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United Way of Greater Lafayette honors volunteers, looks ahead

Helping more people file their taxes is one goal the United Way of Greater Lafayette has this year. The organization held its annual meeting Wednesday and announced it nearly doubled the number of low-income families served last year. The dollar amount of tax refunds filed through the program increased by almost $150,000.

The United Way also is developing a ready to learn initiative this year, which is designed to prepare more children for kindergarten. C.E.O. James Taylor says the school corporations in Tippecanoe County already have helped with the effort.

"They've put together a common set of things children should in fact be aware of as they head into kindergarten," he says. "Those goals now give us an opportunity to say, 'How do we help communicate that out into the community in a way parents, grandparents, all kinds of folks can help?'"

Taylor says besides achieving the annual campaign goal of $4.75 million, they expanded the Read to Succeed program into eleven schools. He says the goal is to move it into 15 schools in the fall.

Volunteers and businesses also were honored for their contributions. Steve Horne was named Volunteer of the Year. He says giving to others is something his father taught him.

"He always said that if you're in a community then you need to be in the community, and make your contribution, so I could not be more pleased to be here in the Greater Lafayette area."

Horne is involved with Read to Succeed, Solutions Beyond Shelter, and the Community of Choice initiative, among other things.

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