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United Way drive begins

Pledge campaign starts today

— An aspen tree served as the inspiration for this year’s United Way campaign.

“Strengthen Your Community Roots” is the motto of this year’s drive in Routt County, which officially kicks off at 4 p.m. today on the Routt County Courthouse lawn.

“It goes off the concept of an aspen grove being the second largest living organism because the trees are connected by their roots,” United Way executive director Mark Andersen said. “The human service agency connects the community and keeps it strong.”



Routt County’s United Way has been helping residents for 24 years, and this year, Anderson is hoping the county can pull together to raise $550,000.

Last year, United Way raised $530,000, which was more than its initial goal. All money pledged to United Way stays in Routt County



The way individuals play such a significant role in the success of the whole organization makes United Way special, he added.

Routt County United Way has a list of nearly 40 agencies and programs it supports and helps fund throughout the county. United Way has a presence in West Routt, North Routt, South Routt and here in Steamboat Springs.

“We have awesome community support,” Andersen said.

Residents support United Way throughout the year, but the big campaign push runs from today through mid-November.

Verne and Nancy Lundquist are this year’s honorary co-chairs and will be on hand for today’s kickoff presentation.

Residents can pledge money to United Way on varying levels and in varying ways. One-time donations are accepted, but donations also can be given quarterly.

Often, businesses in Routt County offer their employees the chance to give to United Way each pay period.

The employee designates the total they want to give and allows the employer to deduct a percentage of that from each paycheck.

Andersen said every donation is appreciated and used.

“Even small donations help,” he added.

The Routt County United Way is the only local non-profit organization whose sole purpose is to raise funds and provide support for the health and human service needs of its county residents.

This year, the Routt County United Way allocated $410,000 to those service programs.


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