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United Way changes name

By The Mercury

The local United Way is changing its name to reflect a more regional focus.It’s now known as Konza United Way.

The change from United Way of Riley County is the organization’s second name change in its 70-year history. It was founded as the Community Chest of Manhattan in 1944.

“Our new name reflects the regional nature of our local United Way and pays respect to our prairie heritage,” said Jeff Morris, Konza United Way board of directors chair. “As our population continues to grow, the need to reach into our entire service area expands.”

Officials said the new name is designed to incorporate the regional influence and service area that includes caring for people in Clay, Marshall, Pottawatomie, Riley, Wabaunsee and Washington counties.

“Konza United Way and its programs invest in strengthening our neighbors’ education, health and income opportunities,” said Lee Ann Smith Desper, executive director of Konza United Way. “Our new name demonstrates our commitment to improving the lives in our region.”

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