United Way Kicks Off Annual Campaign

UWNNM Executive Director Kristy Ortega, left, with UWNNM board member Cathe McClard of LANB, which has contributed more than $1 million to the community through United Way over the years. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

From left, this year’s United Way Campaign Chair Los Alamos Fire Chief Troy Hughes, SOC General Manager Jack Killeen and UWNNM Executive Director Kristy Ortega at Wednesday’s annual campaign kickoff at Ashley Pond Park. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Staff Report

United Way of Northern New Mexico hosted its annual campaign kickoff event Wednesday at Ashley Pond Park.

Los Alamos Fire Chief Troy Hughes is this year’s campaign chair. He encouraged everyone to participate. Quoting Gandhi, Hughes said “Be the change that you wish to see in the world”.

UWNNM Board President Stephen Boerigter spoke of the impact the nonprofit organizations funded by United Way have on those in need and invited the community to contact United Way to arrange tours to see that impact for themselves.

UWNNM Executive Director Kristy Ortega explained that United Way operates its fundraising campaign each fall and provides monies to nonprofits in Los Alamos and Rio Arriba counties each spring.

The criteria United Way uses to select organizations to receive funds requires they be a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit, serve Los Alamos or Rio Arriba County and filter into one of the focus areas that United Way supports including education, financial stability and health.

Ortega credited Los Alamos National Laboratory and its employees for helping United Way with its campaign. LANL matches every dollar each employee contributes. She also thanked Los Alamos National Bank, which provides office space for United Way staff and contributes $50,000 every year to help the community. Ortega also commended SOC, which has contributed $10,000 annually for many years to United Way. Both SOC and LANB have contributed more than $1 million each over the years to help those in need throughout the community. 

This year community nonprofits are asking for $1,129,712 to meet the needs of their clients and Ortega encouraged everyone to give what they can and also to consider volunteering their time. United Way has many volunteer committees that work hard to help those most vulnerable in the community. Each plays an important role to the progress made in Northern New Mexico because UWNNM is a volunteer driven organization, Ortega said.

To get involved, individuals can sign up by emailing Volunteer@UnitedWayNNM.org. Updates are sent out as volunteer opportunities come up throughout the year. United Way Day of Action, mailings, office work, proof reading and event coordination are just a few opportunities available.

For more information, to donate or volunteer, visit www.UnitedWayNNM.org.

UWNNM Board President Stephen Boerigter speaks to the crowd gathered at Wednesday’s annual campaign kickoff. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

The audience is filled with UWNNM Board members, staff, community members, nonprofit agencies and local ‘Cornerstone’ companies, which donate $5,000 or more annually to United Way to help those in need. United Way Regional Partners include LANL and LANS and Cornerstone companies include LANB, SOC, Del Norte Credit Union, Cray Corporation, RE/MAX, Rio Grande Sun. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

United Way Campaign Chair Los Alamos Fire Chief Troy Hughes. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce Manager Nancy Partridge addresses the group as UWNNM Executive Director Kristy Ortega listens at right. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Standing from left, Los Alamos Medical Center Marketing Director Mary Beth Maassen, LAMC CEO Feliciano Jiron and his wife Johanna Jiron, YMCA Executive Director Linda Daly and Los Alamos High School teacher Kathy Boerigter and her husband UWNNM Board President Stephen Boerigter. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

The crowd gathers at Ashley Pond Park for Wednesday’s United Way campaign kickoff. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

SOC Manager Jack Killeen and Liddie Martinez, right, present a $10,000 check to UWNNM Executive Director Kristy Ortega. Over the years, SOC has donated more than $1 million to United Way to help the community. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

UWNNM Board member Cathe McClard of LANB. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

The Craig Martin Experience entertains the crowd. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

The Blue Window Bistro provides the food at Wednesday’s annual event. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Mary Brooks orders a lemon creme from ‘de la Crème’ Creme Soda Creations, which provided drinks at Wednesday’s gathering. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

The UWNNM annual campaign runs through December. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

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