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Groovy, man
United Way set to launch 50th campaign
new deh new united way logo

Break out the bell bottoms and tie-dye T-shirts, man. United Way of Central is prepping to celebrating 50 years of making a difference in the community.
“This year the United Way will celebrate with 60s-themed kickoff,” said Julie Bugner Smith, UWCK executive director. The event will take place Aug. 18 at the Great Bend Knights of Columbus Hall, 723 Main.
It starts at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 7. Entertainment is to follow with comedian and magician Gayle Becwar.“‘Peace, Love and United Way’ will be a fun night out. Hippie beads are optional,” Smith said.
Individual tickets are $40 each, or two for $75. A table of eight can be reserved for $300. For more info, contact the United Way office 620-792-2403 or go online to register for the event  at under events tab.
In addition to Becwar, who recently taped for HBO’s Comic Relief and for Showtime’s Funniest Man in America Contest, there will be a photo booth so attendees can have “groovy” pictures taken and other entertainment.
“We chose this theme since United Way started (in Barton County) in 1962,” Smith said of the organization’s 50th anniversary. Started by the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce and local business leaders, the fundraising effort evolved from a community drive to a county-wide drive. Today, it is an  effort that combines Barton and Pawnee counties.
The goal this year is again $235,000, but Smith said this figure will go increase in years to come. “Of what we raise, 99 percent stays in our communities,” Smith said. These funds go to help the 21 agencies that fall under the UWCK umbrella.
“This event could not take place without the Sponsors, Knights of Columbus and the countless volunteers and agencies help, Smith said. “It is gratifying to see the community come together for such a great cause.”
To contact United Way of Central Kansas, visit the office at 1125 Williams in Great Bend, call 620-792-2403, or e-mail