United Way recognizes employees, companies at Wednesday luncheon | CraigDailyPress.com

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United Way recognizes employees, companies at Wednesday luncheon

At a glance …

Moffat County United Way recognized major contributors to its 2012 campaign at an awards luncheon Wednesday at Holiday Inn of Craig.

More than 20 local companies were recognized for donating to the campaign.

United Way raised $478,551 this year, or about $11,450 short of its 2012 target.

Director: Economic hardship was likely the reason why fundraising fell short.

Major contributors …

• Tri-State Generation and Transmission: $86,524*

• Twentymile Coal Mine: $79,650*

• Colowyo Coal Co.: $64,140*

• Trapper Mining, Inc.: $62,982*

• Xcel Energy: $36,113*

• XTO Energy: $20,000*

• City of Craig: $17,308

• Craig Daily Press: $17,186*

• Moffat County: $16,000

• Moffat County School District: $14,333

• The Industrial Company: $10,400*

• The Memorial Hospital: $7,672

• Mountain West Insurance and Financial Services: $4,980*

• Cook Chevrolet: $4,380*

• Bank of Colorado: $3,879*

• Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association: $3,250

• Atmos Energy: $2,968*

• Yampa Valley Bank: $2,920*

• Bank of the West: $2,400*

• Yampa Valley Electric: $1,280*

• First National Bank of the Rockies: $840*

  • Includes employee donations and matching company contributions

Quotable

“It’s wonderful that they were as successful as they were.”

Susan Mizen, Horizons Specialized Services executive director, about the amount Moffat County United Way raised during its 2012 campaign.

In Corrie Ponikvar's eyes, the nearly $480,000 raised during the 2012 Moffat County United Way campaign is more than a figure on a tally sheet.

"This generosity shows the value our community places on making sure everyone has the opportunity for a better life," the organization's director told a group of about 45 people at an awards luncheon Wednesday at the Holiday Inn of Craig.

The event recognized local companies and their employees who contributed to the campaign. The funds they raised support a range of local agencies, including Advocates-Crisis Support Services and the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association.

Tri-State Generation and Transmission took the lead in this year's campaign, raising about $86,500 through employee contributions and corporate matching funds.

Twentymile Coal Mine, the campaign's pacesetter, wasn't far behind. It garnered nearly $80,000 for Moffat County United Way, although its final tally was about twice that much.

About half of the company's employees live in Routt County, and their donations go to support Routt County United Way, said Sadie Herndon, Twentymile buyer and United Way board member.

However 2012 was less than a banner year for the organization's Moffat County branch.

The agency set its fundraising goal at $490,000, but the final tally fell short of the mark by about $11,450.

"This is the first year that we've not made goal since I've been here, at least," Ponikvar said Tuesday.

Hiccups in workplace campaigns may have had a hand in the shortage, but she believes a crippled economy was the major factor, she said.

Eventually, agencies that rely on United Way for funding may feel the effects.

"It's not a good thing when we don't make goal because we're not able to fund the agencies at the level that they need," she said.

Organizations may have to cut back services as a result, Ponikvar said.

"And some of those programs are really vital to our community, especially when the economy is bad," she said.

Horizons Specialized Services is one of several Moffat County United Way member agencies that could feel the pinch.

Horizons aids adults with developmental disabilities and offers early interventions for children with developmental delays.

It operates in five Northwest Colorado counties, and its program in Moffat County runs on a $1.8 million annual budget. Much of its funding comes from state and federal sources—namely Medicaid— yet support from United Way and other local sources is "critical," Executive Director Susan Mizen said.

However she's not concerned about United Way's shortfall impacting Horizons' services.

"We do have an operating reserve, and maybe we'll just end up taking a little bit out of that," she said. "But we won't have to cut services to any of our clients."

"We'll do our best, at least, to make sure that doesn't happen." Still, Mizen was impressed by the funds United Way was able to raise in the midst of a recession.

"It's really commendable what they were able to achieve in a year when everybody's having to watch their budgets and their expenses," she said.

"It's wonderful that they were as successful as they were."