Abel Chavez, from left, Colorado markets manager for Qwest Communications, hands a $10,000 check Thursday to Moffat County United Way board members Amy Knights and Michelle Tucker. United Way raised $515,000 for Moffat County human service agencies, exceeding its goal of $485,000.

Photo by Shawn McHugh

Abel Chavez, from left, Colorado markets manager for Qwest Communications, hands a $10,000 check Thursday to Moffat County United Way board members Amy Knights and Michelle Tucker. United Way raised $515,000 for Moffat County human service agencies, exceeding its goal of $485,000.

Qwest gives $10,000 to Moffat County United Way

Nonprofit organization raises $515,000 in record year

— At a time when many corporations are tightening their belts, Qwest Communications reached deeper into its pockets to give more than ever to Moffat County United Way.

At Thursday’s United Way board meeting, Abel Chavez, Qwest Colorado markets manager, presented the board with a $10,000 check.

In 2009, Qwest donated $7,500 to the nonprofit organization.

Moffat County United Way Executive Director Corrie Pon­ikvar said the organization was “very pleased” when Qwest reported it was upping its donation.

“It made a huge difference,” Ponikvar said. “Given the economic climate, we were concerned about the level of giving in general in our county.

“Between Qwest and Exxon-Mobil giving us $20,000, it really put us over the top this year in an unexpected way.”

Moffat County United Way raised $515,000 in its 2010 campaign, far exceeding its goal of $485,000, and raising the most in its history.

While large corporate contributions were important, Ponikvar said each community member who donated to the organization through payroll deductions was equally valuable.

“Obviously, it took everyone to get us to that point,” she said. “We are just so delighted that we were able to meet our goal this year, much less exceed it like we did.”

Chavez said Qwest corporate contributions to United Way campaigns across the 14 states it serves totaled $5.1 million.

“We’re a statewide company, and it’s our obligation to serve customers statewide,” Chavez said. “We see it as our duty to reinvest in the communities during a time when we’re all experiencing significant need.”

Qwest donates to 14 Uni­ted Way organizations in Colo­rado.

Chavez said the corporate donations and employee contributions to United Way organizations around service areas were at record highs.

“We’ve had a longtime partnership with United Way,” he said. “And I think our employees see their friends and neighbors experience hardships and they just reached deeper into their pockets. That is a reflection of people stepping up to help one another. It’s just a human dynamic.”

Ponikvar said community members should be proud of living in a place where people support their friends and neighbors.

“It just means we can support all of our local agencies at a greater level than we ever have before,” she said. “By being able to do that, the community benefits a great deal.”

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