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UWCK goal in sight
new deh united way half way pic
Members of the Central Kansas Sidewinders pose around the United Way of Central Kansas thermometer on the Barton County courthouse square Thursday afternoon. They helped mark the UWCKs reaching the half-way point in its 2012 campaign and the fact the groups casino night raised $3,500 for the effort. Pictured, left to right, are Darrell Turley, Mike Morris and David Humphrey. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

Agencies served by the United Way of Central Kansas include:
• The American Red Cross
• Barton County Youth Care
• Barton County Young  Men’s Organization
• Big Brothers/Big Sisters
• Boy Scouts of America
• Catholic Social Services
• Central Kansas CASA, Inc.
• ElderCare
• Ellinwood Heritage Center
• Family Crisis Center
• Girl Scouts of Central Kansas
• Golden Belt Home Health & Hospice
• Great Bend Children’s Learning Center
• Meals on Wheels
• Ourselves and Our Families (Coalition for the Prevention of Child Abuse)
• Salvation Army
• Teen Court
• United Cerebral Palsy

After launching the 2012 campaign Sept. 1, the United Way of Central Kansas has made significant headway, UWCK Executive Director Julie Bugner-Smith said.
“We are half way to our goal, but still could use the community’s support,” she said. The target this year is $235,000, up from last year’s target of $225,000, and the theme is Live United.
This marks the second year and second campaign for the newly renamed United Way of Central Kansas covering Barton and Pawnee counties. Leading the charge are co-chairs Marsha and Roy Westoff of Great Bend and Tama Hanson of Larned, along with new board members Jane Fox of Larned and Becca Maxwell of Ellinwood. 
Bugner-Smith said the board set the goal with an eye to an increased need and fund cuts experienced by many of the agencies UWCK serves. 
“I didn’t realize how many entities it helps,” said Ron Smith. Smith, along with David Thill, Michael Johnson Sr., Ed Neimich, Gary Burke and Todd Ost, took on heading up the campaign’s oilfield division. “We’re just looking for any and every donation we can get.”
In addition to oilfield, the drive is broken into clubs and organizations, corporate, payroll, professionals, residents and small businesses.
“For the first time in a long time, the oilfield division is trying to be proactive,” Smith said. Letters have been sent, contacts have been made and some money is already coming in.
“We’re just giving it our best shot,” Smith said. “It all goes for a good cause.”
“Every dollar counts,” Bugner-Smith said. “Many agencies have had federal and state cuts so the need is greater than ever.” Additionally, “more people are using their services,” Bugner-Smith said.
These funds go to help the 19 agencies served by UWCK. “Of what we raise, 99 percent stays in our communities,” Bugner-Smith said.
“It takes everyone to help,” Bugner-Smith said.
 To contact United Way of Central Kansas, visit the office at 1125 Williams in Great Bend, call 620-792-2403, or visit e-mail uwck@org.