United Way of Mesa County raises almost $1 million

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- United Way of Mesa County celebrated the hard work of their donors, volunteers and staff Tuesday.

They managed to raise almost one million dollars from donations and fundraising events.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars will go straight back into Mesa County helping support local nonprofits.

"Many, many years we have received funding,” said Jill Derrieux, executive director at Mesa County Partners.

This year 44 programs have applied to get funding.

"The money does stay locally that's the benefit, folks are helping folks in this valley,” said Campaign Co-Chair, Steve Ammentorp.

United Way has helped serve local non-profits for over 50 years.

"You know United Way was one of the very first funders of CASA over 20 years ago and they have consistently funded us throughout the years and we would not be where we are today without their support,” said Executive Director of CASA of Mesa County, Janet Rowland.

From CASA to Partners.

"It helps us serve over 1,000 kids in Mesa County every year it goes to all three of our programs, the Conservation Corps, the restoration program and mentoring,” said Derrieux.

Any Mesa County non-profit can apply for the money.

"We do an allocation process where some 50 plus volunteers go to all the agencies that apply for funding and we make that announcement about May,” said Ammentorp.

The group themed the event with fairy tales, meaning anyone can have a fairy godmother who is always looking out for you.

"With all the cuts we have had in government funding if the community agencies like United Way don't step up and help us we would really feel the need even more to serve these kids,” said Derrieux.

After today the allocation process begins. All the non-profit applicants must be inspected by a volunteer, who will then recommend which companies get the funding and how much they should get.

United Way will keep the campaign open for pledges in order to maximize the funds available. The final total will be announced in late spring.

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