United Way exceeds campaign goal...

Posted: Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Over half of a million dollars will find its way into local non-profit groups and organizations providing special services on the Kenai Peninsula, thanks to the work of Chairman Rod Cason, of Tesoro, and the United Way campaign. "Everyone worked really hard to meet our goal of $550,000 and we actually beat our goal with a final tally of $565, 500," said Amy Manuel, United Way Executive Director. "With United Way you're actually helping your neighbor as well as yourself, because many of the agencies that provide services that the entire community uses depend heavily on United Way to support their programs. So with the exception of the administration costs to run a campaign your United Way donation goes to work right here in our community," added Manuel.

Supporters and corporate officials were honored for their participation in last year's United Way Campaign at last weeks Kenai Chamber luncheon, "I am so honored to have had all these local business people be part of the campaign last year. They worked so hard to help us meet and break our goal, that they truly deserve a lot of recognition," said Manuel. There won't be much time for Manuel and all the behind the scene workers to bask in their accomplishment, the next United Way campaign officially kicks off September 15th and the annual Seward Fjords cruise and auction is scheduled for September 13th.

The new United Way Chairman is David Gilbreath, CEO of Central Peninsula General Hospital (CPGH). Although Gilbreath has only been in the community less than two years, in that time he has spearheaded the CPGH expansion plan, gained voter approval to bond the project, and saw construction begin earlier this summer, "We have the hospital project on track, under budget, and on schedule, with a wonderful staff to assist me. I've done United Way in other communities and feel it is a worthwhile endeavor to step up to the plate and do all you can to give back to the community where you live and work, so I'm delighted to be able to lead the way this year in the United Way campaign," said Gilbreath.

The new United Way chairman says he has some numbers in his head for next year's goal, but would wait until he ran them past the board of directors before he announced them, "But I can say that I will propose a number ever so slightly larger than last year's goal. I feel it will be very achievable," added Gilbreath. Gilbreath recently checked into CPGH with simulated chest pain so that he could experience first hand what it felt like to be a patient at the hospital. When asked if his hospital stay was as painless as giving to United Way, Gilbreath replied, "I don't think giving to United Way is painless at all, but it's an honor to be able to give." Tickets for the Seward Fjords cruise September 13th limited but available by calling Amy Manuel at 283-9500.

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