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Juggling Lessons

From LaPorte County Herald Argus
LaPorte, Indiana
September, 15 2006

United Way Launches Its $1.5M Campaign

Catherine LaFrance, 1-866-362-2167 Ext. 13856, clafrance@heraldargus.com

LAPORTE - The United Way held its kickoff breakfast Thursday and attendees found a unique way to focus on the upcoming fund-raising season - with a final goal of $1.5 million.

Lightweight silk scarves flew around the room as master juggler and organizational developer John Steinbach taught United Way agency representatives how to maneuver the flowing fabrics in a methodical fashion.

“I had problems learning to juggle,” Steinbach confided to his audience. “But no one ever showed me or gave me step-by-step instructions on how to do it well.”

Juggling, said Steinbach, is much like running and funding United Way agencies.“We all face challenges,” he said before handing out the colorful silk squares. “How do you get to accomplish your goals?”

Beginning the impromptu lesson, Steinbach reminded his learners they would have to show perseverance, just like in working with their respective agencies.

“You can get there,” he encouraged the group. “United Way or otherwise.”

The novice jugglers started out with one scarf, learning quickly to add a second and finally a third scarf to the mix, with many people realizing -- som they could do it.

Once participants had gotten a basic mastery of the rhythm, Steinbach asked them to close their eyes and think about the movement and pattern of their most successful attempt at juggling.

Moments later, the room was filled with bouncing colors and squeals of excitement came bounding out from participants.

“Envision your success and the path to your goal,” Steinbach said. “It’s not just the money -- it’s any goals. Keep your vision firmly in mind.”

The United Way’s vision for this fund-raising season is to raise $1.5 million, the same goal as last year, which it did not reach.

“We want a platform goal of $1.1 million,” said Tom Clark, executive director of the United Way of LaPorte County. “That’s what we need to operate and fund our agencies.”

The more than 30 member agencies that benefit from United Way provide a wide range of social services in the county, from child care to shelter for the homeless to meal service for the homebound.

The goal of $1.5 million, although lofty, isn’t remotely out of reach, Clark said.

“It might take several years to get there, but we can do it,” he said.

“We’ve had a strong United Way in the past, and we’re going to be stronger in the future.”

Pat Harris, a United Way board vice president from Horizon Bank, echoed Clark’s words.

“We get closer and closer (to the $1.5 million) each year, and this is the year we’re going to do it,” Harris said.

Board members and agencies are emphasizing the importance of United Way to the community.

“We’re going to focus on communicating to the community what the United Way does and how each individual benefits from it,” Harris said.
The fund-raising drive will last through November.

1 comment on this article
Posted by Jim Woods from Rolling Prairie at 4:04PM on Friday, 9/15/06
"Was a great time. Very energetic and uplifting! One of the best breakfasts I have attended. I also came home and showed the kids how to juggle. They loved it."


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