United Way campaign kicks off with new chair

  • Fri Jul 13th, 2012 10:21pm
  • News

By Julie Muhlstein Herald Writer

After a second year of modest but steady revenue gains, United Way of Snohomish County is off to a promising start with its 2012 campaign.

The organization that provides grants to more than 100 local nonprofit programs announced Thursday that its total revenue in 2011 was $9.95 million. About $9.9 million was raised in 2010, and in 2009 the total was $9.8 million.

Last year’s sum included $1.8 million from the Employees Community Fund of Boeing Puget Sound, an $800,000 grant from the Boeing Co., and $540,000 from Premera Blue Cross.

Dennis Smith, president and CEO of the local United Way, said Thursday that Joyce Eleanor will be chairwoman of the 2012 United Way Campaign. Eleanor, Community Transit’s CEO since 1994, is a member of United Way’s board of directors.

“We’re thrilled to have Joyce on board. Her passion and strong sense of commitment have served our community well,” Smith said in a statement released by the agency.

With “Get on Board” as the 2012 campaign theme, Eleanor is expected to be part of a July 28 “Stuff-a-Bus” drive for food and toiletries in Lynnwood. Community Transit will park a Double Tall bus outside the Albertsons store on Highway 99 and 196th St. SW. Proceeds will help area food banks, other groups and United Way’s Local Community Fund.

Neil Parekh, spokesman for the local United Way, said the 2012 campaign is off to a strong start. Premera Blue Cross has raised $570,000, exceeding its record contributions last year. In March, Premera CEO Gubby Barlow was named Executive of the Year for a large company at United Way’s Community Caring Celebration.

Eleanor hopes to expand United Way’s workplace efforts. “After three years of stability, we are looking ahead and setting our course for growth,” she said.

Along with its initiatives focused on education and financial stability, United Way of Snohomish County supports 102 programs through 39 agencies. Among them are the YMCA of Snohomish County, Camp Fire USA, Little Red School House, Volunteers of America, Senior Services of Snohomish County, Housing Hope and Cocoon House.

“We do a big kickoff every year for the campaign,” said Bob Throckmorton, Community Transit’s director of customer relations. “It makes it easy to donate.”

Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460, muhlstein@heraldnet.com.