United Way meets commitments

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Falls bit short of goal

AMHERST – They didn’t reach their goal, but they came close.

The United Way of Cumberland County had its annual general meeting last week.

“…A few of the usual businesses that have donated in past years…decided to withdraw or reduce their funding to the United Way. However, in spite of these changes we were able to meet 97-per cent of our goal,” said outgoing president Judi Giroux from prepared remarks.

The goal of the annual campaign was $150,000. Gross campaign revenue according to a statement prepared by Jorgensen & Bickerton was $141,700, but Executive Director Cathy Skinner said additional revenues brings the sum to about $145,000.

Campaign expenses were higher than last year by about $1,000 but came in under-budget by $400, at $46,087. Payments to agencies met their target at $90,000.

Representatives of recipient agencies such as Maggie’s Place, the Sexual Health Centre and the Victorian Order of Nurses were on hand to express their thanks for the United Way’s support.

The umbrella agency made do with just five board members over the past year but has 12 for the upcoming year. Outgoing president Giroux is being replaced with Marsh Brenton, while Michael Miller and Brenda Selig were introduced at the meeting as new board members.

“It’s the first time I’ve been on a board,” said Selig.

Both board members stated their interest in contributing to their communities.

Events revenue was down for the year. The Lady’s Dinner didn’t take place – an event that had run for three years. Last year’s numbers for the meal were down, according to Giroux. But in the plus column, the United Way has partnered with the YMCA’s service club and the Cross-Border Challenge for the coming year.

The former president said donations to United Ways across Canada were down.

Skinner expressed disappointment at the shortfall.

The executive director and lone staff member said all organizations are facing a challenge bringing in volunteers. Many hands make lighter work when it comes to running events. Also, the economy is having an impact on businesses, she said. Giroux said businesses continue to give, though, and Skinner noted locally-owned enterprises have been especially consistent in their commitments.

The executive director made a point of noting the contributions of individuals. She said many of those donors are older, so the money received from those individuals will come to an end at some point.

esparling@amherstdaily.com

Twitter: @ADNsparling

Organizations: United Way, Sexual Health Centre, YMCA

Geographic location: Cumberland County, Canada

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