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One heck of a boost out of the gate.

That’s what United Way of Ellis County got Friday morning with the last of its pacesetter companies reporting donations from employees.

And those donations — from Midwest Energy employees — totaled $50,001, boosting the United Way efforts to 40 percent of its goal of $490,000.

“We’re not quite halfway through our campaign season, so to be almost there at the halfway mark already is awesome,” said Sherry Dryden, executive director of United Way of Ellis County. “The continued calls we get asking, ‘Hey, can you do this? Can we do that?’ have been phenomenal. People just keep supporting that drive that all the communities in Ellis County are doing.”

Dryden said the support this year for the fundraiser has been phenomenal.

“Starting with the kickoff on Aug. 28, we started there with 23 percent,” Dryden said. “Everyone in this community is just stepping up. And when I say community, I mean Ellis County. We’re seeing partnerships that are evident with Fort Hays State’s Student Government Association. That’s a brand new one. Just to be able to partner with those groups has made the 40 percent possible.”

In making the announcement for Midwest Energy, Mike Morley said employees of the company started about a month later than usual for the annual drive. But, the company still reached its goal.

“The (employees) really turned out strong,” the manager of corporate communications for Midwest Energy said. “We’re really pleased with the results.

Once the drive is complete, United Way takes the money and disperses it to partner agencies to help with funding and support.

“And it’s not just United Way,” Dryden said. “All of the agencies have partnerships with each other as well. They have referral processes between the agencies, so the agencies together also want to make sure nobody falls through the cracks. That’s what I just love about being a part of this because all of the agencies are truly working for the betterment of our county. And they don’t want to let anyone go through those cracks.”

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