WILLIAMSTOWN -- The Northern Berkshire United Way has kicked off its 2013-2014 fundraising campaign with a goal of $560,000.
At the nonprofit's annual meeting and campaign kick-off breakfast Thursday morning at the Williams Inn, the nonprofit also announced outgoing Board of Directors President Thomas Rumbolt will be chair of this year's campaign.
"Our goal is to support the wonderful programs and activities our member agencies provide for North Berkshire County," Executive Director Joseph McGovern told a room full of community members, business leaders and donors. "These agencies are the backbone of our United Way."
The organization serves 21 member agencies in the Adams, Clarksburg, Cheshire, Florida, North Adams and Williamstown.
Rumbolt has served as president of the Board of Directors for the past three years, McGovern said, and has worked with the organization in various capacities for 11 years.
"He thought he was going to step away this year by stepping down as board president, but once we have you in United Way, you're hooked for life," McGovern said.
Rumbolt said the end of last year's campaign was a proud moment for him when it surpassed its goal for the first time in five years -- the organization exceeded its $550,000 campaign goal and collected $555, 899.
"When I was first asked to chair this year's campaign, many thoughts went through my head," Rumbolt said. "One being, I was going to produce my first movie."
Rumbolt's "movie," titled "How Can I Say No?", begins at his home. His daughter asks to play hockey with her brothers, a son asks for another hamster when one dies, and another son needs to travel an hour each day to hockey practice. Rumbolt agrees to all of these.
The movie concludes on a beach in Hawaii, he said, with everyone in the room celebrating passing the $560,000 fundraising goal.
"Throughout this campaign, I'm going to ask you and our entire community, how can you say no to our 21 member agencies?" One only need to read through the list of agencies ... and the wonderful work they perform to realize you can only say yes," he said.
He also spoke about the United Way national motto, "Live united."
"I think that's what makes us what we are, is how strong we are and how united we are, and our efforts to help all of our member agencies," he said.
To reach Edward Damon,