Business and organizational leaders from all across Laramie were present last night for the 2017 United Way Campaign Kickoff event.

The kickoff, hosted by the United Way of Albany County and the Laramie Chamber Business Alliance, was held last night at the Hilton Garden Inn and brought together Albany County residents interested in making a difference in other’s lives.

Laramie residents Kelly and Tom Wolfe will chair the campaign this year, as they did last year. Kelly Wolfe told the kickoff attendees that the spirit of community in Laramie inspires them to take action.

“Tom and I feel pretty passionately this organization, we believe in helping people and doing what we can to serve our community of Laramie, which we have grown to love in the four years we have lived here,” Kelly said during the kickoff.

Wolfe said one of the things that she loved about Laramie is the community’s willingness to lend a helping hand.

“Even the smallest donation makes a huge difference,” Wolfe said. “That’s part of the reason why we are doing this. We like to go out, we like to talk to people – to try to make a difference in any way that we can. So that’s why we’re back for round two!”

The event included guest speakers who shared stories of how the organizations supported by United Way had touched their lives and the lives of others they cared about.

Paul Heimer, Executive Director of United Way of Albany County, said the goal of this year’s campaign is to raise a $500,000. Heimer announced during the kickoff that the United Way has already raised just under $100,000 this year, putting them ahead of last year’s campaign by almost $15,000.