United Way Of Western Nebraska Fund Drive Tops $401,000

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    The United Way of Western Nebraska’s annual fund drive topped its goal for the past year as $401,020 was brought in to help fund its dozens of partner agencies in the 11 Panhandle counties as well as Goshen and Platte counties in Wyoming.

    United Way Executive Director Karen Benzel told a Wednesday news conference at the United Way office in Scottsbluff and offered on Zoom that it was truly a team effort that started with a strong group of businesses that make the initial contributions each year.

An unexpected $9,000 donation came in when Alliance-based Pepsi Cola of Western Nebraska gave the prize it was as Distributor of the Year. 

     Shane Wilson of Scottsbluff Screen Print, one of 3 co-chairs, said he was thrilled with the willingness of businesses and individuals in the Panhandle to contribute.

The other co-chairs were Ally Berggren of Regional West Health Systems and Dr Derek Shafer of Box Butte General Hospital. Several Loaned Executives actively assisted in raising funds for United Way.

     United Way tracks the dollars raised in each county to ensure they remain local and impactful in the communities where they are given. 

      Benzel says she and the board will soon start what may be the most difficult part of the fundraising process – going through requests from the partner non-profits and deciding which will be funded and to what level.

      Benzel says despite raising over $400,000 this time, requests still outpace the money available.