United Way drive tops $970K

Audience volunteers hold up the numbers to represent the $970,557 that the United Way raised during this year’s campaign during a celebration luncheon this afternoon held at Colorado Mesa University’s student center ballroom.

United Way of Mesa County raised $970,557 in its 2013-14 campaign, falling shy of a $1.1 million goal and short of last year’s take of a little more than $1 million.

The 2013-14 tally reflects donations made as of Wednesday, when United Way of Mesa County hosted a campaign celebration at Colorado Mesa University. The annual fundraising campaign will remain open for additional pledges through March 31 before launching the 2014-15 campaign. United Way’s board of directors will announce the final tally for 2013-14 in June.

Donations may be down, but campaign Co-Chair Jerome Gonzales said that is a reflection of the economy, not people’s interest in charity.

“With our community still recovering from the recession, this amount raised shows that our community wants to give and help those in need locally and they gave whatever they could,” Gonzales said in a press release.

Donations from the annual fundraising campaign are spread among health and human services programs in the community. Forty-eight nonprofits have applied for United Way funding this year.

In addition to announcing the fundraising amount, United Way of Mesa County gave six awards to campaign contributors. Geri Tamborelli and Shelly Tran of St. Mary’s Hospital received the Raul Ramos Memorial Award for workplace United Way campaign coordinators who increase donations year-over-year. High Country Beverage won the Maverick Award for having the most success among five companies that hosted a workplace campaign for the first time, and Bank of the West earned the Ingenuity Award for workplace campaign creativity.

Western Slope Auto won the Spirit of Giving Award for demonstrating corporate philanthropy and Community Food Bank earned the Mary J. Nelson Inspirational Award for excellence in health and human services. Western Rockies Federal Credit Union and Coloramo Federal Credit Union shared the Trail Blazer Award for setting an example of philanthropy for their industry and heavy involvement in the campaign.


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