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WILLIAMSTOWN -- The Northern Berkshire United Way had good news for their breakfast guests Friday morning at the Williams Inn.

The recently concluded annual fundraising campaign generated $520,000, which will help fund operations at 21 member agencies in Northern Berkshire County.

Joseph McGovern, executive director of Northern Berkshire United Way, said that although the money raised fell short of the $560,000 goal, he is gratified that so much money was raised in a very tough local economic environment.

"To be able to still raise that amount of money is a great achievement," he said. "That money will go to 21 member agencies and will make a huge difference in the community."

McGovern noted that for some of the agencies, the United Way accounts for up to 35 percent of their operating budget.

"So if that funding went away," he said, "some of these agencies would go away."

Agencies funded by the Northern Berkshire United Way include Berkshire Nursing Families, Meals on Wheels, the BCAC fuel assistance program, the Northern Berkshire YMCA, and the Family Life Support Center.

Now, McGovern noted, United Way officials will start preparing for the next annual fundraising campaign set to kick off Sept. 1.