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United Way celebrates Pawnee County
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cBy Jim Misunas

LARNED —The United Way of Central Kansas recently changed its name, a sign of commitment to Pawnee County. United Way is housed in Great Bend, but United Way provides services through 19 agencies to Pawnee County.
Julie Bugner-Smith, executive director, announced a fundraising goal of $235,000, a boost of $10,000 from last year during a Larned Chamber of Commerce gathering Thursday at Glory Be.
Smith said Larned fifth-graders were honored recently as winners of the United Way poster contest. United Way also helped distribute more than 50 fans this summer with the assistance of Pamida. United Way also assisted with the launch of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library Sunday.
Smith said two agencies planning to expand operations in Pawnee County are RSVP and the Child Abuse Prevention Education.
Tama Hanson of Larned and Marcia and Roy Westhoff are serving as co-chairs.
“We’re excited about being part of the campaign,” said Marcia Westhoff. “United Way has the resources to help a lot of people who are in need.
Hanson said, “It’s been exciting to see how many people are involved in United Way agencies.
Agencies are The American Red Cross, Barton County Youth Care, Barton County Young Men’s Organization, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boy Scouts of America-Quivera Council, Catholic Social Services, Central Kansas CASA, Child Abuse Prevention Education, ElderCare, Inc., Ellinwood Heritage Senior Center, Family Crisis Center, Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland Inc., Golden Belt Home Health and Hospice, Great Bend Children’s Learning Center, Meals on Wheels, RSVP, The Salvation Army, Teen Court and United Cerebral Palsy of Kansas.
United Way board members include John Cross, president; Tatum Dunekack, vice president; Erika Brining, secretary; Steve Kummer, treasurer; and Desa Marmie Behr, Brian Harrison, Karea Harrison, Mark Mingenback, Leslie Mingenback, Ed Kirk, Carol Dema, Crystal Cross, Dianne Call, Becca Maxwell and Jane Fox.
For information, call (620) 792-2403; or e-mail
The video explained how different agencies provide assistance. Others, like Teen Court, provide accountability for teenagers who need to learn from their mistakes. Sentences, which generally involve communty service, are passed out by teen peer groups.
A video was played featuring 10 reasons to invest in The United Way.
• You care.
• United Way holds partner agencies and ourselves accountable.
• Investments stay in the community.
• Donations are tax deductible.
• United Way collaborates with the community.
• Contributors get a lot of “Bang for the Buck.”
• It feels good.
• Contributors are part of real solutions.
• It matters. And that’s the bottom one.