The roots of United Way of the Flint Hills run deep. It began in 1938 when a group of local business leaders formed the Emporia Community Chest in hopes of improving the quality of life for our community’s residents. In that first year, the Community Chest raised $29,530 in ten days and exceed their goal by $6,000. Through the years, the funds raised by the Community Chest continued to grow and today is raising nearly $600,000 a year.

          As the years passed, the Community Chest changed its name six times and expanded its service area to include all of Lyon County, as well as Chase, Coffey, Greenwood, Morris, Osage, Wabaunsee, and Woodson Counties.

          I share this because the annual United Way Drive is now underway and KVOE's Ron Thomas is this year's Drive Chair - a job he willingly accepted but really didn't need.

          Most know Ron seldom says "no." He's a community asset helping efforts in all shapes and sizes in addition to his leadership responsibilities here at Emporia's Radio Stations.

          So, when Ron agreed to lead the United Way Drive it became my hope that his involvement signaled how important this campaign is and that it deserves our sincere support.

          Monday I asked Ron when the Drive might end? he replied, "when I say it's finished."

          Understand this too, Ron Thomas seldom misses a goal. And that includes this one even though it became way more difficult when his veteran

United Way Executive Director Jamie Reever resigned just after the Drive started.

          Ron didn't flinch - despite the fact he starts his KVOE days at 3:30 A.M., - he just re-doubled his United Way efforts.

          So, that's today's message. Ron Thomas needs and deserves our help. Many of you have already pledged, but if you are impressed by Ron's commitment to the United Way you might amend your pledge up a little.

          If you've not pledged yet or never helped the United Way give us a call here at KVOE, 342-1400 and we will get you the forms required.

          This cause is great. Whether it’s this traditional fundraising campaign, or work helping communities following a disaster, or implementing new and exciting programs such as Dolly Parton's Imagination Library with over 100,000 books already in kids hands or LEAP dealing with lifestyle and Alzheimer's, the United Way of the Flint Hills works hard to serve all members of their communities.

          Ron Thomas and the United Way are worthy of your consideration!

          There's Something to Think About. I'm Steve Sauder

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