Representatives of the Moffat County United Way board and the Moffat County School District pose in front of the sign showing this year's United Way fundraising goal of 475,000. Kneeling, from left to right, are Todd Young, Frank Hanel;  behind them, left to right, are Paula Duzik, Verla Haslem, Kim Grant, Brett Sperl, Joel Sheridan and Sandra King.  Early returns did not have the goal met, but still showed the best campaign in Moffat County United Way history.

Photo by Hans Hallgren

Representatives of the Moffat County United Way board and the Moffat County School District pose in front of the sign showing this year's United Way fundraising goal of 475,000. Kneeling, from left to right, are Todd Young, Frank Hanel; behind them, left to right, are Paula Duzik, Verla Haslem, Kim Grant, Brett Sperl, Joel Sheridan and Sandra King. Early returns did not have the goal met, but still showed the best campaign in Moffat County United Way history.

Community united

Moffat County United Way raises largest figure in 30-year history

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— Corrie Ponikvar knew the lofty fundraising goal her organization set would be difficult to reach, and indeed it was. Based on the latest figures, it appears Moffat County United Way's latest campaign drive will fall just short of the $475,000 target.

But, you won't find Ponikvar upset. Whatever disappointment exists in perhaps missing the goal is tempered by the following fact: the latest campaign has been Moffat County's "best ever," she said.

"It's just a target we set to try and meet," she said. "What is a goal anyway? This is still the best year we've ever had."

Based on returned pledges and conservative estimates, the organization will have raised an estimated $467,000, or the largest figure in the group's 30-year history.

The United Way campaign began in mid-September and entails residents and businesses pledging money to support about 50 local nonprofit groups.

Agencies receiving money represent a wide variety of interests. Included among the groups are Advocates Crisis-Support Services, Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, Craig youth baseball, hockey and soccer groups and the Moffat County Humane Society.

A few pledges from companies and groups have not been returned, Ponikvar said. The last remaining pledges will be submitted in February and March.

If actual totals exceed the conservative estimates, it's possible the United Way total will creep closer to its goal.

"I would think we could hit $470,000 pretty easily," she said. "I don't know about $475,000."

Several donors stood out during the drive for raising more money than the previous year, the executive director said.

The Moffat County School District, the campaign's pacesetter, raised $29,000 this year, a jump from 2007's $7,220.

The Memorial Hospital raised $4,000 in 2007. The hospital rallied in '08 to raise $14,000, Ponikvar said.

Colowyo Coal Company raised a substantial sum in 2007 - $74,000 - and even more - $87,000 - this year.

"Everybody did really well," Ponikvar said.

The deadline for nonprofit groups to submit funding requests is Friday. Applications need to be delivered by 5 p.m. to the United Way office, 600 Yampa Ave.

An allocation committee will meet in February to discuss the applications and make preliminary decisions on the requests. The United Way board makes the final decision in March, and the money will be distributed in April.

• Joshua Roberts can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 210, or jroberts@craigdailypress.com.

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