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UWCK appeals to community for support in reaching goal
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With the end of the United Way of Central Kansas 2020 Campaign just weeks away, board and staff members of United Way of Central Kansas appeal to community members to help close the gap on the final 8 percent needed to reach their goal of $275,000. Pictured here: Gaila Demel, Desa Marmie-Behr, Becca Maxwell, Sarah Shirer, Brad Shirer, John Cross, Cari Ringwald, Paula Mauler, Charell Owings

In August, the United Way of Central Kansas kicked off its 2020 campaign to raise $275,000. So far, 92 percent of that goal has been met, and with the end of the first quarter of 2020 nearing, UWCK Executive Director Gaila Demel is anticipating the finalization of some corporate matches. But it won’t be enough to close the gap, she told the Great Bend Tribune on Friday. 

“We’re so close”, states Gaila Demel, Executive Director, United Way of Central Kansas. “Our 2020 Campaign looks similar to the past two years end results. It’s that last 7-10 percent amount we still need to reach the annual goal of $275,000.”

After the 2020 campaign kicked off in August with the annual fundraising event, workplace presentations were held throughout the fall and came to a close at the end of the year. For those unable to pledge dollars through the workplace campaigns, the direct mailer option provides a means for community members to donate to UWCK directly. 

“Our goal is in sight, and we appeal to the entire Central Kansas community to help us carry this over the finish line,” said Desa Marmie, UWCK Board President, “Your help is needed and greatly appreciated.”

UWCK is committed to its community partners and the work they do, Demel said. 

“They fight the hard fight, they are the champions of the work they do, and they continually strive for the betterment of our communities helping families, seniors, and children and those in need across the spectrum,” she added. 

The UWCK Board of Directors will be considering the 2021 Campaign goal in the coming months. Lowering the goal in order to best meet the requests received through allocations is one option the board and staff feel may be in the best interest of their community partners. 

“This is a difficult topic and discussion because we know how much the community partners depend on our funding and we, in turn, want to do as much as we can for their mission”, Gaila Demel, Executive Director, UWCK. “Again, we welcome donations large and small. Collectively, small dollar amounts add up to several dollars and the big total is what counts”. 

Those interested in donating are urged to mail a check to United Way of Central Kansas, 1125 Williams, Great Bend, KS 67530. Donations can also be made at and click on “donate”.