United Way annual fundraiser campaign breakfast

Waterfront hosted Thursday morning's breakfast

The United Way is looking for help from our community to make a difference.

The non-profit kicked off its annual campaign at a breakfast at the Waterfront in La Crosse Thursday morning.

The goal is to raise more than $2 million. The money goes right back into the community with an emphasis on education, financial stability, and wellness.

There were 12 local companies that started raising money for the United Way early, as pace setters. They’ve collected about $900,000.

“The 12 pacesetter companies basically just took care of 44% of the total campaign, although, the last 56%, almost a million-two, we’ve got some work to do,” said United Way Campaign Chairs Tom and Jan Brock.

More than $5,000 of the total came from a recent ‘Pie in the Face’ campaign in cooperation with Festival Foods. People voted for which local celebrity they wanted to get pied by putting money in a box. The person who ended up getting the most votes is Sam Van Riper from Trane.

“It’s for the community, and I was always raised to be first, and if I had to finish second, it would have been a disappointment,” said Riper.

Sam said the pie was a mix of chocolate, cherries, and cream.