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United Way set to hand out awards

The United Way of Kitsap County will kick off its annual campaign Monday at the Silverdale Beach Hotel in Silverdale, but unlike past years this year’s event will feature an added twist.

“United Way of Kitsap County will present four separate awards to organizations and businesses who have helped improve the lives of Kitsap residents,” United Way director of resource development Patricia Hennessy said. “This is the first time United Way of Kitsap County has given such awards.”

The luncheon will be held at the Silverdale Beach Hotel and starts at noon and coincides with the United Way Annual Campaign Kick-off.

The recognition given are known as Community Impact Awards, Hennessy said.

This year’s awards will be given to: 

• Town and Country Markets, Inc. for their support of local area food banks. Each week, the organization donates 1,500 pounds of produce to the Kitsap County Food Bank Coalition.

• Navy Region Northwest in acknowledgement of a contract they have with Peninsula Services that provides disabled adults with livable wage jobs.  The contract with Peninsula Services employ more than 100 people at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bangor and Keyport.

• Bremerton Police Department for its involvement in the United Way Kids and Cops program. Bremerton was the first law enforcement agency in the county to participate in the program which now includes the Port Orchard Police Department and Sherriff’s Office.  Nearly 300 children have benefited from this program since late 2005.

• Kitsap County Dental Society for their members’ participation in the Access to Baby and Child Dentistry (ABCD) program.  More than 20 dentists from the society have received specialized training through the University of Washington School of Pediatric Dentistry. The training teaches general dentists and their staff how to care for children as young as one year of age. The ABCD program targets low-income families whose children are at greater risk of developing cavities.

 “We are recognizing these businesses and organizations because they support our community and our agenda of making Kitsap County a great place for all of us,” said Colin Morrison, United Way’s President of the Board of Directors.  “Our Community Impact Awards give credit to innovative thinking and partnerships that address the root cause of a problem and help our neighbors.”

The awards given by United Way align with the agency’s four community impact areas and funding priorities. These impact areas include:

• Building safe and caring communities – all individuals and families have adequate food, clothing and shelter.

• Supporting aging and vulnerable populations – the elderly and disabled in our community have opportunities to live as independent as possible.

• Helping children and youth succeed – children are ready to start school and succeed in life.

• Promoting access to health and wellness – all Kitsap residents have access to affordable medical, dental and mental health care.

 “United Way has always been about community and we know that we need others to help us do our work,” said Dave Foote, executive director.  “Without the support of the community and the great work of our honorees our job would be very difficult.”

Ralph Munro, former Secretary of the State of Washington will be the keynote speaker. The event will also mark the official kick-off of the United Way’s annual campaign. Specific to the annual campaign, local business and United Way member agencies will announce a jumpstart on the annual campaign fundraising efforts. To date at least $35,000 has been raised.

For more information, contact Hennessy at (206) 200-8321.

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