While most organizations resist change, the United Way of Jasper County is excited for the new possibilities its 2014-15 fiscal year will bring.
At the UWJC annual meeting, held at the Newton DMACC Conference Center on Tuesday evening, the organization introduced its new partner agencies and board members, paid tribute to its outgoing board members and welcomed long-time board member Jaime Grout as new board president.
Grout said he was excited to have the privilege of being board president and that providing community service to Newton and surrounding areas was a family tradition for him. He said his father helped the Newton Community Theatre and Newton YMCA get situated in their current locations and his mother, who had a journalism background, wrote news releases for the Red Cross.
“When I was asked to be on the United Way Board five years ago, I said ‘yes,’ because I have a heritage of being involved in this kind of thing,” Grout said. “I’m looking forward to being the president and doing a lot of things. I’m looking forward to working with all of the partner agencies to increase both financial resources and awareness for the United Way, the agencies and our goals.”
Some of the goals Grout set forth for UWJC and the partner agencies were educating the public about what they do, develop more relationships with communities outside of Newton and increasing visibility within the communities they serve.
Brad Magg is the outgoing president of the board and has served on the board for a total of three years.
Lynn Donahue, who’s entering his second year on the board, was named as the board’s new vice-president. Another outgoing board member is Daily News Publisher Dan Goetz, who served a maximum of six years on the board.
New to the board for FY 2015 will be Zach Umsted and Charity Noe. The rest of the board includes Carol Farver, Michelle Cazett, Pat Wallace, Toni Peska, Bev Price, Kim Thomas and Terri Rock.
As always, fundraising is one of the goals for UWJC, which listed 17 different partner agencies for FY 2015. UWJC Executive Director Travis Padget said he would like to keep last year’s goal of raising $363,000 the same for this year.
The organization fell just short of that goal in FY 2014, but raised $320,020 to distribute to the agencies it supports.
“It’s bigger than any of our goals from the recent past,” Padget said. “It’s still was not enough to meet our community needs — even raising it to $363,000, had we met our goal it would not have been enough. So, really, surprisingly, we were really close had we raised the $363,000, we could have probably funded all of our program requests.”
One aspect of this year’s meeting that differed from past meetings was Padget had each partner agency share a success story made possible by using United Way funds. Agencies shared stories of feeding hungry children on spring break and helping treat women with substance abuse problems.
“I’m proud of the programs that we support, I’m proud of the volunteers that come in,” Padget said. “Without all the volunteers and the board, the Jasper County United Way really would not be able to exist and do all of things that it’s doing.”
Senior staff writer Ty Rushing may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 426, or at email@example.com.