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About 100 supporters gathered Tuesday at Reames Golf & Country Club to begin the 74th annual United Way Community Campaign with a goal to raise $507,000 that will benefit 17 local social service agencies, according to a press release.

United Way campaign chairman Dennis Winn with Klamath Energy, a division of Avangrid Renewables said, “our campaign is off to a great start and announced that $65,463 for 12.9% of our goal has already been raised thanks to early donors and campaign pacesetter efforts.”

Winn introduced the campaign leadership team and reminded everyone that the Loaned Executive Class of 2019 will begin immediately knocking on doors and giving United Way presentations at the workplace. The Loaned Executives include Marissa Davidson of the Klamath County Chamber of Commerce; Major Josh Downs and MSgt. John Williams of Kingsley Field; Jensine Kent of Umpqua Bank; and Jennifer Montag of Washington Federal Bank.

Among the highlights of the luncheon were reports by pacesetter campaign leaders: Kathy Jordan with Avangrid Renewables announced their employees donated $19,231 (a 6.8% gain) and the Avangrid Foundation will match this 100% for a total gift of $38,463. Mike Cheeseman announced Klamath Falls Toyota employees donated $5,300 and Lithia Dodge employees pledged $8,114. Triad School Key Club Co-President Elle Winn said their school coin drive raised $200, and Brooke Marshall with the City of Klamath Falls announced their employees so far have raised about 40% of their $2,500 campaign goal.

Winn thanked all of his campaign leaders present at the meeting including Lauren Jespersen, Don McDonnell, Amber Gomes, Janet Thede, Jeremy Morris, Jason Chapman, Marcus Henderson, Robyn Pfeifer, Jeff Bullock, Jenine Stuedli, Lt. Colonel Lucas Ritter and Don Boyd.

Todd Andres, United Way board president, thanked the audience for their past contributions and volunteer support.

“I’m very proud of this community, and hope that all of us working together will surpass our $507,000 goal so the United Way agencies can focus on what they do best and that’s helping people in need,” said Andres.

Contributions to the United Way can be mailed or dropped off to its office at 136 N. Third St., Klamath Falls, OR 97601. Andres reminded everyone that 99 cents of every dollar donated to our local United Way stays local to benefit nearly 20,000 Klamath Basin citizens served by its 17 participating agencies.

United Way supported agencies include Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, CASA for Children of Klamath County, Klamath-Lake Counties Food Bank, Foster Grandparents program, Klamath Crisis Center/Marta’s House, Lutheran Community Services, Klamath Hospice, KID Center, Klamath Basin Senior Citizens’ Center, The Salvation Army, SPOKES Unlimited, YMCA, Friends of the Children, Citizens for Safe Schools, Integral Youth Services, and the Klamath Falls Gospel Mission.

Andres closed the meeting by announcing that the 20th annual United Way Community Golf Challenge will be held Saturday, Sept. 14 at Shield Crest Golf Course. Contact the United Way at 541-882-5558 if you wish to play. Andres thanked the United Way corporate sponsors for making this event possible: Lithia Dodge, Avangrid Renewables, Collins Products, Columbia Forest Products, Sky Lakes Medical Center, Umpqua Bank, Lighthouse Yogurt Company, Carter – Jones Collections Service, People’s Bank, Great Basin Insurance, Pacific Power, and the Oregon Institute of Technology.