Valley United Way kicked off its 46th annual Community Campaign with a Sept. 17 event at Hubbell Inc. in Shelton. The 2013-14 campaign goal will be to raise $1,050,000. At the event, the local United Way board of directors announced a new $25,000 Special Issues grant opportunity for early childhood education in the Valley. The Valley Cares Quality of Life report identified early childhood education as an area where the region could do better. Valley United Way will give a preference to collaborative efforts that can demonstrate measurable outcomes. Applications will be accepted immediately, and an announcement of grant recipients will be made at the end of October. Financial workshops to be offered Valley United Way will offer a periodic series of workshops and seminars designed to help individuals and families with financial planning. United Way will partner with leading experts in all areas of economic importance on the free programs. The first sessions in the series will be hosted in late October by Barnum Financial at its office, 6 Corporate Drive, Shelton. The first program on Tuesday, Oct. 22 will focus on the importance and benefits of financial planning. The Oct. 29 program is designed for people in their 20s and 30s on the typical financial decisions they deal with at that time in their lives. On Nov. 19, a program on estate planning will take place at the United Way office, 54 Grove St., Shelton. The presenter will be United Way Board member Thomas Sutnik, a former judge of probate. Future topics in the series will include buying a home, planning for college, retirement planning and Social Security. The role of Hubbell Inc. Though relatively new in the Valley, Hubbell Inc. is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year \u2014 making the company just one year younger than United Way. Hubbell has been a longtime supporter of United Way and that support has only grown stronger since their move to the Valley, where the company\u2019s campaign is in the top three in the Valley. Hubbell is an electrical equipment manufacturer known for the development of new products and technologies. It makes product that focus on the technology of generating, transmitting and utilizing electrical energy. Campaign underwriters and cabinet During the campaign kickoff event, remarks were made by Fred Ortoli, United Way board chairman; Tom Steeves, United Way 2013-14 campaign chairman; Mayor Mark Lauretti of Shelton; John McFarland, United Way board member from Hubbell; and Jack Walsh, United Way president and chief operating officer. This year's campaign underwriters include; Edward F. Adzima & Riverview Funeral Homes; Dworken, Hillman, LaMorte & Sterczala; Griffin Hospital, Iroquois Pipeline Operating Co., Ned Miller Agency (part of Starkweather & Shepley Insurance), Fred Ortoli Photography, Townline Self-Storage, Venman & Co., and Webster Bank. This year's campaign cabinet includes Mike Caleca, Robert Gambardella, Mike Gnibus, Chris Hill, Suzanne Major, Frank Michaud, Alan Mogridge, Fred Ortoli, Lauren Price Kazzi, Bill Pucci, Melissa Pucci, Bill Purcell, Janice Sheehy, Tom Steeves, Tom Sutnik, Jimmy Tickey and Ron Villani. Learn more about the local United Way The Valley United Way serves Shelton, Ansonia, Derby, Oxford and Seymour. For information about the agency go to www.valleyunitedway.org or www.facebook.com\/ValleyUW, or call 203-926-9478.