United Way of McPherson County kicked off its annual fundraising campaign Thursday afternoon at the Kansas Municipal Utilities training center.

The fundraising goal for this year is $250,000.

Audrey Miller, current board president of United Way, said their goal is to support programs that address issues of health, education and income and United Way accomplishes these goals through contributions through their annual campaign.

“We set the annual campaign goal based on need, not based on what we think we can raise,” Miller said.

Miller introduced the new executive director of United Way, Rob Mackey who has had 21 years of experience with United Way and is excited to serve the community of McPherson.

“I’m very honored to be here and very grateful for the opportunity to lead your United Way in McPherson County,” Mackey said. “I just love the organization what we’re able to do when we come together around common goals and needs.”

United Way partners with human service agencies throughout McPherson County. These partners change year to year based on funding amounts and the request that United Way receives. These organizations go through a screening process to make sure their goals fulfill one of United Way’s purposes, and funds are distributed to help as many people as possible.

The 2017 United Way

Campaign slogan is "Be a Local Hero" and at the kick-off event, several firefighters, policemen and veterans attended and were recognized for being local heroes.

United Way of McPherson County is also raising funds by recognizing local heroes. Residents can vote for their favorite local hero on the United Way of McPherson County website by donating. The winner will receive $300 to be given back to those groups to assist in any programs they have.

Nominees are Brynne Weber of the Lindsborg Summer Lunch Program, Abbey Archer-Rierson of the McPherson Family YMCA, Bud and Millie Star of Meals on Wheels and Niesha Dahlstrom of Circles of McPherson County.

For more information on United Way, its mission and the fundraising campaign, call 620-241-5152 or visit http://www.unitedwaymcpherson.org. 

Contact Brooke Haas by email at bhaas@mcphersonsentinel.com and follow her on Twitter @MacSentinel.