"What's raised here, stays here" is the motto of this year's Vegas-themed campaign for United Way of the Pennyrile, meaning that the money raised in each county stays in that county to help fund its nonprofits.
Campaign co-chairs Robin Tabor and Dustin Gilbert announced during Thursday's campaign kick-off breakfast that each county its serves — Christian, Todd, Trigg and Caldwell — will have its own fundraising goal.
"We had a big discussion and decided that each county needs to know their needs, so that's why we set four different goals for four different counties," Tabor said.
After a few computer glitches, a virtual slot machine revealed fundraising goals of $48,000 for Caldwell County, $775,000 for Christian County, $41,000 for Todd County and $42,000 for Trigg County.
"This is the amount of money it is going to take to fully fund their programs," Tabor said.
United Way of the Pennyrile helps fund 20 nonprofits across those four counties. Some of those agencies include Sanctuary Inc., the Boys and Girls Club, the Dyslexia Association, Trace Industries, The Salvation Army and Pennyroyal Hospice, to name a few.
A campaign video revealed that 74,355 people in the Pennyrile region were helped by United Way in 2018.
"66% of the population of the counties we serve utilized services from one or more of our 20 partner agencies — 66%, that's a big number," Tabor said.
Some other statistics show that last year 162,142 meals were served to those in need, 709 free doctors visits were given, 406 residents were rescued and 234 children received counseling.
"Without your continued support of United Way of the Pennyrile, we couldn't have made this possible," Gilbert said. "We want everyone to know that the funds they give stay local and give back to your neighbors, your family and the clients and customers you serve every day that work here and live here."
So far, Tabor said over $200,000 has been raised by United Way pacesetters whose fundraising efforts started months before Thursday's kickoff breakfast at the Christian County Senior Center.
The commercial division — which includes $4,116 from the Christian County Chamber of Commerce staff, $27,000 from Planters Bank and $2,400 from United Southern Bank, among others — has raised over $49,000 to date.
The education division has raised $2,100 so far, with Hopkinsville Community College leading as the pacesetter.
"We're really excited to have all four of our school districts on board this year, and they will start their campaigns in the next month or so," said Annie Catron, United Way of the Pennyrile president and CEO.
Other division totals so far include:
*Government - $25,691
*Professional - $12,355
*Industrial - $103,170
A series of fundraising events will take place over the next few months, including United We Dine with participating restaurants donating proceeds to the campaign; Small Business Week from Oct. 21 to Oct. 25; Casino Night/Reverse Raffle with a date and location to be announced in January; and the campaign celebration will be March 12.
"We look forward to having a party Vegas style and thanking everyone for their support," Tabor said.
To donate to United Way of the Pennyrile, text "give2uwp" to 313131.
Reach Zirconia Alleyne at 270-887-3243 or firstname.lastname@example.org.