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Alyeska contributes $168K to United Way

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Posted: Thursday, November 1, 2012 11:57 pm | Updated: 11:52 am, Mon Jan 21, 2013.

FAIRBANKS — Ever since the United Way of the Tanana Valley kicked off its campaign in late August, employees at Alyeska Pipeline Service Company and its contractors have stepped up to make their 2012 contribution the best ever — and then some.

On Thursday afternoon, the local Alyeska campaign co-chairwomen, Lorena Hegdal and Ann Marie White, excitedly revealed to United Way representatives that its 2012 contribution is a whopping $168,249.32 — topping their $155,000 goal by more than $13,000.

To reach the high mark, Alyeska employee pledges of $70,340 were matched dollar for dollar by the company. Additional donations came from Alyeska contractors’ contributions, special events and an in-house e-auction.

Karen Lundquist, UW executive director, said the Alyeska contribution represents more than 10 percent of the Tanana Valley United Way chapter’s targeted goal of $1.5 million.

A quick peek at the UW website shows total donations at about 23 percent of its target goal to date.

“It’s incredible how the company (Alyeska) wraps itself around the United Way

campaign and gets the employees engaged,” said Joane Johnson, who co-chairs the campaign with John Ringstad.

Johnson pointed to the leadership of Hegdal and White, the two self-effacing local Alyeska campaign organizers.

“Those two women are the two leading sources of the campaign. They get everyone rallied and going. It’s absolutely amazing,” she said.

Hegdal quickly shares the praise.

“We just volunteered as co-chairs,” she said. “There has always been a group of people who continually volunteer at our company, and as they volunteer, new people come forward and that makes it easy for us as co-chairs.”

Alyeska contractors Houston Contracting Co., Doyon Universal Services, Doyon Security and Team Peak, not only contribute money but also get involved in the special events.

Some of the events, such as the popular dessert auction, stir up a lot of interest and prices higher than any dessert featured in 5-star restaurant. This year, employees decadently rich, culinary creations brought in $2,555.

Raffles also were lucrative. The combined total for three separate raffles, for a quilt, an iPad and heating fuel, drew close to $9,000.

Car washes, an ice-cream social, a chili cookoff, piggy bank change and a bake sale rounded out the employee fundraising efforts.

Added incentives were included by Alyeska, which covered a campaign kickoff salmon bake at Pioneer Park and ended it with catered meal in mid-October at the company’s Fleet Shop. Alyeska United Way donors also get their names in two drawings for 50,000 air miles and two drawings for a week’s paid leave.

“Every week, there was something going on here for United Way except for one, and people were disappointed,” Hegdal said.

“We know the community’s needs have increased substantially from last year, and it is so important for us with good jobs to help others in the community,” Hegdal said.

Contact staff writer Mary Beth Smetzer at 459-7546.

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