The United Way of the Flint Hills hopes to raise $575,000 over the next two-plus months to help its community partners.
The goal was announced at a special kickoff breakfast at the Emporia State Memorial Union Webb Hall. The drive is off to a good start, with the Pacesetters -- a core group of roughly 30 area businesses who start their fundraising drives early -- already raising close to $300,000.
Ken Buchele, one of four drive chairs this year, is pleased the drive is off to a good start.
Last year's drive raised over $565,000.
During the breakfast, United Way Director Jami Reever announced a special partnership between the Unitd Way and several charitable organizations to bring the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to the United Way's coverage area -- Lyon, Chase, Coffey, Greenwood, Morris, Osage and Woodson counties -- for at least the next five years. The program, founded by the famous country singer in 1996, will send a "developmentally appropriate" book each month to youngsters in these counties at no cost to their families.
Children up to age five are eligible.
Information from KVOE News reporter AJ Dome was used in this report.