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United Way celebrates successful campaign

The United Way has raised $4.7 million to fund programs helping the poor throughout Spokane County.

The charitable organization said the donations – made by 17,600 people and businesses – will assist families in financial distress, and help children and adults stay healthy.

The $4.7 million raised is 4 percent more than last year and the largest year-over-year gain in 15 years.

“To have raised more money this year, when most United Ways across the country have 4 to 5 percent decreases in their campaigns, says volumes about the generosity of this community,” said Tim Henkel, presidents and chief executive of Spokane County United Way.

Scott Morris, the CEO of Avista, spearheaded this year’s campaign and assembled hundreds of volunteers to net donations from businesses and employees across the county.

Six large businesses and organizations collectively raised 38 percent more than last year. They included Avista, Deaconess Medical Center, Valley Hospital and Medical Center, Potlatch, Rosauers, and the Spokane Transit Authority and its employee labor groups the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) locals 1015 and 1598, and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) local 3939.