The United Way of Greater High Point has raised nearly $3.2 million so far this year - and is at 81 percent of its goal - with the fund-raising campaign continuing through this month.

The organization began its 2004 campaign in September, aiming to raise $3.95 million. That's a slight increase from last year's $3.8 million that was collected. Last year's total was $300,000 short of the United Way's goal."We do a lot of projections this time of year ... and we're projecting to be very very close right now," said Michelle Caldwell, United Way director of resource development.

United Way of Greater High Point will be "very close" to goal if the companies and individuals that gave last year will come through again, Caldwell said. "We're within inches of it."

To meet its goal, Caldwell said, "We would need for some people to give more than they gave last year."

Earlier this summer, Pacesetters made up of businesses and partner agencies gave the campaign a headstart by raising $1.1 million dollars - about $136,000 more than last year.

Earlier this week, volunteers, United Way Board of Directors and others were calling past donors outside the traditional workplace campaign, including retirees and self-employed professionals.

"This is something we traditionally do this time of year, and it usually does make a big difference," Caldwell said. "It creates a wave of contributions.

"If you traditionally give to United Way and have given in the past, we still need you ... and it's not too late. I think that's the key message this time of year."

The organization will announce campaign results at the end of January.

\ Contact Alexis Gines at 883-4422 Ext. 231 or agines@news-record.com

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