United Way set $250,000 goal

— This year, United Way celebrates "It's you, it's me, it's all of us," the theme for its 2000 campaign. The theme is meant to show people that their single donation, added to the donations from others, results in a fund used to help the entire community. This theme shows that individual people have the power to create and sustain public service organizations such as the Moffat County Crisis Intervention Team, Advocates-Crisis Support Services or The Interfaith Food Bank.

"There are so many people in our community that benefit from programs that the Moffat County United Way has helped sponsor," campaign Chairwoman Dawn Malley said. "The list of programs is so long. Everything from the Visiting Nurse Association, and all they do, to Toys for Tots."

"United Way working together to achieve a new century of sharing and caring," is the motto for the campaign that will take United Way and its member agencies into the new millennium.

"We're really excited. This is the 2000 campaign and we hope to see continued success," United Way Executive Director Corrie Scott said. "Our community is so generous and it's really exciting to see how many generous people there are out there."

United Way kicked off its annual campaign Monday with a goal of raising $250,000, the same as its 1999 goal.

"We feel raising $250,000 and putting it back into the community covers the needs of the community," Scott said. "It's always a big decision for the board to make."

With donations from major contributors such as ColoWyo Coal Co., Tri-State Generation and Transmission, Trapper Mining Inc., Twentymile Coal Co., and many others, United Way raised $283,000 last year.

Of the funds raised by the 1999 campaign, $229,712 was given in allocations to member agencies, program agencies and venture grants.

The campaign will last until Nov. 19, with Scott and other United Way volunteers visiting area businesses to encourage donations and share information about United Way.

This year, Trapper Mine was named the campaign "trailblazer" the company who begins its campaign a week or two before the official kick off and sets the tone for the entire campaign, Scott said. The trailblazer, formerly called the pacesetter, is chosen based on employee participation in contributing to United Way or an increase in dollars raised.

Trapper Mine was chosen as the trailblazer because it ranked high in the percentage of employees contributing to United Way. In 1999, 75 percent of Trapper Mine employees contributed to United Way.

To date, Trapper Mine has pledged $43,477 to United Way, approximately $4,000 more than was donated last year.

"We are really excited about that," Scott said.

Trapper Mine, like so many other businesses in Moffat County, matches its employee contributions dollar for dollar to increase the overall amount donated.

"There are a number of employers who do that in our community so we're really lucky," Scott said.

Residents have their choice of organizations they can donate to. They can choose to donate to one of more than 50 programs and 28 agencies. There are also more than 20 approved donor designation organizations. People can also choose to donate to an organization that is not on the list as long as it's a non-profit organization with no political, religious or fraternal ties.

"If (an organization) is not on the donor designation list and is an agency you want to give money to, then you can just put their name on the list," Scott said. She will do the research and the paperwork necessary to make sure a donation goes where a contributor specifies.

"If there is something close to your heart, you can designate your money to that particular organization," Malley said.

If a donor chooses not to designate funds, the money will go into the United Way general fund where it will be used to fund one of six program members or one of 12 member agencies. According to Scott, many of the member agencies have been affiliated with United Way for 10 years or longer.

According to Scott, 99 percent of local contributions stay in Moffat County to help Moffat County residents.

Grants are awarded by an allocations committee which looks at financial documents, number of people an organization serves and the need for that organization in the county.

"There's a lot of criteria that goes into making sure the money is used properly," Scott said.

"Our board of directors carefully tracks every dollar donated to make sure that your donated money is spent wisely," Malley said.

Through trial and error, the process of donating has become simple and requires a donor to fill out a very short form. United Way will do the rest.

"It's amazing how good giving feels," Malley said. "Try it, you'll like it. Without you, there is no United Way."

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