Craig The Moffat County United Way fundraising campaign kicked off Wednesday afternoon with a boost from the program's pacesetters, the Moffat County School District employees.
They more than doubled their goal of $15,000, raising $35,020.
"They put us in the spotlight," MCSD Assistant Superintendent Joel Sheridan announced during the kickoff at the corner of Victory Way and Yampa Avenue, "and everyone responded really well."
Each year, a pacesetter is selected to start fundraising one month prior to the campaign's official kick-off. The campaign officially started Monday and goes through Nov. 16.
The overall goal for the Moffat County United Way is $475,000 for this year's drive. Money collected will be distributed to local nonprofit agencies.
Corrie Ponikvar, executive director for Moffat County United Way, said she was impressed by the community support her agency receives each year, as well as the school district employees' contributions to start the campaign.
"Totally. It amazes me," she said. "These people all gave to the United Way on top of donations made to their churches and other fundraisers."
Last year's goal of $450,000 was exceeded by $10,000 when the campaign wrapped up, a leap from the $40,000 collected the inaugural year of 1978.
About 40 percent of the donations are designated to a specific agency supported by United Way contributions, Ponikvar said.
Larger companies often match employee donations, and those funds go to the general United Way fund for distribution to nonprofits, including some of the less well-known agencies that need donations to stay in operation.
With the campaign kick-off, visits to major employers in the county will soon begin with presentations to employees explaining where the collected money goes and how to donate.
Ponikvar said individuals are welcome to donate to United Way anytime, or they can ask for a presentation at their business by calling the local United Way office at 824-6222.
Dan Olsen can be reached at 824-7031, ext.207, or firstname.lastname@example.org