Two local corporations gave the United Way of Utah County a big lift during its annual Kickoff Campaign luncheon Wed-nesday.
Claire Averett of WordPerfect presented a corporate donation of $60,000, and Marlowe Ashton of Novell presented a corporate gift of $40,000. With these two offerings, the United Way begins its 1993 campaign. Its goal is to reach a record $1,049,000.Last year, United Way of Utah County raised $972,000.
"One-hundred-thousand dollars to start with is really outstanding," said Sherm Cloward, campaign chairman. "Over $5 million could be raised if every person in Utah County gave just $1 per week."
Funds raised from this year's campaign will go to help several human needs serviced by 21 local agencies. During the past year alone, more than 6,800 residents were helped at the Center for Women and Children in Crisis, while 9,900 were helped on the Crisis Line.
The Jeff Cooper family knows what it means to be a recipient. At the luncheon, Cooper spoke of the assistance his family received from Respite Care after his son Jeremy was dragged by a horse and suffered severe traumatic brain damage.
"We are eternally grateful to be recipients of other people's generosity," Cooper said.
Unlike many charitable organizations, the United Way keeps the majority of its allocations in Utah County to help local agencies. Ninety-nine percent of all donations stay in Utah County, with more than 91 percent of that money going to fund local charities. Only 8.5 percent is used for overhead costs.
United Way officials are concerned about the noticeable increase in cases of abuse throughout Utah County. Agencies dealing with abuse prevention and treatment serviced more than 14,000 people last year. Community and emergency services were used extensively by nearly 46,000 county residents.
United Way donations also helped in disease prevention, mental health and medical research. It also helped to facilitate the Mountainland Community Health Center.
Agencies must reapply each year for funding and are reviewed by an Allocations Committee, which is comprised of volunteer members from the community. The volunteer panel analyzes each agency and allocates funds based on the agency's responsiveness to community needs.
"In working together as a comunity through the United Way, we can leverage our efforts to have a profound impact on the lives of those around us," said Bill Hulterstrom, executive director.
Hulterstrom singled out some of the top-priority needs in the community, which include more beds for the Battered Women's Shelter, more therapists to counsel victims of child sexual abuse, affordable family counseling services, and structured programs for latch-key children before and after school.
To make a donation to the United Way call 374-2588. To volunteer, call the United Way Volunteer Center at 374-8108.