United Way of Marathon County :: An Essential Building Block of Prosperity for Us All

Written by Brad Karger

Prosperity can be narrowly defined as “financial success.” I choose to define prosperity more broadly as:

“a successful, flourishing, and thriving condition.”

It’s this broader definition of prosperity for our community that continually draws me — and as can be seen below, my wife Linda (front left) and daughter Amber (front right) — to support United Way of Marathon County.


I’ve been involved in Marathon County’s annual United Way campaign for nearly 30 years because I have a passion for service to others. My investments of time and money have allowed me to extend my public service beyond the programs and services offered by county government.

United Way of Marathon County brings people, resources, and organizations together to advance:

These are the essential elements of a good life — and of a prosperous community.

United_Way_Bronze_AwardI am grateful to all the county employees throughout the year who have heard my call and have contributed financially to our annual workplace campaign. In January, Marathon County Government was honored for earning United Way’s Bronze Award ($10,000—$50,000) for our 2016 workplace campaign in support of United Way of Marathon County.

Just a sampling of Marathon County employee involvement this year: A Noon Walk of 32 county employees in September earned $800, and 12 county-donated raffle baskets raised $5,577 for United Way!

Additionally, I am grateful to the many, many community volunteers who invest their time and talents, who prioritize community needs, who allocate funding, and who monitor outcomes to ensure that our gifts are getting real results.

Our area United Way was first organized in 1930, and it is locally governed and controlled. United Way of Marathon County has a sterling record of accountability and transparency and has been awarded a 4-star rating for this by Charity Navigator.


United Way of Marathon County also offers volunteer opportunities that support personal development and the opportunity to meet new people who share a passion for service, such as the following programs:




I have interacted with these groups regularly throughout the years, and I am always impressed by how much FUN these people experience while being in service to others.


This Thanksgiving, I invite you to join me in reflecting on how our local United Way has improved our lives and strengthened our community…

  • If that means you decide to make (or to increase) a financial contribution to United Way’s campaign — thank you.


  • If that means you visit United Way’s website to find out how to get involved in improving the education, financial stability, and health of residents in Marathon County — fantastic.


  • But, in a broader sense, I simply ask you to be more aware of the social environment and how the efforts and contributions of regular people in Marathon County benefit this community.

The charity of regular people enhances the prosperity of us all.

Brad Karger - Marathon County AdministratorBrad Karger

Marathon County Administrator

In his Administrator role, Brad Karger leads an organization with 700+ employees and an annual budget of more than $165 million. Brad has been in leadership positions with Marathon County for the past 30 years. He is known statewide for generating innovative ideas and solutions to problems, openness and transparency, and a commitment to community service that extends well beyond the normal workday.  Email Brad Karger.

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