By CHANTELLE TURNER
United Way of Utah County has raised $34,962,917 over the last 35 years to help those in need in the community.
The figure was unveiled Thursday by Keith Halls, general vice president of Nu Skin International and executive board chair for United Way of Utah County, at their 35th anniversary celebration at their annual Thank You Day Celebration.
Part of the Thank You Celebration included paying tribute to companies and individuals who have contributed to volunteer and fund raising efforts.
“The reason we do it is to recognize the people who have given their time and resources so generously in this community to serve those who need help the most,” said Tiffany Olson, director of communications.
Awards were given to Nu Skin International and Alumax Extrusions for outstanding campaigns. Nu Skin raised over $78,000. Part of their success was a result of a video produced in-house with employee testimonials about United Way. Alumax Extrusions has 66 percent employee participation.
Awards for outstanding campaign increases was given to Rayloc, who increased donations 88 percent from last year, and to Nestle Frozen Foods who increased donations through employee testimonials and raised $67,524 for United Way.
Matrixx Marketing was awarded outstanding new campaign, pledging $24,000 from an employee base with the majority being students.
United Way volunteers were also recognized for their services.
Part of United Way’s heritage has included BYU since 1963 when it was founded. Ernest L. Wilkinson helped raise initial funds to start United Way of Utah County. The fund raising efforts of BYU still continue.
“The largest employee donor is BYU,” said Bill Hulterstrom, president of United Way of Utah County. “Employees of BYU voluntarily deduct out of their paychecks $143,000 annually.”
Amelia Matthews, assistant director of Public Affairs and Guest Relations at BYU, was in attendance. She coordinates the campaign effort on campus.
The campaign runs every September for three weeks. A notice is sent out to the employees to participate in the Day of Caring. On that day, employees take a half-day from work to perform service in the community, Matthews said.
“We paint and do gardening. Last year we worked at the Alpine House,” she said.
Over 100 BYU employees participated in the Day of Caring last year. The response from the staff, faculty and administration has been good and has increased each year, Matthews said.
United Way of Utah County helps fund 22 agencies that assist the less fortunate in the community. Last year the campaign raised $1.6 million. Halls announced the goal to take the campaign of 1998 to new heights and raise $3 million.