AUGUSTA — The United Way of Kennebec Valley will wrap up its 2011 fundraising campaign with a public celebration tonight at the Governor Hill Mansion.

The celebration at 136 State St. starts at 5 p.m.

Aubrey Michaud of the United Way said the evening, which is free and open to the public, will include entertainment and food provided by local restaurants, along with presentations of community recognition awards.

Michaud said total money raised will be announced at the event.

Rob Gordon, United Way’s executive director, said the 2011 fundraising goal was $1.5 million, the same as the previous year.

“We’ve had a goal of $1.5 million and expect to have a positive report Thursday night,” Gordon said. “We’re still counting dollars and people are still calling in money. We had a strong campaign season. We benefited from very generous local people who are consistent supporters of the United Way.”

Gordon said the organization came up short of its $1.5 million goal in 2010 because of the economic downturn, but expected to emerge from that challenging time to reach that amount in 2011.

The 2011 campaign kicked off last September with the organization’s annual fundraising breakfast at the Augusta Civic Center.

Local businesses designated as pacesetters announced the results of company campaigns at the breakfast, which started the public portion of United Way’s annual campaign. The fundraising theme was “You Can Change a Life.”

Michaud said the money raised will allow the United Way to continue a funding partnership with the 54 local programs and initiatives it supports.

Michaud said the allocations committee, made up of volunteers, will meet from February to March to assign money to member programs. Anyone is interested in joining the committee should contact the United Way, Michaud said.

The five-member family that co-chaired the campaign will be at the event.

Janet and Richard Parkhurst, owners of Oakes & Parkhurst Glass Co. in Manchester and Stained Glass Express in Waterville, along with their three children, Glenn, Tobias and Soo, were co-chairpersons of the 2011 campaign.

Mechele Cooper — 621-5663

[email protected]

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