A friendly competition between City of Vancouver and Clark County employees has raised more than $54,000 for the United Way of the Columbia-Willamette (UWCW). City employees contributed $40,779, while county employees brought in $14,038.

The UWCW is a Portland-based nonprofit organization that works to address education, income, and health issues in Clark County as well as Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties in Oregon. UWCW honored the city and county employees during a brief ceremony at the Nov. 28 Vancouver City Council meeting.

Vancouver City Manager Eric Holmes (left) receives a plaque from Clark County Administrator Bill Barron honoring city employees' victory in a United Way fundraising competition. Photo by Laura O'Brien.

“The city of Vancouver and Clark County have been actively involved in United Way Campaigns in the past and this year we wanted to spark some additional enthusiasm,” said UWCW community account manager Elizabeth Sato.

During the award presentation, Sato specifically recognized campaign coordinators Tina Redline and Rebecca Tilton, who work in the office of the Clark County Board of Commissioners, and Vancouver Planning Review Manager Chad Eiken. She also acknowledged the participation of City Council members.

“Thank you for your leadership, all of you,” Sato said.

Clark County administrator Bill Barron then presented Vancouver City Manager Eric Holmes with a new trophy that will go to the winner of the employee giving campaign each year.

Barron also revealed that in losing a private bet he not only will be taking Holmes to lunch at the Vancouver Hilton, but he will serve the meal as well.

“If he doesn’t come back from lunch one of these coming days, you’ll know what happened,” Barron joked.

According to Sato the UWCW impacts Clark County by partnering with other with nonprofits that are directly serving citizens, including the Arc of SW Washington, 211info, and Vancouver-Clark Parks and Recreation, which used $6,000 from the UWCW to support a summer camp at Evergreen Park in Vancouver.

“There are a lot of citizens in need in our community and across the four county region,” said Sato. “For every dollar raised here locally, about two dollars is returned back to the community.”