The United Way of Southeast Alaska kicked off its 2010 campaign at DIPAC Tuesday and continued with several events across Juneau, said Brenda Hewitt, the chapter's president.
"From what I can remember I think it went well," Hewitt said of the bustle of activity. "There (are) always last minute changes, we probably had 60 people there in the morning. Three projects got delayed due to the weather."
Hewitt said one of the volunteer teams was up to its knees in mud, planting at one of the Juneau Alliance for Mental Health Inc.'s older houses.
More than 100 volunteers will tackle 21 projects through Oct. 9 to kick off the annual Workplace Giving Campaign. A 'Souper Sunday' event at the Red Dog Saloon starts at noon to finish the campaign. The event will feature soups made by local celebrities, while those in attendance can watch NFL games.
Participants are encouraged to wear the jerseys of their favorite teams.
"My husband would kill me if I told you my favorite team," Hewitt said with a laugh. "But I will put on some shirt and come with that. It seems like my husband picks a different team each year."
In all, local businesses and government agencies wlll take part in more than 15 events this week to start the United Way's annual effort.
"It is fun for the various groups too because they get a chance to be with their co-workers outside of work," Hewitt said. "This year a lot of the city groups split up into various teams so they got to meet other people from inside their overall work place that they normally would not meet."
Last year the United Way pledge drive raised nearly $350,000 and gave back almost $250,000 to 29 partner agencies serving 26 communities in Southeast Alaska. The United Way also gave money to agencies for special projects focused on health, income and education throughout the region. The 2010 special focus is on early learning and literacy.
"We have a $250,000 goal to come out of the work places this year," Hewitt said. "It is a lofty goal but I think we can do it. Our agencies depend on this for all the things that aren't funded by grants."
Contact reporter Klas Stolpe at 523-2263 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.