United Way pushes toward campaign goal

Posted: Wednesday, February 20, 2008


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  Soldotna Chamber executive director Michelle Glaves takes aim at city officials in a pie throwing fund raiser for United Way campaign.

Bull's-eye! Soldotna Mayor Dave Carey takes a pie in the face for United Way campaign.

When something means a lot to you, you’ll go to any lengths to take care of it, but when that “something” is as big as a community, no one can do it alone. That’s where Kenai Peninsula United Way (KPUW) comes in with their annual fund raising campaign to help individuals and businesses contribute to local service agencies so that they can spend their time and resources providing the services they were created for. Last year’s 2006 KPUW campaign rose over $820,000, according to Executive Director Tina Marie Herford. “Current economic circumstances on the peninsula have made the 2007 campaign more challenging than those in previous years, but our community is so very generous. It seems as though people are digging even deeper this year to insure that we can continue to meet the needs of our peninsula communities,” said Herford.


Soldotna Chamber executive director Michelle Glaves takes aim at city officials in a pie throwing fund raiser for United Way campaign.

Not only is the community digging deeper for United Way, but many groups are becoming more creative. A few months ago Sue Wilcox, who heads up the KPUW drive for the City of Soldotna decided to see if people would make a contribution to United Way in exchange for cream pie to throw at Mayor Dave Carey and City Manager Tom Boedeker, “I’m still getting whip cream out of my nose,” laughed Boedeker, “but the City’s effort for United Way has been five times greater so far this year than the previous year, so it was well worth taking a pie or two to the face.”

Under the Chairmanship of HEA’s Joe Gallagher the 2007 Campaign Theme is “Community Matters,” and the goal is to raise $700,000, “It has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience being the chair of the Kenai Peninsula United Way Campaign. I have had the opportunity to speak to many local groups and businesses over the past several months and the response has been amazing. I cannot say enough about the generosity of the residents of the Kenai Peninsula. When you consider that a relatively small area like the Kenai Peninsula can raise over $700,000 to support non-profit groups, you realize what a special place this is. I look forward to the stretch run of the campaign and encourage anyone who hasn’t yet donated to contact us and help us surpass our goal,” Gallagher told the Dispatch.

The Campaign will continue through April 15th and Herford hopes not only to meet their 2007 goal but equal last year’s effort of $820,000 so that KPUW can sustain the same level of assistance to their member agencies as last year, “Fundraising requires a lot of staff time and resources, if we don’t have to reduce our level of assistance to our 26 member agencies, they will be able to focus on what they do best; provide valuable programs to peninsula residents, and we’re working to get there a dollar at a time, no contribution is too small,” said Herford, “Any one of us could be in a situation at some time unexpectedly in our lives that requires us to reach out for assistance. Supporting our local agencies (Red Cross, Salvation Army, Civil Air Patrol, Food Bank etc., helps to ensure the necessary resources are in place before a natural disaster hits the Kenai Peninsula. 99.4% of all campaign dollars raised remain on the Kenai Peninsula. Over 89% of campaign dollars raised in 2006 were reinvested in our local agencies to continue to provide direct services on the peninsula.” Herford added that monthly contributions may be billed to a credit card or directly. For a contribution form or more information call Kenai Peninsula United Way at 283-9500.

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