Moffat County United Way exceeds target

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At a glance

Top five 2009 United Way fundraising drive contributors

• Twentymile Coal Co. - $85,242

• Colowyo Coal Co. - $83,518

• Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc. - $75,452

• Trapper Mining Co. - $56,198

• Xcel Energy - $33,211

Total: $333,621

Corrie Ponikvar has worked for 13 years as Moffat County United Way's executive director.

And for 13 years, United Way has reached its fundraising goal for area service groups.

This year, it was the same verse of the same song.

"We just have an amazingly generous community," said Ponikvar, who accepts little or no credit for the organization hitting its fundraising mark. "It never ceases to amaze me."

The organization learned last week that it had not only reached its $480,000 goal for the 2009 fundraising campaign, but it had surpassed it.

The final total revealed Moffat County businesses and residents donated $485,093 for about 50 nonprofit or government equivalent community service or program groups.

"We're so thankful to live here and have such giving people who support our community like they do," Ponikvar said.

About two-thirds of the fundraising total came from five businesses - Twentymile Coal Co., Colowyo Coal Company, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc., Trapper Mining Company and Xcel Energy - which raised $333,621 total.

Three of the five notched increased donations from last year, and Xcel was this year's pacesetter, raising $33,211, up from about $19,000 last year.

Overall, 25 to 30 area companies and an additional 1,000 to 1,200 individuals contributed to the campaign, Ponikvar said.

Ponikvar said reaching this year's total wasn't a certainty.

Reports of national economic woes began circulating soon after the campaign began, leading United Way to wonder if people would cut back donations, given the uncertain national landscape.

"I was nervous for a while," she said. "I wasn't sure if we'd raise as much as we had the year before."

But, United Way stayed positive about its campaign, based on feedback it received from large employers, who reported local markets were still strong.

"We felt like, given that information, we should be OK and it ended up like that," she said.

The deadline for nonprofit groups to submit funding requests to United Way 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 money is distributed in April.

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