Thanks to generous donations, UW/Southern Chester County able to put an additional $30,000 into local community groups and projects
By Mike McGann, Editor, UnionvilleTimes.com
KENNETT SQUARE — With these tough economic times, it’s doubly difficult to raise money, but at the same time, because of those hard times, many of the local groups that depend on funding from the United Way of Southern Chester County are in even greater need than ever.
So when the leaders of United Way of Southern Chester County announced this week both the results of their 2010-11 fundraising campaign — and the allocation plan for the coming year — they were justifiably proud and knew they set a tough goal, falling just short of the $1.2 million they hoped to bring in. But coming close means that allocations — just when they’re most needed — will be able to increase from $835,000 to $865,000 in the coming budget year.
“I think we were all confident of reaching $1.1 million,” said Michael R. Horak, president of the organization’s board of directors. “We wanted to try and stretch, though, and see if we could get to $1.2 million. We got close, about 93% so far, so we’ll be able to increase allocations. We would have liked to raise more, of course, but a lot of people worked hard to make this happen.”
Additionally challenging, pointed out John Adams, the group’s Vice President in charge of the fundraising campaign, is that many area employers have less employees — which hurts fundraising in two ways: less employees to be able to make paycheck deductions to United Way and in general, less jobs means less people in a position to make contributions.
Despite those challenges, the United Way of Southern Chester County, thanks to hundreds of donors, Horak said, will be in a position to help even more people in the coming year.
Aside from dozens of volunteers and United Way board members, Horak cited DuPont and Exelon as examples of business partners that did wonderful work in helping to raise money for the area.
Employees at local and non-local business played a big role, too, he noted.
Topping the list of businesses not in the immediate Southern Chester County area (but with employees living in the immediate area): DuPont employees raised $280,718, while Bank of America raised $66,504, Agilent Technologies raised $32,340, Ashland raised $30,521, W.L. Gore raised $14,626 and AstraZeneca raised $12,606.
Exelon/PECO employees raised $112,657, while Giant Food Stores’ employees donated $11,778 and Enterprise Rent-A-Car raised $6,661. Public employees got in the act, too, with employees of Kennett Consolidated School District raising $10,003, the Chester Water Authority bringing in $4,384 and employees of the Oxford School District raising $3,891.
But it wasn’t just businesses and employees. Local retirement communities raised impressive amounts of money: Kendal in Kennett Township brought in $26,615, while Jenners Pond in Jennersville raised $14,405, Crosslands in Pennsbury contributed $14,405 and Cartmel, also in Pennsbury, raised $9,700.
Two high-profile fund-raising events were big successes, too. The Unionville-Chadds Ford School District Community Pasta Dinner raised $13,806, up more than $3,000 from 2010 (the first year of the event) and the debut of the Exelon/United Way Road Rally raised $9,887.
As impressive as the numbers raised by the people of Southern Chester County, the need for help grows every year. While the $865,000 in planned allocations will go to various agencies and organizations, the giving will fall into five basic categories:
- Basic Needs/Emergency, Crisis Interventions: $408,380
- Nurturing Children and Youth: $249,500
- Improving Healthy Living: $81,660
- Enriching the Lives of our Seniors: $80,080
- Strengthening Families: $45,380
La Comunidad Hispana, with $84,220 for social services and $7,700 for legal services and Oxford Neighborhood Services Center, with $85,560 will benefit the most from the Basic Needs category, but Crime Victims’ Center of Chester County, Domestic Violence Center of Chester County, Good Neighbors, Kennett Area Community Service, Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania and Safe Harbor of Greater West Chester all will see 2011-12 allocations.
Nurturing Children and Youth sees $96,240 going to Tick Tock Early Learning Center, $65,000 to the Garage Community & Youth Center’s Kennett Square After School Program and $26,260 to it’s West Grove After School Program; the Kennett After School Association’s After The Bell program is slated to receive $27,120, additional funding will be going to the Boy Scouts of America, Camp Dreamcatcher and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania’s Latinas Unidas program.
The Healthy Start program in Kennett and Oxford, put on by the Maternal and Child Health Consortium will get $30,000 earmarked from the Improving Healthy Living category. Adult Care of Chester County’s Adult Training Facility, ARC of Chester County, Community Volunteers in Medicine’s Dental program, Family Service of Chester County’s counseling program and La Comunidad’s Project Salud will also be funded.
Funding for seniors includes $25,000 for the Kennett Senior Center’s Wellness & Independence Program and an additional $23,260 for it’s Assisted Senior Program; Adult Care of Chester County will get $22,120 for it’s Adult Day Care – Senior Program, while Oxford Area Senior Center will see $9,700 for Information and Referral.
The Adult Literacy Program at Bayard Taylor Library will get $31,260 under the Strengthening Families area, and ARC of Chester County has been allocated $7,120 for Educational Advocacy, while Crime Victims Center of Chester County will get $7,000 for Prevention and Education.
In other news, the United Way elected nine new board members with terms ending in May, 2014: Catherine Britt, Debbie Frampton, Lele Galer, Karen Myers, Dave Salomaki, Kent Smith, Ed Sparks, Barry Tomasetti and Peter Wilm. Roger Hiss was elected to an unexpired term ending in May, 2012.
The new slate of officers are: Michael Horak, President; Vice President – Allocations, Martie Olson; Vice President – Board Development, Matt Lillard; Vice President – Campaign, John Adams; Vice President – Communications, Karen Myers; Vice President – Endowment, Debbie Frampton; Treasurer, Katherine Sedlak; and Secretary, Carrie Freeman.