For Immediate Release:
Monmouth, Illinois – Warren County United Way kicks off its 2015-2016 Campaign already approaching $35,000 of its final goal of $200,000 and announces new grant program. At a luncheon last week, Cerar’s Barnstormer was overflowing with sixty-plus community supporters of Warren County United Way. The program, led by executive director Jeannie Weber and board president Trevor Davies, included special guests Nancy Bersted and Judy Bersted Andrews as well as guest presenters Mary Francis Miller, Bob Meling, and Dan Ashton, who spoke about Helen Bersted’s community legacy, having been active in the opening of both Warren Achievement Center and Warren County United Way decades ago.
Weber outlined plans for the campaign year – which has a complete emphasis on partner agencies, up to and including agencies speaking to potential donors. She stated, “Our mission is to assess needs, raise funds, and develop other resources for the community. During this time of reductions in state and local funding, as well as our demographic shift, it is more important than ever that we reach our campaign goal of $200,000.”
She also announced that in addition to the campaign, which raises operational funding for 26 agencies that ultimately assist tens of thousands each year, Warren County United Way created the Helen Bersted Memorial Grant, which allows all community non-profit organizations to compete for additional funding beyond campaign allocations. The Helen Bersted Memorial Grant will be annual, and will provide giving based on continued investment outcomes of the Len G. Everett endowment. The endowment is also is also responsible for funding all administrative costs associated with Warren County United Way, giving contributors the advantage of knowing that every dollar donated goes directly to member agencies.
Unlike campaign funds which are raised for agency operational expenses, the new Grant allows organizations to seek funding for programming and/or capital improvements. “Creating this grant is in keeping with part of our mission, which is to develop other resources for the community,” Weber stated. “Our board of directors felt there was no better way to honor Helen Bersted than to create this opportunity.”
Davies spoke on behalf of the board of directors, stating that Warren County United Way was in an excellent position, having already raised dollars prior to the campaign launch. “Many thanks to our executive director Jeannie Weber and her campaign co-chairs Buster Kellogg Jr. and Lowell Crow, who have hit the ground running having raised close to $35,000,” Davies stated. “Yet, I challenge us. This is not enough. We have a commitment to our agencies. We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Davies encouraged those present to assist with the campaign by speaking to family and friends they know, who have most likely benefited from one or more of the agencies Warren County United Way serves.
Over the course of the next few weeks, Warren County United Way will be soliciting campaign donations through direct mail, employee presentations with agencies, and through social media. “We look forward to a successful campaign for our agencies and for the community,” Weber said. “I encourage everyone to give. Whether large or small, every contribution counts toward the big picture for Warren County and surrounding communities.”