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United Way of Yavapai County invites community to ‘show up united’ Nov.5

United Way Executive Director Patty Bell-Demers, right, Old Town Mission in the Verde Valley Executive Director Kellie Wilson, rear, and her daughter after filling back-to-school backpacks at the Old Town Mission. (Patty Bell-Demers/Courtesy)

United Way Executive Director Patty Bell-Demers, right, Old Town Mission in the Verde Valley Executive Director Kellie Wilson, rear, and her daughter after filling back-to-school backpacks at the Old Town Mission. (Patty Bell-Demers/Courtesy)

The United Way of Yavapai County Executive Director Patty Bell-Demers is excited to celebrate her agency’s community impact achievements over the last year as it also shares its future vision with some 200 community guests at a festive gala on Friday, Nov. 5 at the Findlay Toyota Center in Prescott Valley.

“We are asking people to show up united,” Bell-Demers said reiterating the agency’s theme to be embraced at what will be the agency’s annual Community Impact Awards gala that begins at 5:30 p.m. with dinner at 6:30. The evening celebrations are expected to end at 9 p.m.

Tickets for the gala are $65 for an individual, $120 for a couple and $500 for a table of 8.


United Way of Yavapai County/Courtesy

The event will incorporate videos of United Way projects over the past year, including those that were specific to the COVID-19 pandemic, scholarships to five veteran students from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Yavapai College, $285,220 in grant distributions to 21 non-profit Yavapai County charities and more.

As Bell-Demers explained, the United Way’s role across Yavapai County is to help unite charitable agencies with businesses, organizations and individuals able to provide the resources and opportunities able to help the most vulnerable residents struggling with “lost jobs, lost homes and lost hope.”

The United Way’s longstanding mission has been to be a uniting catalyst across the county so that “together we can mobilize the caring power of our community,” she said.

“Bottom line: “We want to make our community a better place,” Bell-Demers said. “When we shop up united we can help reimagine our community, and build in ways that create more opportunities instead of deepening divides.”

As this is a celebration, and fundraising effort, Bell-Demers said the actual monetary goal for 2021-2022 is something of a “blank check,” with the United Way’s hope always to partner with the its generous communities to “do better today than we did yesterday so as to meet the fluid needs of our partnering agencies and programs.”

For the nonprofit and community partners attending the gala — and there are still tickets left — Bell-Demers said there will be gifts, prizes, great food and fellowship, and a few surprises about what the United Way has planned for the coming year.


The United Way of Yavapai County assisted with Friends of the Paulden Library on their new book barn, a project it continues to support. (United Way of Yavapai County/Courtesy)

One outreach Bell-Demers was willing to share before the event has to do with an expansion of workshop offerings to area nonprofits and community leaders through its Center of Organizational Excellence.

The center has been in existence for several years, but COVID-19 limited the ability for in-person activities, Bell-Demers said. Through a $15,000 gift from Desert Financial Credit Union, the United Way in January will launch new, in-person workshops, as well as some hybrid and online learning opportunities. The workshops, with fees of about $30 a session, will feature such topics as leadership, program management, finance and accounting, grant writing, even cyber security issues, agency officials said. At the gala, Bell-Demers said guests will be asked to fill out a needs assessment to determine other types of programs that are in demand.

Most of all, Bell-Demers said her agency is eager to spend some time, and acknowledge its community and corporate partners, event sponsors, and all who live the United Way theme of “Show Up United.”

“We want to love on those who have made a huge difference in the community,” she said.

Follow Nanci Hutson on Twitter @HutsonNanci. Reach her at 928-445-3333 ext. 2041 or email

United Way grant recipients

The United Way of Yavapai County will be distributing $285,220 in grants to 21 nonprofit partner agencies providing services that further the agency’s mission to promote education, financial stability and health and wellness to citizens in its area communities. These agencies will be honored at the agency’s gala event scheduled for Nov. 5 at the Findlay Toyota Center in Prescott Valley.

The grant recipients this year are: Agape House of Prescott’s transitional housing for families program: Arizona Serve of Prescott College; Bagdad PTO PALS program; Bagdad Unified School District STEM Reloaded program; Boys & Girls Club of Central Arizona Power Hour; Friends of the Paulden Library Book Barn Fencing project; Humboldt Unified School District Catch Up Reading Program; The Launch Pad Teen Center’s academic mentoring and tutoring programs; Manzanita Outreach food security program for children; Old Town Mission restroom renovation project; Paulden Food Bank building improvements; People Who Care in Prescott Teaching Technology to Neighbors program; Polara Health youth in transition program; Prescott Area Habitat for Humanity family house project; Prescott Area Shelter Services for homeless women and children; Prescott Community Cupboard Food Bank; Prescott YMCA program to address area children’s summer learning loss; Verde Valley Habitat for Humanity critical home repair project; Verde Valley Homeless Coalition’ homeless center and overnight shelter; and Yavapai Big Brothers Big Sisters training for staff and volunteer in the Verde Valley.

To register and buy a ticket for the event, visit or call 928-778-6605.

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