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United Way tops fundraising goal
March 07, 2013 Jerry Purvis   

Read more by Jerry Purvis
The United Way of Western Nebraska wrapped up its 2012 – 2013 campaign with almost $70,000 more than it had originally projected. Campaign co-chair Katie Camacho said they set their goal at $360,000, but ended up with $429,543.10.

“A few different factors contributed to that increase,” she said. “We had an incredible turnout for the Duck Dash and some of our other special events. A new large company, Nationstar, also came on board and encouraged their employees to give. That was a huge benefit to us.”

She added the current Pacesetter businesses exceeded their goals in getting employee contributions to United Way. “The community really went above and beyond all year long,” said co-chair Krista Sarchet. “We sold out of ducks for the Duck Dash and it showed us we have an amazing community that gives of themselves as much as they do.”

Sarchet said she’s been involved with other non-profit organizations and is always impressed with how the community comes together to support people in need. “The community is incredible,” she said. “I wouldn’t live anywhere else.”

Comacho said that beyond the money that people give, they also get involved as volunteers for both the United Way and several of its member agencies. “Volunteers are always the lifeblood of many non-profits, so people can have just as big an impact as dollars.”

Sarchet encouraged people to call the United Way offices if they’d like to become a part of the process of determining what money will go to support which agencies. Later this spring, groups will meet with non-profit agencies that apply for funding to determine a support level.

“People are surprised to realize how their lives or people they know are affected by these agencies,” Sarchet said. “It might be through the Boy Scouts or the Volunteer Center’s Meals on Wheels program. Even a little financial help goes a long way.”

United Way Executive Director Steph Black said they had a lot more people participate in the just finished campaign. Because more people are being touched by these agencies, they’re finding ways to give back.

Current agencies being support by the United Way of Western Nebraska include CAPWN – Assets Building Choices, the Buckboard Therapeutic Riding Academy, CAPstone, the Carpenter Center, CASA of Scotts Bluff County, the Cirrus House transitional Age Program, Disability Rights Nebraska, DOVES, the NCAP Foster Grandparent Program, the Guadalupe Center, Legal Aid Nebraska, Boy Scouts of America Longs Peak Council, Monument Family Connections, Panhandle Humane Society, Panhandle Independent Living Services, Scotts Bluff County Volunteer Center, Scottsbluff Senior Center, SPEAK Out, the Camp Scott Summer Program for Handicapped Children and the CAPWN Western Nebraska Child Development Center.

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