Big names from across the region made their way over to Civic Center Plaza today in celebration of Mankato United Way’s kickoff of their 2017 fundraising campaign. The free event invited guests to enjoy some food, fun, and NFL prizes, while learning more about what United Way contributes toward the community. 

"United Way is a balancer of the communities within our region. So we're the ones who take care of the agencies underneath our umbrella which is 37, and there is 60 programs inside of those agencies that we're responsible to make sure they get the funding they need to improve people's lives," says Barb Kaus, CEO of Greater Mankato Area United Way. She along with 2017 Campaign Chair Brandon Scheel both spoke to an enthusiastic audience about what the non-profit organization means to those most in need.

"At Scheels we feel a responsibility to give back to the community that supports us, and United Way is about the best place you can give back to in order to get it to a lot of people in the community," said Scheel.

Celebrating its 85th Anniversary this year, United Way is aiming at raising at least $2 million to support 60 programs across several counties, including Blue Earth, Le Sueur, Nicollet, and Waseca.

United Way’s kickoff event in Waseca County will take place from 10:30am to 1:30pm on August 17th at the Trowbridge Park in Waseca.

-- KEYC News 12