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United Way to host Winter Jam November 13

By: Michael Ganzman
Freelance Writer

The local chapter of United Way has been making strides to help the local community for the last 18 years.
United Way is a nonprofit organization that collects money from businesses and individuals and distributes it to various local businesses and agencies to help them function more effectively.
United Way has been a benefactor to a wide range of other organizations over the years. This year, the agencies receiving funds include the Community Center, the American Red Cross, the Senior Center, 4-H, the Cancer Support Group, the Imagination Library, fire departments from numerous districts and several others.
Unlike many other nonprofits, United Way gives donors the added benefit of choosing where their money will go, as they can specify which organization they want their contribution to be given.
“United Way has a yearly goal,” said Temple Reece, board member of United Way. “This year the goal is $40,000 and we’re about 63% there last time I checked.”
To reach the annual goal, United Way uses many fundraising options. One way they raise funds is by sending out mailing letters that ask for donations from people all across Johnson County and the surrounding area. Everybody who receives a letter can send back a desired donation amount along with the specification of which organization they want funded.
Another key part of United Way’s fundraising is the Winter Jam, an annual event that brings in local musical acts to perform in a night of community appreciation.
“We have had it for three years now,” said Judy McGuire, organizer of the Winter Jam. “We had people come out of the woodwork to help.”
The bands that will be performing at this year’s Winter Jam are the Acorn Valley Band, the Turkey Tracks Trio, Steve Dunsee and his band, Cane Mill Road and the New Covenant Band, all bringing in a mix of country, bluegrass and easy listening.
Each band will be performing for free, as all the proceeds will be donated to the organizations that are supported by the United Way.
“They are very talented and they are very generous people,” McGuire said. “We sometimes reach our end of the year goal through this event.”

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