United Way kicks off annual fund drive

Posted: Tuesday, September 10, 2002

It is difficult to determine how much money people will be giving to the Kenai Peninsula United Way this year.

"The economic climate overall is uncertain," said Evy Gebhardt, its executive director. "It's hard to gage."

This is why United Way did not raise its monetary goal from last year's fund raising goal of $650,000, even though it was able to surpass the mark previously.

The combination of the Sept. 11 attacks and a good campaign chair, Bruce Passe, might have caused the campaign to make more money than it will this year, Gebhardt said.

This year's campaign chair is Diana Zirul, who was identified as a community leader by the board of directors of United Way because of her local involvement.

United Way funds 28 agencies on the peninsula, inclusive of Seward and Homer.

A few of these agencies include the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank, senior centers, the Boys and Girls Clubs and hospice.

United Way then distributes money to the agencies based on how a community volunteer committee from the peninsula decides the money should be allocated.

The Kenai Peninsula United Way will hold a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Kenai Senior Citizens Center to start the 2002 campaign, which will last six weeks.

It is open to the public and will include speakers and entertainment.

In continuing the campaign, United Way staff will go to different work places throughout the peninsula and do presentations on the organization and the agencies it helps.

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