Saying thanks the United Way |

Saying thanks the United Way

Carolyn Pope

The United Way of the Eagle River Valley held its annual Leadership Giving Recognition at Jack’s Place at the Shaw Cancer Pavilion in Edwards on Oct. 24. Space for the event was donated by the Vail Valley Medical Center, and catering was underwritten by 1st Bank, while Drink! donated some of the wine.

The reception gave the opportunity for many nonprofits that have benefited from the generosity of the United Way to mingle and meet the board of directors of the United Way who make the donations possible.

“It is wonderful to have all our donors and agencies meet annually so they can all reflect on how we all work to serve our community together,” said Tracey Samdahl, president of the board of the United Way of the Eagle River Valley.

Over the past 10 years, the local United Way has raised over $1 million. Funds are distributed to a wide variety of local nonprofits, and all of the funds go to Eagle County nonprofits. Organizations that benefited this year included: Gore Range Natural Science School, SOS Outreach, the Literacy Project, CASA, Bright Future Foundation, Salvation Army, Vail Mountain Rescue Group and Think First.

During the year, a committee of local volunteers reviews each agency’s needs and programs. It meets with agency representatives and discuss exactly how and where the money will be used. Once recommendations are made, the board of directors reviews and approves the requests. The organization manages to keep overhead down, ensuring that the most money possible goes to organizations in need. Over 90.5 cents of every campaign dollar go directly to local agencies. Only eight cents of that dollar is used to run its office and the annual fundraising campaign, while 1.5 cents supports state and national programs.

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For more information, to volunteer or to make a donation, call United Way at 970-479-2895 or e-mail Its Web site is

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