesday.

The Pacesetters, local businesses that traditionally raise half of the annual drive’s $2,050,000 goal, will begin their individual drives this month. The campaign officially begins in the fall and concludes in early December.

“We look forward to a good campaign,” said Steve Corley, who co-chairs this year’s drive with his wife, Janet.

The pair hosted a humorous “Jeopardy” skit with volunteers Marianne Lawson, Neil Schemmer, James Chappel and Angela Breath-Razor.

Kevin Hopper and Aaron Jaqua are co-chairing this year’s Pacesetters drive. Corley told them they have a “daunting task” of raising half of the year’s drive.

“We want to thank you for what you have done in the past. You are an amazing group,” Hopper told company representatives.

Peter Liesenfeld, principal at Longfellow Middle School, spoke to the audience about the importance of United Way agency projects and services.

“I see the direct benefits of the United Way every day in the halls of our school,” Liesenfeld said. “The stuff that we do in this room for the United Way impacts lives.”

Longfellow, with the help of the United Way and Variety Care, hopes to open a clinic inside the school some time in the 2015-16 academic year.

“Our hope is to have a place where they can get the care needed,” he said.

Liesenfeld told stories of how the United Way helped former students who were facing life challenges. One needed glasses, and another needed a band instrument.

“For me, it’s very personal because I know I have seen the impact every single day,” he said.

For ore information, visit the United Way website, unitedwaynorman.org, or call 329-2025.

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