With the goal of raising $200,000, the United Way of Leavenworth County kicked off its annual fundraising campaign Thursday.

With the goal of raising $200,000, the United Way of Leavenworth County kicked off its annual fundraising campaign Thursday.

“We’re going to improve the quality of life for a lot of residents here,” said Wendell Maddox, executive director of the United Way of Leavenworth County.

He spoke during a kickoff breakfast.

The United Way supports 19 nonprofit organizations in Leavenworth County. These agencies are referred as United Way’s community partners.

“I really believe in strong partnerships,” Maddox said.

Maddox said he will be working with the community partners to raise more money and increase services.

He asked those attending the kickoff breakfast to “join this fight.”

“I want everyone to make that commitment today,” he said.

Maddox is new to the United Way of Leavenworth County. He joined the agency at the beginning of August.

He previously worked for more than 17 years for the United Way of Wyandotte County. He spent the last 13 of those years serving as that organization’s president and chief executive officer.

Maddox retired from his job in Wyandotte County. But he said something told him he was not done yet.

Maddox said he believes he has skills and talents that can be utilized in Leavenworth County.

“I think the United Way is in good hands with Wendell,” Kurt Seelbach said.

Seelbach is the CEO of Armed Forces Insurance. He also is the honorary chairman for the new fundraising campaign.

The theme for the campaign is “A United Community Moving Forward.”

The United Way campaigns traditionally have concluded during the fall. But Maddox said the organization is starting a year-round campaign because a fall campaign may not be suited for some companies’ business cycles.

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