United Way kicks off fundraising campaign

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times
Nancy Bauder, executive director of the United Way of Leavenworth County, speaks Thursday during a kickoff breakfast for an annual fundraising campaign. Also pictured is Tina Wardlow, chairwoman for the campaign.

Representatives of the United Way of Leavenworth County have a goal of raising at least $200,000 through an annual fundraising campaign.

The organization's 66th annual campaign was kicked off Thursday with a breakfast.

"Let's just take this year and run with it," said Tina Wardlow, chairwoman of this year's fundraising campaign.

Wardlow said 2020 was bad, but 2021 is not much better as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

"I want to do something different this year," she said.

Wardlow said she wants the fundraising campaign to be more fun.

The United Way of Leavenworth County supports multiple nonprofit organizations that provide services to people in the county.

Derek Wohlgemuth, chairman of the United Way of Leavenworth County's governing board, said last year "really showed what our county is all about."

"Our county needed assistance more than I can ever remember," he said.

And he said members of the community provided support.

Nancy Bauder, executive director of the United Way of Leavenworth County, recalled Thursday a man who came to the local United Way office last year.

She said he was seeking assistance for the first time because of a loss of employment.

"We saw a lot of that last year," she said.

Nancy Bauder, executive director of the United Way of Leavenworth County, speaks Thursday during a kickoff breakfast for an annual fundraising campaign.

Bauder said the situation the man found himself in can happen to anybody.

"You never know when it's you that's going to need that help," she said.

The theme for this year's campaign is "Together We Can ... Together We Will."

Wardlow said the fundraising campaign will last through October.

Thursday's breakfast took place at Fairfield Inn & Suites in Leavenworth. A representative of the hotel, Brian Huntington, said people who book rooms at Fairfield Inn & Suites or the neighboring TownPlace Suites can request special United Way of Leavenworth County room rates. A portion of the money paid for these rates will support the United Way of Leavenworth County.

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