Family Fun Night kicks off United Way campaign


By Sue Cody


United Way of Clatsop County (UWCC) kicks off its annual giving campaign Tuesday, Sept. 20, with Family Fun Night at the Astoria Armory, featuring a bounce house, games, hula hoops, jump rope, face painting, skating, a raffle and other activities.


The 13 local agencies that partner with UWCC will offer these events along with information about how they provide support for health, education and financial stability in the community.


“We want to create healthy families, a healthy community,” says Jennifer Holen, UWCC executive director. “These agencies are doing such incredible work, we thought it was important to show the community what they do and why United Way is important.”


Raising awareness through the Family Fun Night will give people a chance to see for themselves what services agencies are providing, while enjoying some fun activities, Holen says. Attendees can visit with representatives, gather information and see what is needed by each group.


A video highlighting the partner agencies allows viewers to meet the faces and see the great work the agencies do, says Holen. Blind Pilot granted United Way the use of its music for the video, which will be shown at the Family Fun Night and at presentations.


The campaign


An advanced giving campaign began with 700 letters going out to previous contributors, soliciting donations. A huge fundraiser for UWCC is the ever-popular Iron Chef Goes Coastal. Tickets are now available for the Nov. 1 event on the website:


Another way to give is through the workplace. From September through November, employees are able to pledge funds through their employers, such as Costco and Georgia Pacific. Some employers match those funds.


The United Way is a worldwide organization with a mission to mobilize communities by working together for the common good. All funds raised in Clatsop County stay in Clatsop County. The local office is funded by the worldwide United Way, so all donations go directly to each organization.


Partner agencies have the advantage of using United Way funds to keep the lights on, pay bills or buy personal care items. Many other funding sources restrict how their money may be spent, such as for salaries, printing, etc.


At Family Fun Night “the whole community can come and be part of the story,” Holen says. “People will have a chance to join the fun and see how their support makes a difference.”


Clatsop County partner organizations

• Astoria Armory

• Boy Scouts of America (Fort Clatsop District)

• Camp Kiwanilong

• Clatsop CASA

• Clatsop Community Action

• The Harbor

• The Healing Circle (VOCA)

• Helping Hands

• Hope House

• Lighthouse for Kids

• Lives in Transition

• Lunch Buddy Mentoring Program

• Restoration House