Twentymile sets tone for United Way fundraiser

Twentymile Coal Co. has historically been the largest contributor to Moffat County United Way, raising an average of $100,000 each year through employee donations that are matched by the company.

In August, United Way announced Twentymile would be the pacesetter for the 2012 fundraising campaign.

Corrie Ponikvar, Moffat County United Way executive director, said the pacesetter changes each year and the criteria upon which a company is picked varies.

Sometimes a pacesetter is chosen based on improved internal participation or simply on the length of time since a company last kicked off the fall fundraising season.

However, Ponikvar said workplace donations always increase when a company is selected as the pacesetter and this year was no different.

According to fundraising records, Twentymile raised approximately $120,000, which is more than the company has raised in the past, Ponikvar said.

“The pacesetter went very, very well and we really appreciate all of the employee support and the mine’s support,” Ponikvar said. “They set the tone, which is very exciting for us at United Way.”

Because Twentymile employs residents from both Moffat and Routt counties, pacesetter funds have been shared by each county’s United Way office.

Of the $120,000 total, $80,000 is staying in Moffat County.

Ponikvar said Moffat County United Way supports more than 50 local nonprofit organizations focused on providing critical care and human services for everyone from “birth to seniors.”

Ponikvar said the balance of the campaign kicked off in mid-September and will continue through Nov. 18. So far, Moffat County United Way has reached 25 percent of its $490,000 goal.

“We couldn’t do it without everyone in the community,” Ponikvar said. “That includes the city, the county and the school districts.”

Last year, United Way surpassed its $489,000 goal by raising $498,000.

Ponikvar said she hopes to see similar support from the community this year.

“As usual, I continue to see a great deal of support for the United Way and the programs we support throughout the year,” Ponikvar said. “Our community is incredibly generous, they’ve always come through for us, and I hope they plan to do so again this year.”

Ponikvar said that although the fall push is the most concentrated fundraising effort, donations are accepted throughout the year. Personal donations received by mid-December will help local nonprofits provide services next year.

“With the economic downturn, there are definitely plenty of people out there that need help and support from our agencies,” Ponikvar said. “We need to continue to support the work the nonprofits continue to do our community.”

For more information or to make a donation, call Ponikvar at 824-6222.

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