United Way starts fundraising campaign Thursday in Steamboat | SteamboatToday.com
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United Way starts fundraising campaign Thursday in Steamboat

Financial assistant Tanya Ranftl works in the United Way office Tuesday afternoon. The agency will kick off its annual campaign with 10K Day for United Way on Thursday.
John F. Russell

How to help

Routt County United Way will accept donations all day. To contribute, visit http://www.unitedwayroutt.org and click on “click here.” Donations also can be mailed to the United Way at P.O. Box 774005, Steamboat Springs, CO 80477, or dropped by its office, 1125 Lincoln Ave., Suites 2F and 2G. For more information, call 970-879-5605.

How to help

Routt County United Way will accept donations all day. To contribute, visit http://www.unitedwayroutt.org and click on “click here.” Donations also can be mailed to the United Way at P.O. Box 774005, Steamboat Springs, CO 80477, or dropped by its office, 1125 Lincoln Ave., Suites 2F and 2G. For more information, call 970-879-5605.

— About 5 percent of Partners in Routt County’s 2010 budget was provided through a grant from Routt County United Way’s annual giving campaign.

Partners uses the funding to screen and train adult mentors and AmeriCorps volunteers and to pay for the after-school and weekend activities for the organization’s one-to-one and school-based mentoring programs, Part­ners Executive Director Libby Foster said.



She said 5 percent might seem like a small number, but what the agency receives through United Way’s annual giving campaign is crucial to Partners’ ability to provide direct services.

“This is a source of income that we rely on every year,” Foster said. “It’s a critical line item in our budget. And so many of our income sources right now are so tenuous, making these local funds even more important.”

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.



The 28th annual campaign, which will provide funding for local health and human services agencies in 2011, kicks off Thursday with the 10K Day for United Way event at City Market. The United Way will collect donations all day, but staff and board members will be at City Market from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Executive Director Kelly Stanford said.

Stanford said KBCR would broadcast the event. She said Qdoba Mexican Grill and City Market would provide free food, and local merchants have donated items that will be given away as prizes.

Donations from the annual giving campaign, which lasts eight weeks until mid-November, are distributed quarterly starting in March to local health and human services organizations that apply and are approved to receive assistance. Stanford said the United Way serves about 40 local programs and organizations.

She said this year’s goal is $500,000. Last year’s goal was $525,000, and the United Way raised $490,000. Despite not hitting last year’s goal, Stanford said she was optimistic about reaching this year’s goal because of Steamboat’s generosity.

“It’s a tough fundraising time for all nonprofits,” she said. “We feel the effort to support health and human service programs is a community effort. We’re optimistic that people will understand that donating to support health and human service programs is really what’s helping our community make it through these tough economic times. These are the programs that help people weather this tough economic storm. …

“It takes everyone in the community to support these health and human service organizations. Whether it’s a $5 donation or a $5,000 donation, every donation really will make a difference.”

Partners, which pairs adult mentors with local youths and places AmeriCorps volunteers in each Routt County middle school, this year served more than 400 youths countywide. Foster said the economic recession has made it difficult to secure funds to operate Partners’ programs.

“There just isn’t any money out there to fill this void should we not receive these (United Way) funds,” she said.

Stanford said if the United Way raises $5,000 Thursday, the Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs has agreed to match it. She said the 10K event is a way for everyone in the community to participate, especially if their employers don’t participate in the workplace giving campaign.

Unlike in previous years, Stan­­­­ford said the annual giving campaign’s progress wouldn’t be charted on a thermometer on the Routt County Courthouse lawn. Instead, the United Way will come up with other means to relay its progress with the community.

To contribute, visit http://www.unitedwayroutt.org. Donations also can be mailed to the United Way at P.O. Box 774005, Steamboat Springs, CO 80477, or dropped by its office, 1125 Lincoln Ave., Suites 2F and 2G. For more information, call 970-879-5605.


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