The United Way of West Ellis County kicked off its 2007 campaign Thursday during a joint meeting of the Waxahachie Lions and Rotary Clubs.

This year’s campaign, chaired by Nicole Mansell, has set an ambitious goal of $500,000, which will provide funding for 27 local agencies providing service to residents in western Ellis County.

“We can do it!” an enthusiastic Mansell urged the large audience that had filled the Waxahachie Civic Center ballroom for the kick-off luncheon.

Last year the United Way of West Ellis County surpassed its goal of $350,000 by raising $385,000.

“I know a lot of you are thinking a half-million dollars is a lot of money, and it is. But I know we can do it,” she said. “Think of all the people we can help. If you can picture it — if you can visualize it — together, we can do it if we all hop on board and make it happen.”

Mansell announced this year’s theme: Together, we can give wings to angels.

“All of us have the ability to fly,” Mansell said. “Some of us just need a little more help than others.

“America is a nation of givers. I know that with your help, with your dedication, we can make our goal and raise $500,000 for our agencies.”