Liz Shugart, family nurse practitioner, works with a patient Tuesday at the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association. The VNA was named the United Way's 2007 Agency of the Year.

Photo by Hans Hallgren

Liz Shugart, family nurse practitioner, works with a patient Tuesday at the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association. The VNA was named the United Way's 2007 Agency of the Year.

United Way has record year

Agency awards organization and contributing businesses

photo

Sue Birch, left, executive director for the Visiting Nurses Association, and Cole White, right, VNA community care director, accept the 2007 Agency of the Year award from Corrie Ponikvar, United Way Executive Director. The award was part of Tuesday's banquet held at the Holiday Inn of Craig.

Other awards

Moffat County United Way handed out the following awards during its Tuesday ceremony:

• 2008 pacesetter: Moffat County School District

• President's awards: The Memorial Hospital and Moffat County School District

• Agency of the Year: Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association for establishing Northwest Colorado Community Health Center in 2007

United Way contributors

Below are the businesses and organizations that raised money for the 2007 fundraising season, followed by the amount their employees contributed. Moffat County United Way authorities gave an award to each entity for its contribution.

$10,000 or more

• Colowyo Coal Company: $87,166

• Tri-State Generation and Transmission: $78,760

• Twenty Mile Coal Company*: $95,307

• Trapper Mining: $52,724

• Moffat County School District: $28,973

• Xcel Energy: $19,693

• Moffat County employees: $15,000

• City of Craig: $14,633

• The Memorial Hospital: $14,104

• Craig Daily Press: $13,564

• The Industrial Company: $10,192

$3,000 to $9,999

• Quest Communications: $5,000

• Cook Chevrolet: $4,880

• Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association: $3,553

Up to $3,000

• Bank of the West: $2,540

• First National Bank of the Rockies: $2,363

• Atmos Energy: $2,150

• Bank of Colorado: $1,912

• Moffat County National Bank: $1,473

• Yampa Valley Electric Association: $1,455

Source: Moffat County United Way

*Note: Twenty Mile Coal Company is a multi-county company; $66,539 of its total funds raised will return to Moffat County

Moffat County United Way ended its 2007-08 fundraising season with a record-breaking sum, but still fell about $3,000 short of its total goal.

The organization, which collects and distributes funds to local non-profit agencies, raised $472,707 during its annual campaign, said Corrie Ponikvar, Moffat County United Way executive director.

The organization's fundraising goal this year was $475,000.

Although the group didn't meet its goal, it raised the most money in the organization's 30-year history, Board of Directors President Sandra King said at an awards ceremony Tuesday at the Holiday Inn of Craig.

The funds are derived mostly from employee contributions and employers who match their contributions "dollar for dollar," King said.

At the event, United Way authorities recognized those who gave and those who received funds.

Moffat County School District, which agreed to serve as the drive's pacesetter this year, ranked near the top of the list.

District employees set the tone for the drive, pledging $28,973 to United Way this year - more than a $21,000 increase from last year.

"The generosity of the Moffat County School District and (its) employees is greatly appreciated by our community," King said.

District Superintendent Pete Bergmann and Assistant Superintendent Joel Sheridan were unavailable for comment.

The district also received one of two President's Awards that United Way granted this year.

The award recognizes companies or organizations that have had "a very successful campaign," Ponikvar said, adding that these groups often exhibit increases in employee participation and fundraising.

The Memorial Hospital also received the award for the $14,104 contribution its employees pledged this year.

Samantha Johnston, TMH service excellence officer, received the award on the hospital's behalf. She deferred most of the credit to the hospital's employees.

"I think our employees stepped up to the plate," she said, adding that the hospital encouraged them to donate to the campaign "in ways that (it) hasn't in the past."

"I think our employees are really generous to begin with," she added. "We (the hospital) asked them to give, they did."

The local United Way also selected the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association as its Agency of the Year.

The award recognizes United Way agencies that have a significant, positive change in programming or in the agency overall, Ponikvar said.

The VNA received the recognition for establishing the Northwest Colorado Community Health Center last year.

The center provides care for the uninsured and underinsured and helps its patients obtain free or discounted prescriptions directly from drug manufacturers, said Cole White, VNA community care director.

VNA authorities working with the center have "really worked hard to become a federally-qualified community health center," Ponkivar said.

White and Sue Birch, VNA executive director, accepted the award on the association's behalf.

The award was "a pleasant surprise," White said, adding that neither he nor Birch expected the VNA to receive the distinction.

"I was just as shocked as Sue was," he said.

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