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Local United Way sets campaign goal at $317,111
July 22, 2016 Jerry Purvis   

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Jerry Purvis/Gering Citizen Bill Boyer (left) and George Schlothauer have been named co-chairs of the United Way of Western Nebraska for the 2016–2017 campaign. United Way will support 16 member agencies this year.

With the campaign theme “Be the One,” United Way of Western Nebraska has set a goal to raise $371,111 for the 2016 – 2017 year.

“We picked the theme because this is about individuals giving the United Way,” said Campaign Co-Chairman Bill Boyer. “One person can impact so many other lives.”

Boyer said United Way’s 24 Pacesetter Businesses do the majority of the fundraising for the campaign as they support 16 member agencies.

“A lot of thought goes into coming up with a campaign goal,” said Campaign Co-Chairman George Schlothauer. “Our team discusses what the economic times are like and what amount we can realistically raise during the year.”

Boyer said the traditional United Way campaign is being modified as more and more baby boomers that were strong supporters are retiring from the workforce.

“We’re passionate about finding ways to reach more individuals beyond what our Pacesetters can do,” he said. “We need to approach smaller businesses about giving to the United Way because their one donation can help so many people and impact so many lives.”

One method they plan to take advantage of is social media to reach younger people in the workforce.

“The entire community is competing for the same pool of money,” said United Way Executive Director Stephanie Black. “All of them are fundraising, so I’m always amazed at how generous the community is. United Way agencies around the world are also looking at ways to reach new, younger supporters as long-time givers are moving out of the workforce.”

She added that with younger people heading up the campaign and good connections in the community, they’ll reach their new campaign goal.

United Way’s last major event from the previous year, the Rubber Duck Dash, is coming up on Saturday, July 30. Activities start at 9 a.m. at the YMCA Trails West Camp in Riverside Park in Scottsbluff. There will be all kinds of kids’ games and activities for the entire family. Several United Way member agencies will also be there for people to learn about what they do. The ducks go into the river at 10:30 a.m.

The first duck to cross the finish line will win a 2016 Chevrolet Camaro LT, donated by TEAM Chevrolet. Second prize is a 4-wheel drive Honda Pioneer Side-by-Side from Sandberg Honda. Numerous other prizes are also available for the winners.

“The Rubber Duck Dash is a phenomenal event for the community,” said United Way Special Events Coordinator Jeana Allen. “It’s our biggest fundraiser and people why buy rubber ducks have the chance to win some great prizes.”

The 16 member agencies supported by United Way of Western Nebraska include: Longs Peak Council Boy Scouts of America, Buckboard Therapeutic Riding Academy, CAPstone, Carpenter Center, CASA of Scotts Bluff County, Cirrus House Transitional Age Program, Disability Rights Nebraska, DOVES, Guadalupe Center, Community Action Partnership of Western Nebraska Minority Health Initiative, Panhandle Independent Living Services, Scotts Bluff County Volunteer Center, Scottsbluff/Gering Soup Kitchen, Speak Out, Camp Scott Summer Program for Handicapped Children, and the Community Action Partnership of Western Nebraska Child Development Center.

With a new school year just around the corner, United Way invites the public to help them Stuff the Bus with school supplies for children in need.

United Way believes that advancing the common good means creating opportunities for a better life for all, and that begins with preparing children to succeed in school. United Way will be collecting new school supplies which will be delivered to eight area school districts (Scottsbluff, Gering, Mitchell, Morrill, Minatare, Bayard, Bridgeport, Banner County) and CAPWN. The supplies will then be distributed to students in need, allowing them the tools to proudly start and succeed in school.

People are welcome to drop new school supplies in the collection containers at the Scottsbluff Main Street Market, Walmart and the United Way office. Monetary donations will also be accepted to purchase additional school supplies and can be mailed to or dropped off at the United Way office, 1517 Broadway Suite #106, Scottsbluff, Nebraska, 69361.

For more information, call United Way at 308-635-2522
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