United Way’s goal within reach | SteamboatToday.com

United Way’s goal within reach

Group sees contributions from second-home owners

Avi Salzman

— Helped by second-home owners who contributed this year to local charities, the Routt County United Way has almost reached its goal of $300,000 for 2002 two months earlier than it did last year.

Fears of a downturn in local charitable donations after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks proved unfounded as the United Way is now at least 90 percent of the way to its goal of $300,000.

Millie Beall, the executive director of United Way, is still factoring in money from payroll deduction programs, which give money from the paychecks of local employees and their employers to the United Way.

All in all, Beall expects to complete the campaign for 2002 by early January.

United Way acts as a clearinghouse for a number of local social service agencies, including Advocates Against Battering and Abuse, the Visiting Nurse Association and 21 others, which receive grants from the nonprofit.

Beall chose this year to solicit funds from a group previously bypassed in the community’s attempts to fund its social service programs second-home owners.

Beall did some digging at the Routt County Assessor’s office to find the addresses of people who have second homes in Routt County.

She then shot letters off to people all over the country, from Florida to California, and found that the out-of-towners were generous participants in the county’s quest to help the most needy.

“I was impressed that people jumped on the bandwagon,” she said. “I was excited to learn that people who live here part time were willing to participate in helping us create a healthy


Beall said a total of 26 second-home owners ended up giving about $7,000 toward the campaign this year. Individuals gave anywhere from $25 to $1,000 each, she said.

Beall got some help in her mission from an employee of a local property management company. Lary Waldron, who works for East West Resorts, approached Beall on his own earlier this year with an idea to get owners of condos and other pieces of property to contribute to the charity.

Waldron said he thought the second-home owners could benefit from helping out the place where they have a financial interest. That in turn would help the local community reach its goals.

He met with a group of property managers to try to get them to send solicitations to owners of property in the valley without giving any of their names out to any organizations.

At least three property management companies participated this year, he said.

“It’s just my way of helping the community,” he said.

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