The United Way of McPherson County is pursuing an ambitious goal of raising $225,000 this year.

The United Way of McPherson County is pursuing an ambitious goal of raising $225,000 this year.
This is the same goal that was set last year. However, the campaign fell short by about $25,000 last year.
Anne Kirchner, United Way director, said the need for additional funds is there. The allocation requests for last year totaled more than $222,000.
Kirchner urged donors and businesses to support the campaign goal during an official kick-off ceremony at the McPherson Opera House Tuesday night.
Kirchner said the current pool of donors will help the agency reach $200,000; the remaining $25,000 must come from new donors. Goals for this year include increasing the donor pool with eight new employee campaigns, 16 new business donors at the $250 level or higher and 200 new individual donors at the $25 level or higher.
“Consider tonight a huddle,” she said. “Those of you who are here tonight understand the game. You know the meaning of commitment, and you always give 100 percent. It’s time for this team to move to the next level and share the game plan. We can only reach our goal if we work together.”
This year’s campaign theme is Join the Team.
“It takes the work of many to bring powerful, positive changes within the community around us,” Craig Druecker, campaign chairman, said. “We have intentionally focused on community conversations with the goal of discovering not only the human service needs throughout McPherson County, but to also build trust among individuals so we can improve and magnify the scope of our work.”
Kirchner emphasized donations of all sizes are important to the campaign.
“It doesn’t have to be a big amount to make a huge impact,” she said. “All we are asking is $1 per pay check.”
Employee contributions continue to be key to the success of the United Way campaign. Forty-one percent of the pledges came from employee campaigns in 2012. During the event Tuesday, the United Way honored businesses that had at least 40 percent employee participation with $50 or more per capita donations.
These included: American Maplan, Ameriprise Financial Services, Dillons Food Stores, Farmers Alliance Mutual Insurance, Home State Bank & Trust, Kansas Gas Service, NuStar Energy, Sunflower Bank and Swindol, Janzen, Hawk & Loyd. The United Way also honored the following business that had 100 percent participation in the 2012 campaign: Ameriprise Financial, Great Plains Federal Credit Union, Home State Bank and Sunflower Bank.
In addition, local sponsors supported kick-off events during the last week aimed at educating the public about the United Way’s mission. Dr. Ken and Michelle Cotton and an anonymous donor sponsored a free youth basketball clinic Saturday at McPherson College. Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers donated 10 percent of its net sales on Grandparents Day, which was Sunday. Home State Bank and Ameriprise Financial sponsored the kick-off event Tuesday night.
The evening concluded with a short video featuring interviews from directors, participants and volunteers from area non-profit agencies that receive funding form the United Way.
“This year we are committed to raising $225,000 to support health, education and income stability programs throughout McPherson County,” Kirchner said. “Many lives will be impacted by our human services organizations. Campaign pledges are now being accepted as of noon today, we have already received commitments totaling $37,712. Only $187,288 to go.”