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County employees announce United Way fund-raising goal

The Kitsap County Government has set its 2007 United Way fund-raising goal, striving to gather $79,900 in pledges by the end of November.

“As the holiday season nears, our thoughts often reflect on good will toward others,” said Campaign Co-Managers Carolyn Siems and North Kitsap Commissioner Steve Bauer in a letter to all employees. “Many of our neighbors in need throughout Kitsap County could use a helping hand, and there is a very simple way that you can help — by contributing through a payroll deduction.”

Last year, the county gathered $78,000 in pledges and contributions.

After a Wednesday meeting, when Siems and Bauer were nominated as program co-chairs, there was some confusion as to what type of incentive the county would use in order to get people to contribute. Recalling the 2004 campaign, when Administrative Services Director Ben Holland and Assessor Jim Avery shaved their heads in public, the committee determined this year’s incentive would involve purple hair dye and take place Nov. 26.

The uncertainty centers around who will participate. County Administrator Nancy Buonanno Grennan said she would take the dye plunge along with all department heads. Bauer, who has a full head of white hair that would show off a purple hue quite nicely, was less eager to commit.

“I will be a good soldier and dye my hair if I can wash it out after a day,” Bauer said. “But I am not going to walk around with purple hair for the whole month of December.”

So as Siems’s letter promises if the goal is met “we’ll dye our hair purple” it is not specific who “are” is.

Nevertheless, two specific activities are supporting the fund drive. A silent auction will begin Nov. 9, with items listed in the employee newsletter. Items valued between $20 and $1,000 are being solicited, with a Nov. 7 deadline. This can be an old item of value, something purchased especially for the auction, or a gift or service certificate.

The second event is a “Kitsap Idol” presentation to take place at 1 p.m. Nov. 9 in the commissioners’ chambers in Port Orchard. This is the second annual event, when Kitsap County employees will be able to show off their special musical or comedic talents.

“Each year the United Way touches the lives of one out of three people in the county,” the fund-raising letter states. “Our community’s needs are real and significant.”

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