The Schuylkill United Way held its 2012 Tamaqua Area Campaign Kick-Off Breakfast at DiMaggio's La Dolce Casa Restaurant in Tamaqua Monday with close to 50 guests in attendance.

The kickoff consisted of speakers and a motivational campaign video explaining the goals and achievements of the United Way.

This year's campaign goal is to raise $1,000,075, including $100,075 from the the Tamaqua area.

More than 80 percent of what is raised is then allocated to the 15 partner agencies that offer a wide variety of programs and services and solely serve residents of Schuylkill County.

Providing opening remarks was Jeanne Boyer Porter, Schuylkill United Way president, who expressed appreciation to all supporting communities.

A total of $65,978 has been raised to date. That is approximately 66 percent of the Tamaqua total goal. Bob Weaver, co-chairman of the Pacesetters Club reported that of the money raised to date, $206,208 was pledged through the Pacesetters Club by 232 members. The county campaign has already raised $352,827, which is approximately 35 percent of the goal.

This year's Tamaqua Area United Way Campaign Chairwoman, Susan Fegley, offered words of wisdom and encouragement as she got the audience geared up for the 2012 "Celebrating 75 Years of Caring" Campaign, which recognizes the Schuylkill United Way's 75th Anniversary.

Fegley is accompanied by Assistant Chairman Jeff Bowe. This year Bowe will work alongside of Fegley and is being groomed to be next year's 2013 Tamaqua Area Campaign chairman. Both serve on the Schuylkill United Way board of directors.

Patrick Kane, 2012 campaign chairman, credited community generosity and efficiency.

The keynote speaker was Nick Zigmant, executive director, Tamaqua YMCA.

"The United Way helps us with financial aid, as well as with program and supplies," he said, pointing out increasing membership of almost 1,700 members. He also added possible intentions of expanding the center.

The second keynote speaker was Major Sharon Whispell, Tamaqua Salvation Army, who also provided the benediction, and pointed out that the United Way contributions help provide food, rent, utilities, hotel stays, social services, adult programs, teen groups, and children's' activities. She said over 200 people received food last month.

"We couldn't do it without United Way support," Whispell added.

During the breakfast, the 2012 Campaign video presentation was presented. Ed Redding of R & D Communications, along with VideoWorks Productions was instrumental in putting together this year's video for the Schuylkill United Way.

Going along with the, "Celebrating 75 Years of Caring" theme, the video highlighted the difference that the Schuylkill United Way has made in the past 75 years with short clips of inspiration from individuals of different generations.

Now that the campaign is officially kicked off, local area businesses are beginning to sign up for employee presentations given by the Schuylkill United Way staff and volunteers.

The presentations last no longer than 15 minutes and include valuable information about both the Schuylkill United Way and partner agencies along with a showing of the campaign video.

Companies can also request to have the grand prize giveaway at their facility for all employees to see.

If you would like to sign up for an employee presentation, call the Schuylkill United Way office at (570) 622-6421.

For more information about the 2012 "Celebrating 75 Years of Caring" Campaign, visit www.schuylkillunitedway.org.