Using the football season as a theme, local United Way officials have come up with a unique way to "kick-off" their annual fundraising campaign in Carbon County.

According to Oscar Santizo, chairperson for the Kick-Off Campaign, if anyone wants to donate any amount at an area establishment, those places are easily identified by a paper football that appears in the window. The contributor simply puts his or her name on the paper football at that place.

"When people come in, they know that this establishment helps United Way to raise funds," Santizo explained.

Santizo, along with current United Way President Donna Lennon and Dr.Lisa Bleicher, the co-chairs of this past summer's Music Festival at Memorial Park, met last week at the East Mauch Chunk Eatery on Center street in Jim Thorpe to map out plans for their kick-off campaign in the county.

Jenn Horn and her sister Paula Taschler, co-owners and operators of the Eatery, were pleased to offer their restaurant to be the meeting place.

This fundraiser is just one part of what the United Way is doing to try to reach this year's goal of $76,000, which is $1,000 more than last year's goal of $75,000 which they surpassed.

The donations solicited from area businesses and organizations help them raise money for the 16 different non-profit agencies that it funds.

Santizo said persons wanting to offer a donation can also call him directly at (570) 325-2701, or contact any other member of the board of directors of United Way of Carbon County to help them reach their goal.

This Annual Kick-Off Campaign is only one of the many events throughout the year that help to raise funding for the Carbon County United Way.