Another successful United Way fund-raising campaign came to a close with donations exceeding the original goal.
Evy Gebhardt, executive director of United Way, said the campaign started the latter part of August and ended April 15.
The beginning goal was $450,000, but donations added up to $464,255, Gebhardt said.
One of the benefits of United Way, Gebhardt said, is that an individual can give a small donation and it will go a long way toward helping the community.
"No donation is too small, ever," she said.
Lin Kennedy, bookkeeper at United Way, said this was the fourth year the campaign surpassed the goal.
"It was very exciting to have such a large figure," she said. Donations were derived from direct contributions, from individuals and businesses and several campaign kick-off events when the organization begins soliciting from the community.
Employee payroll deductions and corporate matches also generate funds during the entire year. Approximately 45 companies peninsulawide participate, including oil industry-related companies, banks and federal and state employees.
The employees can have a percentage or set amount donated from each paycheck to help the United Way. Some employers match the amount from employee payroll deductions.
"It's not just big corporations, it's individuals donating to United Way," Gebhardt said.
"It says a lot about the community and how they are willing to support," Kennedy said.
Thursday, a group of 40 volunteers will designate the funds from the campaign to the 27 health and human service agencies involved with United Way, including the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank, Salvation Army, Women's Resource and Crisis Center, South Peninsula Women's Services, Hospice of the Central Peninsula, Hospice of Homer, Frontier Community Services, Boys and Girls Club of the Kenai Peninsula, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Campfire and many area senior citizen centers.
According to the United Way's mission statement, the organization provides help and support to the nonprofit and service agencies of the Kenai Peninsula, assisting them in finding long-term solutions for community problems, developing and supporting the voluntary efforts of the nonprofit sector, promoting collaboration among human service organizations and educating the community regarding area needs.
The campaign was aided by a host of peninsula volunteers, including chair Sen. John Torgerson, R-Kasilof, and vice chair Pete Sprague.
Torgerson said he presented a slide show on allocations and discussed the importance of United Way to approximately 20 chamber of commerce and business meetings on the peninsula.
Sprague assisted Torgerson and worked with other campaign members to meet the donation goal.
"I enjoyed the heck out of it," Sprague said, "We had a great team."
The senator set the donation goal of the campaign and said he was happy that contributions exceeded it.
"It shows the care of the community," Torgerson said.
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