United Way Estevan celebrates community support in 2020; elects Danny Ewen as new president

The United Way Estevan celebrated the support it received from the community during the past year during its annual general meeting on Wednesday night.

The meeting had in-person and virtual components, with United Way staff and members of the board meeting at the Taylorton Room, and other people joining through a virtual component.

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Audited financial statements released at the meeting show the United Way had $387,237 in donations and pledges from the community for the year ended Dec. 31, 2020, down slightly from the $394,983 the previous year, but as was noted multiple times throughout the meeting, it’s impressive that the decrease was so little due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The United Way also received $183,531 through special projects revenue, with funding from the federal and provincial governments that was used to help families in the Estevan area during the pandemic. Other United Ways in Canada also received similar funding.

The United Way had $293,500 that it turned over to its member agencies last year.

Danny Ewen was elected as the United Way board’s new president, replacing Melanie Graham, whose one-year term as president is over. Graham moves into the past-president’s role.

Ewen noted that the annual Day of Caring was cancelled last year, but the United Way promoted Days of Caring in which people reached out to others in the community. The United Way hopes to have a Day of Caring this year.

He was also impressed with how the United Way was able to have a telethon last year, and the donations from the Estevan area, despite the challenges. The board was confident they would reach their goal last year.

“Our community steps up time and time again, our board works hard … and sure enough we reached our goal and we blew it out of the water.”

Changes that were made for last year’s telethon, such as the mixture of live and virtual entertainment, the online component for bid items, and even the use of the Access production truck, will likely remain for this year.

Becca Anderson will be the first vice-president, Robert Godfrey will be the second vice-president and Lynn Trobert will remain the treasurer.

Most of the United Way’s member agencies and community partners submitted reports, thanking the United Way for the support over the past 12 months and explaining where the United Way’s support is directed.

Some of them used videos to show the United Way’s contributions.

The next edition of the Mercury will have more on this story.

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