United Way celebrates community support at annual meeting

The United Way Estevan celebrated the support that it received from the community in 2019 during the organization’s annual meeting on Wednesday night.

Instead of the traditional supper meeting in which the United Way board members and their families would gather with member agencies, community partners and other volunteers, the annual meeting was held over conference call with about two dozen people present.

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This measure was taken due to COVID-19, the requirements for social distancing and restrictions that limit crowd sizes.

Audited financial statements released during the meeting showed that the United Way received $394,983 in donations in 2019, up from $387,595 the previous year. The bulk of the donations, $377,152, came during the United Way’s telethon in October.

The amount raised was a new off-air record.

The United Way had $215,715 in corporate donations, up from $215,244 the previous year. But the big increases came through non-profit support, which went from $2,667 in 2018 to $9,623 in 2019, and individual donations, which jumped from $46,481 in 2018 to $52,773 last year.

The United Way also distributed $284,100 to its member agencies and $35,000 through its community impact fund.  

Also during the meeting, the United Way elected its executive for 2020. Melanie Graham elected as the president, with Danny Ewen the first vice-president and Becca Gustafson the second vice-president.

Lynn Trobert is the treasurer and Becca Foord will be the past-president.

Both Foord and Graham handed down reports during the meeting, as they reflected on the success of the past year and looked ahead to what will happen this year.

“The money donated means the member agencies and community impact projects we support can continue to provide important services to our community, because it’s needed now more than ever,” said Foord.

The member agencies and community impact projects sent in letters explaining the services they provide and thanked the United Way for their support.

The United Way has announced the cancellation of their annual Day of Caring, which was scheduled to happen in May, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Day of Caring has grown to be a popular event in the community, with over 100 volunteers coming together to completed dozens of projects, but the United Way thought it was best to not have the event this year since so many people they assist are seniors.

But their 44th annual telethon, scheduled for Oct. 16-17, is still slated to go ahead.

The next edition of the Mercury will have more on the annual meeting.

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