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Community Update:

Warren County United Way facilitates two additional funding opportunities as it looks forward to the successful close of its 2015/2016 campaign.

In keeping with its mission, Warren County United Way continues to seek additional funding opportunities for its agencies and the communities far beyond campaign dollars, which are used exclusively for agency allocations. Additionally, unique to Warren County United Way, ALL campaign proceeds go to its member agencies.

In the Spring of 2015, Warren County United Way, in cooperation with the Warren County government and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), facilitated the award of $6,038 to Jamieson Community Center and First Street Armoury. The selection was made by a national board, chaired by FEMA, that includes United Way of America. Individual United Way agencies are responsible for recruiting a local board and disbursement of funds. The local FEMA board consists of Chairman Matt Gillen, Jeannie Weber, Dan Ashton, Douglas Hardin, William Reichow, and Kathy Robertson. Weber, executive director of Warren County United Way, was responsible for making the initial announcement, which outlined deadline and  granting terms, as well as seeing that all steps required to receive this national funding was achieved. These FEMA grants were released to the two recipients this month.

In the Fall of 2015, Warren County United Way announced a new granting opportunity open to all community not-for-profit organizations. Created to honor the late Helen Bersted who served as Warren County United Way’s first executive director, the Helen Bersted Memorial Grant funds come directly from proceeds of the Len G. Everett Endowment. Helen Bersted Memorial grant recipients for the 2015/2016 year were required to show need and specific data on capital or programs marked to remain directly in Warren County. Grant recipients for the 2015/2016 year were chosen at the end of December and include: the American Red Cross, Strom Center, Rainbow Riders, Buchanan Center for the Arts, Special Olympics, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Jamieson Center, First Street Armoury, ICS Reading Lab, Field of Dreams Baseball League, Roseville Kids Place, and Lutheran Early Education services. Grant winners went through a formal application process, and were chosen by another community volunteer committee who included: Trevor Davies, Cindy Lewis, and Dr. Tom Sienkewicz.

Finally, Warren County United Way’s annual campaign, which was launched on October 1, 2015 is quickly approaching its $180,000 mark toward its $200,000 goal. In addition to hundreds of generous donations, Warren County United Way has taken a somewhat different approach with its current campaign. This includes expanding its employer campaign base, asking previous donors to significantly raise their pledges, successfully writing a number of grants on behalf of its agencies, calling upon Warren County United Way agencies to participate in the campaign, and creating new events that not only inspire fun, but opportunity for donors to learn more about what their local United Way is doing.

At Monmouth’s January Chamber of Commerce Luncheon held at Cerar’s Barnstormer, Warren County United Way’s executive director Jeannie Weber and campaign co-chairs, Buster Kellogg and Lowell Crow announced the status of the campaign, outlining its successes, and challenging local businesses, new to donating to United Way, to participate in the campaign with a $100 investment. The 100/100 challenge’s goal is to raise $100 from 100 new local businesses. Community volunteers supporting Warren County United Way will be calling on these businesses in the near future. “It’s been a great campaign,” said Weber during her luncheon presentation. “We are grateful to all who have given and all of the community volunteers who have made our successes possible.” Weber further stated that although more pledges are expected, the last $20,000 could be the most challenging to raise.

Weber closed her comments by thanking again those who have contributed money, time, and energy for the good of the community.