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United Way of Yavapai County celebrates kickoff of 2017 campaign

United Way of Yavapai County Executive Director Annette Olson kicks off the 2017 United Way giving campaign

United Way of Yavapai County Executive Director Annette Olson kicks off the 2017 United Way giving campaign

The United Way of Yavapai County celebrated the kick-off to its campaign season with a reception at the downtown Prescott Holiday Courtyard on Sept. 15 that was attended by a number of leaders of local charities who spoke about how United Way dollars assist them in fulfilling their mission to benefit the community’s adults and children in a variety of programs.

Be it emergency shelter or mentoring programs for young boys, the United Way’s annual grants provide financial support that these organizations rely on to do their work.

United Way Executive Director Annette Olson said the evening reception was a “real special experience to bring together the giving campaigns with the programs; a real celebration of how philanthropy can change lives.”

Much of the United Way’s campaign dollars come through employee contributions.

The United Way just recently awarded some $145,000 to 12 agencies for 2017 programs.

To get the evening off to a cowboy-themed start, Chairman Mary Ann Suttles and fellow board members Laura Phelps, Terry Rake, Charles Jerzeycke, JoAnne Hilde, Meredith Dunlap, Dwayne Miller and Irene Winter did a little “boot scootin,” Olson said.

That was followed by several agency leaders who talked about their various programs: Charles Matheus of Boys to Men Mentoring Network, Bobbie Levrich of Prescott Shelter Services; Dan Brown of Humboldt Unified School District and Anna Nugent of the Launch Pad Teen Center.

Representatives of several other United Way grant recipients were also in attendance, including People Who Care, Catholic Charities Safe Sitter and teen leadership program and the Bagdad afterschool reading program.

The Board honored seven corporate giving leaders:

Freeport McMoran Copper and Gold, Inc.; Arizona Public Service; the town of Prescott Valley; Print-Pak; Walmart; Costco; and United Parcel Service.

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