Eudora wins United Way coin drive
The Eudora community pulled out another win this year over rival Baldwin and raised its fund-raising goal to 52 percent after the recent Eudora/Baldwin "Weigh-In For United Way" loose change challenge.
Residents of both communities were encouraged to bring spare change to the Oct. 27 football game between Eudora and Baldwin high schools at Liston Stadium in Baldwin City.
Collection jars were placed at the secondary school offices for a week-and-a-half before the game and then at the entrance gates of the stadium for football fans to donate their loose change on behalf of their home communities, said Colleen Z. Gregoire, campaign and communications manager for United Way of Douglas County.
The jar with the largest contribution by weight won that community a traveling Weigh-In For United Way trophy.
Eudora won the competition for the second year, with loose change contributions weighing in at 654 pounds. Baldwin's contributions weighed in at 331 pounds.
The students in Angela Yarnell's sixth-hour men's ensemble at Eudora High School brought in the most change for the Eudora competition -- 221 pounds. The high school brought in a total of 599 pounds of change, or $1,063.99.
Lisa Foust's homeroom class at Eudora Middle School brought in the most at its school with six pounds.
"I was amazed at the amount the high school brought in this year," United Way Eudora Division chairperson Theresa Abel said. "Last year's total contribution from the Eudora community was 251 pounds, so this was incredible."
Eudora High School student council members Kelsey Epperson and Megan Ballock, high school counselor Paul Walrod and Abel accepted the traveling trophy for the Eudora community during halftime ceremonies at the football game.
"We were concerned the 'Weigh-In' wouldn't go as well this year because of the recent national fund-raisers, but it's obvious the two communities came through, as usual.
"That is what's so nice about living in a small town -- everyone pulls together in time of need."
Change and dollar bill contributions brought in $1,338.18 from Eudora and $1,150.66 from Baldwin, for a total of $2,488.84.
"The 'Weigh-In for United Way' is a lot of fun," Abel said. "It's a friendly rivalry that keeps getting bigger and better every year."
With about three weeks left in this year's campaign, donations are running slightly behind last year, however campaign chairperson Ann Gardner said she was confident this year's drive would top last year's total.
Gardner said only about half the businesses that conducted employee campaigns have reported in and hoped the remaining totals would be strong.
Funds are given to the United Way's member agencies, which offer educational programs and health and human services to Douglas County residents.
Abel said Eudora residents used the services of 23 of the 25 United Way agencies in Douglas County last year.
"These agencies received nearly 3,000 requests for service from Eudora residents, so you can see there is a need in our community."