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UWCK hits 2013 campaign goal
new deh united way goal pic
United Way of Central Kansas announced Wednesday that it has met its 2013 goal of $235,000. Pictured from left to right in front of the thermometer on the Barton County Courthouse lawn Wednesday are Becca Maxwell, Roland Smith, Erika Brining, Steve Kummer, Co-Chair Bill Dill, Co-chair Susan Aistrip, Co-chair Ronda Sjogren, UWCK Executive Director Julie Bugner Smith, Tama Hanson, Jane Fox and Desa Behr. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

After five months, United Way of Central Kansas has met it’s $235,000 goal for the 2013 campaign, said UWCK Executive Director Julie Bugner Smith Wednesday afternoon.
Smith, campaign co-chairs and UWCK Executive Board members met on the Barton County Courthouse lawn Wednesday for a ceremonial photo with the “thermometer.” It indicated the annual drive’s success.
“The Co-Chairs Ronda and Eric Sjogren (of Ellinwood), Susan Aistrup (of Larned) and William Dill (of Great Bend) along with the board did a great job representing their communities and promoting United Way,” Smith said.
The campaign opened in August of last year with a 1960s-themed kick-off event “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.
 “I feel the different communities are coming together and realizing the impact the 21 agencies,” Smith said of the combined efforts of the two counties. She also acknowledged the impact of the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program, which provides free books to grade school students.
“It takes everyone’s contribution, big and small to meet the goal,” she said. She stressed, however, that even though the goal has been met, contributions can be made. 
“United Way is proud that 99 percent stays local in the community,” Smith said. That is growing increasingly important as many of the agencies UWCK servers are seeing their funding cut.
“The need is greater than ever,” she said.  “The involvement within the communities ensures the services can build stronger families, provide health care, food, intervention, prevention and treatment for those in need.
“Thank you to the everyone for their continued support and making a difference in their community,” she said. “A special thanks goes to the agencies that go above and beyond to make sure our community is a better place to live.” 
To contact United Way of Central Kansas, visit the office at 1125 Williams in Great Bend, call 620-792-2403, or e-mail