The United Way of Estevan will henceforth be known as United Way Estevan.
That was a cosmetic change that came out of the organization's annual general meeting on Friday, along with electing a new executive and ushering in the new president, Roberta DeRosier. The name change satisfies United Way Canada's goal of ensuring the brand and logo is consistent for all branches across the country.
About 40 people attended the dinner and meeting at the Fireside Room in the Days Inn.
For DeRosier's first address to the member agencies as president, she spoke about her involvement with the charitable organization and how her impressions of it have changed over the years.
"United Way is many things to many different people," she said, adding that her first experience was watching her children perform at the annual telethon.
After volunteering with the telethon for a number of years, she was recruited for a position on the board.
"That was my first glimpse of what the United Way really was. For years I thought of United Way mainly as a funnel. By that I mean, people gave us money, and we funnelled it to the member agencies."
The majority of what she thought the organization did was scrunched into a couple of weeks around October to organize the telethon, the event that brings in the majority of donations for the local chapter.
"Today I have a much different view. We have evolved greatly over the last several years. We've moved from a funnel mentality, to what I like to call the partner mentality. We're now examining the needs of the people in our community and partnering with other agencies to come up with solutions to meet those needs," said DeRosier.
She gave the example of the Hillcrest School breakfast program, as one in which there is a partnership. More than just a food handout, she said, it's also allowing their volunteers to get into the school and get to know the students.
Each member agency had the opportunity to address the United Way and to share what the organization does for their agency.
"We got to hear tonight about how the member agencies affect our community," said DeRosier. "To know that we partner with each and every one of them is exciting."
After the success of last year's fundraising, including the $475,000 raised during the telethon, the new president said she is looking forward to the challenge of meeting their lofty goals once again.
"I'm excited because it truly is a partnership," said DeRosier, noting that she doesn't do anything alone. "There is no leader or hierarchy whatsoever. It's a partnership. Our board works together as a team, and now that we work together with the community and member agencies, it truly is a team."
As the partnerships between United Way and the community agencies grow, she said that they can act as the bridge, bringing different groups together.
"Where one agency needs that extra hand, we're able to say this agency does a really good job at that, and then hook them up."
United Way Estevan also wanted get a couple of dates out to the public, with the Day of Caring coming on May 30 and the 36th annual telethon scheduled for Oct. 12 and 13.
Executive members were elected at the meeting. Dawn Schell will be the new first vice-president, Doug McDavid is now the second vice-president and Lynn Trobert will continue as treasurer.