Our Opinion: Campaign spotlight turns to community

News Tribune editorial

If Statler and Waldorf are invited to an event, prepare to be heckled.

The two curmudgeon commentators from “The Muppet Show” were portrayed by Bernie Fechtel and Mike Kehoe at Thursday’s kickoff luncheon for the area United Way fundraising campaign.

The Muppet motif has been adopted by the United Way of Central Missouri for this year’s Community Campaign, which seeks to raise $1.7 million.

The kickoff featured a number of costumed characters putting an entertaining spin on the serious business of trying to fund the United Way’s 24 partner agencies and programs.

Those agencies: assist victims of natural disasters and domestic violence; serve people with mental and developmental disabilities; feed and shelter the hungry and homeless; and provide guidance and garments for job-seekers.

A traditional highlight of the kickoff event is the result from the pacesetter campaign.

The pacesetters —28 area business that conduct early campaigns — provided both motivation and momentum by raising nearly 48 percent of the campaign goal.

“Our pacesetters truly make dreams come true in the community,” said Ann Bax, president of the local United Way. “They get it. They are the conscience of the community.”

The pacesetters have established an example for the community to follow. Or, as Miss Piggy would say: “Moi?”

Oui.

Bax said the Muppet-based campaign theme is not only entertainment, it reflects the United Way message of helping our friends and neighbors during a time of need. “It’s about community working together to make the world a better place,” she said.

The United Way campaign is an inclusive production crafted by volunteers to spread a message to contributors to help people in need.

The pacesetters have provided an excellent start; the spotlight now turns to the community.

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