United Way fund-raising season update

With the change in the weather comes the annual United Way fund-raising drive.

United Way organizations across the county have geared up for their annual campaigns, and Archuleta County’s United Way is no exception.

Archuleta County’s United Way banner will hang over Hot Springs Boulevard Oct. 20-27 heralding the campaign. Our 2008/2009 campaign chairs are Jack and Katy Threet. United Way gives special thanks to the Threets and the United Way Advisory Council for their work helping Archuleta County reach the 2008/2009 goal of $70,000 for United Way.

United Way’s fund-raising events are very successful. Archuleta County is one of five counties in United Way of Southwest Colorado. All money raised in Archuleta County stays in Archuleta County and helps support the 15 programs in the 15 partner agencies of Archuleta County that serve Archuleta County residents.

Many people do not realize that all 15 of Archuleta County’s United Way’s partner agencies, which receive the donated funds, also participate in the fund-raising drive. Last year, the recipients of donations contributed more than $3,000 toward the $70,000 goal for Archuleta County. All partners run their own fund-raising drives in September, so results will be available in October.

The direct-mail campaign where individuals and families donate from home, comprises 30 percent of donations to United Way of Archuleta County. To date, both full-time and part-time residents of Archuleta County have contributed over $17,500.

Another 30 percent of donations to Archuleta County United Way comes through the workplace, where employees contribute just a few dollars per paycheck. The workers of Archuleta County help United Way each and every year to keep our community the best place it can be for all its residents. Workplace campaigns have begun with Wells Fargo, Bank of the San Juans, LPEA, Bank of Colorado, City Market, and Pagosa Mountain Hospital. Starting a workplace campaign at your business is easy. United Way does not pressure or guilt-trip employees into donating, but instead presents the facts about how donations are invested and what local organizations receive them.

Special events contribute the final third of the dollars raised for the year; so to all who participated in the 10th annual Golf Tournament this year and attended Party ‘Round Pagosa, Season Three, thank you. Several fund-raisers remain this year that will help United Way reach our goal of $70,000. The events include:

• Sunday, Nov. 23: Raider Hater Tail-Gater, starting at 12:30 p.m. Customary tail-gaitin’ goodies will be served like bodacious brats, awesome half-pound Black Angus burgers, chili, salads and more. Freshly brewed and micro beers and other liquid libations will be yours for the enjoyment. Be ready to jump in the football pool where prizes will be awarded to lucky winners — all provided by the Pagosa Pub Works Brewpub.

• Saturday, Dec. 6: Breakfast with Santa, 9-11 a.m. Here comes Santa Claus. Join Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves for a morning of fun and memories at Pagosa’s Festival of Trees. Ring in the holiday spirit with a light breakfast served by Mrs. Claus, followed by the opportunity to help the elves make Holiday crafts.

• Wednesday, Jan. 21: Wolf Creek Ski Day. United Way predicts lots of powder and beautiful sunshine, so grab your skis or snowboard and join in for a day of fun. For every adult ticket, Wolf Creek donates $11 to the United Way campaign. For every child and senior ticket, Wolf Creed donates $6.

With only five counties in United Way of Southwest Colorado, you might ask, “What is the overall fund-raising goal for the region?” The five county fund-raising goal this year is $760,000, which is a small increase over last year’s record total if achieved. And approximately $100,000 of the goal has already been pledged. In the region, over 70 percent of donations to United Way come from workplace campaigns. In 2007, more than $43,000, which was 16 percent more than the previous year, was raised by partner agencies throughout Southwest Colorado.

Please consider your donation to United Way. Contact the United Way office in Archuleta County to make your contribution. A small donation makes a big difference.

According to Jack and Katy Threet, “We are all just a heartbeat or breath away from needing the help of United Way’s partner agencies. At that point, it is not someone else, it is personal — it is your children, your parents, or your family. Through United Way we can truly reach out to one another in crisis and help when life is complex.”

Please contact United Way, and help meet these needs. We must raise $70,000. With your support, we will raise that money through pledges, gifts and workplace campaigns during the fall and early winter 2008/2009.

Contact Karen Davison, Archuleta County coordinator, at 264-1215, or karend@unitedway-swco.org to learn how to get involved or to get your business involved.