A goal of $308,000 was unveiled for the 2019-2020 ‘United We Grow’ campaign as The United Way of Western Nebraska kicked off their fundraising efforts during the Pacesetter luncheon at the Harms Center Wednesday.
Executive Director Steph Black says earlier this summer, the board considered a variety of factors to come up with this year’s goal, including a hard look at the local and ag economies. “At that time, we had not had the tunnel collapse yet up at the canal. It was a late planting season, we had some crazy weather early, and just the fact the Pacesetter goals were down $25,000 from last year,” said Black. “Some of the corporate pledges aren’t going to happen this year, businesses are tightening their belt.”
However, Black is optimistic about this year’s campaign, noting we live in a community blessed with many people who try to ‘pay it forward’ whenever they can.
Last year’s $335,000 goal was eclipsed by $12,000, something not lost on the new 2019-2020 campaign co-chairs. For their part, Todd Lewis of Bytes Computer Solutions and Jason Rogers with the City of Gering say their plan is to take this year’s fundraising goal and ‘blast it out of the water’.
26 businesses and organizations are a part of the Pacesetter’s group this year with the addition of Allo Communications. Pacesetters often conduct their own in-house fundraising among employees in addition to donations through payroll deductions. Platte Valley Companies was also named winner of the Traveling Pacesetter Award for their fundraising efforts during the 2018-2019 campaign.