Staci Harrison, Sedalia Pettis County United Way executive director,  is inviting  the public to come out to Liberty Park this Saturday, Sept. 16 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to help kick off the United Way’s 2017-18 campaign.


Staci Harrison
Kurt Parsons

The theme for this year’s campaign is “It’s Not About Goal, It’s About Need.”


The free event is being billed as a three-hour “community celebration” with numerous carnival games, and Harrison said that celebration includes food.


Some of the special guests on Saturday include the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Sedalia Fire Department, Sedalia Police Department, Pettis County Fire Department, Pettis County Sheriff's Department, Whiteman AFB, Missouri National Guard, Mo Kids Outdoors and the Missouri Department of Conservation.


In addition, One Track Train will be performing live.


“It’s our way to say thank you. We know that have a very generous community,” Harrison said.  “Every year we try to raise somewhere around $500,000 to be able to meet the needs that we have here in Pettis County in the areas of education, income, health and safety net services. “


She added that United Way’s overall goal is to increase the average household median income. “Not one organization can do it by themselves, but when we come together  as a community, the United Way  is uniquely positioned to be able strategically do that,” Harrison said.  “We can get a lot accomplished.”


Harrison noted that the United Way wants to remove stumbling blocks here in Pettis County that’s holding people back from taking that next step in their life.


“Our funded partners are critical because they are the boots on the ground, they are the individuals who are meeting directly with our community members who need a little bit of a hand-up, versus a hand-out,” Harrison said.


As far as the campaign, something different was tried this year. “We had a pacesetter event, so Gardner-Denver and ProEnergy both took on the challenge to have a campaign in the month of July,” Harrison said. “Those two organizations alone set the pace for our campaign. And collectively, they have already raised $120,000.”


The traditional campaign will now take place from September through December.

Tyson Complex Manager Ben McFarland is the campaign chair this year.

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