State Workers

State workers aim to raise $6 million

State workers plan a lunchtime march and rally at the Capitol steps today as part of their yearly Combined Fund Drive for charity.

Workers at the Department of Social and Health Services organized the event. They plan to wear red shirts for the “Share to Care” event and to stand in a heart shape.

Organizers of the fund drive, which raised $5.8 million in pledges a year ago, are shooting for $6 million in a drive that begins today and runs through mid-December, said Randy Ryan, program manager for the drive. The drive is the fourth-largest of its kind in the nation and supports local charities, organizers say.

A charity fair that lets people talk to representatives of participating charities also is planned from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. today on the East Capitol Campus Plaza, then during the same hours Wednesday at the Tumwater Farmers Market, at Capitol Boulevard and Israel Road.

The rally idea began with employees at the Health and Recovery Services Administration at DSHS, agency spokesman Jim Stevenson said.

Details about the fund drive, which is in its 25th year, are at Gov. Chris Gregoire said in a statement for the drive that it has raised $89 million over the years.

“In these tough economic times, charities need our help more than ever,” she said, urging workers to donate.