United Way hits $1.1 million fundraising goal

Photo by Gretel Daugherty—At United Way of Mesa County’s 2009-2010 Campaign Celebration lunch, Laura Stafford, right, gestures for Jamie Hamilton of Home Loan and Investments to come to the front as she and Julie Hinkson wait to present him with a giant fork and spoon in recognition of his company’s eight years of sponsorship of the Taste of the Grand Valley fundraiser for the charity. Thursday’s event attracted about 100 people and was held at the Lincoln Park barn.

United Way of Mesa County endured the worst local economy in at least the past 25 years to pull in $1.1 million during its 2009-10 fundraising campaign, reaching its goal.

United Way officials announced Thursday they received $1,105,200 in donations, nearly matching the $1,113,000 the humanitarian agency had raised at this time last year.

Roughly 100 people turned out Thursday afternoon for United Way’s 50th annual campaign celebration at the Lincoln Park Barn. The celebration honored individual donors and businesses that participated in work force campaigns for the overall “How the West was ONE” campaign.

“I think what it really says is how generous this community is,” United Way Development Director Amanda Crysler said of the amount raised. “They know there is so much more need during a down economy.”

She said even if people could afford to donate only a few dollars, that amount can add up and make a significant impact.

United Way also handed out a number of “Phil” (for philanthropy) Awards:

The Mary J. Nelson Memorial Award went to the Grand Junction Housing Authority for exemplary community service.

The Edison Award went to Land Title Guarantee Co. for innovative campaign techniques.

The Raul Ramos Memorial Award to Lauren Goodnight and Cathy Thomas of S.M. Stoller for workplace leadership.

The Leaps and Bounds Award went to the Mesa County Public Library for the biggest boost in a campaign over last year.

The New Horizons Award went to Marillac Clinic for significant increases in campaign contributions over a five-year period.

The Maverick Award went to Olsson Associates for the greatest success with a first-time workplace campaign.

The Trail Blazer Award went to St. Mary’s Hospital for setting the philanthropic example for its industry by significant campaign involvement.

The Spirit of Giving Award went to FCI Constructors for best exemplifying the spirit of the United Way.

A special 50th Anniversary Partnership Award went to School District 51 for its longevity as a workplace campaign.

A total of 62 programs have applied for United Way funding.


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