When the United Way of Norman gathered for its mid-term campaign report in September, organizers likened the drive to a football game. They were at half-time and the troops were getting ready for a pep talk.

By that same analogy, the game is now in the final period. The momentum has moved back and forth but now it's fourth and long. It's going to take some players to step forward and seize the victory.

Those players may not be the usual starters. Someone from the bench could step in and push those goal-o-meters over the top. That's the hope of drive chairman Ed Copelin. He'll preside over the victory celebration this coming Friday.

Election-year drives sometimes get lost in the political fundraising and non-stop campaign attention. But election or not, the needs are still there. To the surprise of many, Norman donors stepped up last year in the midst of massive national hurricane relief drives.

Norman's United Way drive helps fund the work of 29 partner-service agencies. Those agencies have their own funding bases but usually count on their United Way allocation for a good portion of their operating funds.

There will be some last-minute donors who step forward this week. They're making yet another investment in a healthy, prosperous and caring community.

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