Brown County United Way board members expressed optimism this week after learning that community response to the 2008 campaign is strong.

“I think we have a really, really good chance to make our goal this year,” executive director Karen Lynch said.

As of Thursday, the drive has received contributions and pledges of $225,857, with a goal of $325,000 — or 69.5 percent.

Lynch said several major contributors are still wrapping up their campaigns, and the employee drive leader at one of those locations has offered a preliminary report indicating that donations will double the amount of last year’s total. An announcement could come next week.

In addition to the traditional campaigns among local employers — many of whom offer payroll deduction for United Way contributions — the 2008 campaign has been boosted again by the benefit lunch at Underwood’s on Oct. 3 and by a first-time event sponsored by United Way agencies, a hamburger lunch fund-raiser on Oct. 26.

The campaign strives to wrap up by the end of the year, but final results are tabulated in late February.

The 14 member agencies of the Brown County United Way are Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), The Ark domestic violence shelter, Small World Child Development Center, Pearl Griffin Memorial Latch Key, American Red Cross Pecan Valley Chapter, Salvation Army Loaves and Fishes, Family Services Center, Brown County Association for Retarded Citizens, Mid-Tex Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Cancer Services Network, Brown County 4-H Clubs, Brown County Boys and Girls Club, Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of Central Texas.