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The United Way of the Klamath Basin will kick off its 74th annual community campaign on Sept. 10 at Reames Golf & Country Club to raise $507,000 to benefit 17 local social service agencies, according to a press release.

Todd Andres, regional business manager of Pacific Power and the 2019 United Way board president, announced that Dennis Winn, manager of Klamath Energy, a division of Avangrid Renewables, is chairing the community campaign this year.

“The Avangrid Renewables Foundation matches 100% what the Klamath Energy employees contribute to our United Way and are partnering with our local United Way to help fund in part the program services provided by the Klamath Crisis Center/Marta’s House,” said Andres.

“I believe the United Way is the best way to give back to our local community because 99 cents of every dollar donated stays local and supports a variety of local agencies that serve nearly 20,000 Klamath citizens every year,” said Winn.

United Way is contacting local workplace owners and CEOs to lead the way as Campaign Pacesetters. Pacesetters strive to achieve a minimum 10% increase in contributions and conduct their United Way campaign in August. They will announce their results at the campaign kickoff luncheon. Winn announced that Klamath Energy, Lithia Dodge, Lithia Toyota, and the City of Klamath Falls have all agreed to be Pacesetters so far. Winn added that the Jordan Cove LNG project has already presented a $2,500 gift to the 2019 campaign, along with a generous gift from the Triad School KEY Club coin drive concluded in March.

“Volunteers have always played a vital role in the success of our United Way going back to 1945 when it all began,” said Andres. “Today, our United Way has about 200 volunteers that help raise and allocate the contributions that our local businesses and citizens entrust in us to spend wisely to help people and improve the Klamath Basin’s overall quality of life,” added Andres.”

Community campaign leaders in 2019 so far include Lauren Jespersen (associate campaign chairman), Jenine Stuedli, Don McDonnell, Amber Gomes, Sheri Hargrave, Janet Thede, Jason Chapman, Dr. Holly Montjoy, Marcus Henderson, Robyn Pfeifer, Jeremy Morris, Tom Hottman, Ray Martens, Mike Cheeseman, Don Boyd and the Henley High School Key Club students.

Lt. Colonel Lucas Ritter of the Oregon Air National Guard at Kingsley Field will serve as chairman of the United Way Loaned Executive Management Development program. Participants will have nine hours of training Sept. 4-5 in which they learn about the history and fundamentals of United Way, practice public speaking and sales techniques, and hear from many of United Way’s member agency executives about the program services they provide. There is no charge to employers for participating in this program and each volunteer will serve about 25 hours during United Way’s nine-week campaign.

The United Way Community Campaign week will conclude with its 20th annual community golf challenge on Saturday, Sept. 14th at Shield Crest Golf Course. The cost to play is $75 per person with a discount for Shield Crest members. The entry fee includes 18 holes of golf, cart, breakfast, lunch, raffle tickets, and complimentary Bridgestone golf balls. The event’s premier sponsor is Pacific Power. Corporate sponsors include Avangrid Renewables, Sky Lakes Medical Center, Umpqua Bank, People’s Bank, Columbia Forest Products, Collins Products, Great Basin Insurance, Lighthouse Yogurt, and Carter-Jones Collections Service. Additional sponsors are encouraged.

For more information, or to get involved, please contact United Way at 541-882-5558.