“Where else can a dollar donated touch so many lives,” said Rick Chochon, United Way of Central Kansas pacesetter co-chair and United Way Board member. He was addressed the UWCK’s first-ever Pacesetter Luncheon Thursday afternoon. It was an opportunity to honor the top 15 payroll companies and other special award winners.
Those gathered in the Best Western Courtyard Thursday represented a lot of those dollars.
Pacesetters are the top companies that support United Way through payroll deductions and other means. In the inaugural year, the pacesetters accounted for $149,000 of the $302,000 raised, Chochon said.
The celebration also honored the top three overall givers, the top three per capita donating companies, and the first-ever leader of the year, the first-ever outstanding workplace campaign winner and media award recipient.
The pacesetter concept is new to Great Bend and was the brainchild of Chochon who brought this idea with him from Columbus, Neb. It is a way to continually acknowledge the extraordinary efforts of these businesses and entities.
“All of the companies that allow the United Way of Central Kansas to come in and give presentations and are willing to participate in our annual Payroll Campaign are vital to our campaign every year,” said United Way of Central Kansas Executive Director Julie Bugner Smith. “Without these generous payroll companies, we would not be able to support our 19 community agencies the way that we do.”
The theme for the 2014 UWCK campaign was “Pay it Forward,” and Smith said all those recognized Thursday were exemplars of that motto. It never ceases to amaze her just how giving the residents of Barton and Pawnee counties are.
The efforts of the honorees are allowing UWCK to touch a lot more lives.