LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Community made United Way kickoff a success

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I wish to offer gratitude to the community for helping us kick off this year's United Way campaign with another fabulously fun day at the YMCA.

This past Sunday more than 600 people participated in an afternoon of fun and games. I'd like to acknowledge the many community and partner agency volunteers who make it possible to offer this wonderful free family event.

We appreciate Randy Grant, his board and staff at the Walla Walla YMCA for hosting Family Fun Day again this year. The beautiful grounds and facilities of the Y have been home to this annual United Way campaign kickoff event for more than 20 years! The Y and our other participating agencies have grown the event to become a much-loved community tradition. Or, as my friend Jim Bock recently called it, "a little piece of Americana."

In fact, in the last couple of years I have had young parents tell me that they attended Family Fun Day as a child and appreciate being able to share it with their own children.

What a marvelous testimony to our caring community.

I'd also like to acknowledge the United Way Board of Directors and the many wonderful Whitman College students who lent their time and energy setting up the event and staying to help with many of the fun activities. Also, I want to mention the Early Learning Coalition volunteers for participating and giving away hundreds of age- appropriate books.

Last, but not least, I appreciate the U-B for its wonderful ad support.

Now comes the challenging part of the campaign -- meeting our goal to raise $460,000. I hope the community will continue to rally around this other long-held tradition of neighbor caring for neighbor.

Funds raised in the campaign go to support the critical programs and services of our local partner agencies.

For more information about United Way, our partner agencies, and how you can get involved, please visit our website at unitedwayww.org.

Liz McDevitt,
executive director
United Way of Walla Walla County

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