By Tim Leeds
Without a deadline extension, United Way of Hill County will fall far short of its fund-raising goal of $110,000.
United Way director Bob Rice said Friday is the deadline for the campaign, but he will ask the United Way board to extend the deadline to Dec. 15 when it meets next Thursday. He said collecting donations by the deadline became difficult because of delays in paperwork for some contributions, and the outpouring of support for relief efforts arising from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
"There were several fund-raisers in town for the terrorist attacks," he said. "I think people kind of showed their generosity there and are kind of tapped out."
Dottie Rice, United Way assistant director, said the contributions and pledges totaled $58,000 earlier this week. The money is collected for 18 groups and agencies approved for United Way funding in Hill County.
"All of the money stays in Hill County," said Dottie Rice, who is married to Bob Rice. She added that people can specify which United Way agency the money is donated to.
Bob Rice said extending the deadline could allow more time for companies to complete employee paperwork for United Way pledges. He said Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway has already made a corporate donation of $8,000, but BNSF and close to 40 other businesses haven't completed their employee pledge information. United Way has also applied for a donation from U.S. Bank, which usually makes a significant contribution, he said.
The United Way's goal last year was $109,000. It raised just over $100,000.
People or businesses that want to make donations can call United Way at 265-6561 or mail a contribution to United Way of Hill County, 518 First St., Havre MT 59501.