United Way collection underway 11.12.08

Written by David Green.

When times get tough, the funding needs of United Way agencies tend to grow stronger.

The American Red Cross, the Counseling Vouching Program, legal services, dental clinic, Associated Charities, HOPE Community Center, Housing First affordable housing, Hospice of Lenawee and others—the county-wide programming by the Lenawee United Way addresses a variety of needs and ages.

“There is no doubt that these are very challenging times in our economy, but that makes the need all the more urgent,” said  the United Way’s Amy Palmer. “Many of our agencies are overwhelmed with the increased volume of need from working families and individuals who require extra support to help make ends meet.”           

A portion of the county collection is returned directly to communities. Nearly $5,000 was recently distributed among four Morenci programs from United Way funds collected last year, but that was far short of the requests made.

“Nobody was fully funded through United Way,” said Morenci chair Brad Frederick, “but everybody requesting funds got something.”

More than $11,000 was divided among five agencies the previous year and more than $10,000 was requested from five agencies this year. With the steep drop in donations, four programs received limited funding from the United Way and two programs received direct donations from a local industry.

“There wasn’t enough money to go around,” said Morenci board member Simone Haas. “I thought it was just awful.”

As a co-owner of Roth Fabricating, Haas said she and co-owner Shane Sarnac decided to fill the gap.

“We’ve done well this year so it was our way of giving back to the community,” she said.

Roth gave $1,000 to the city’s Summer Recreation Program and $1,500 to the winter clothing campaign at Morenci Elementary School, to buy coats, hats and mittens for children in need of warm winter gear.

The local United Way allocations board—Frederick, Haas, Jennifer Blaker, Rosemary Dickerson and Kyle Griffith—awarded $1,000 to the Summer Recreation program; $1,838 to Stair Public Library; $1,000 to the Morenci Elementary School PTO for the fifth grade camping experience; and $1,160 to the Morenci Fire Department.

In order to receive funding, agencies now must meet 501c3 federal guidelines and address one of four areas: basic needs; employment and self-sufficiency; health; and youth at risk.

Any donation of $100 or more can be designated for a particular eligible agency.

Anyone making donations through payroll deductions should file a pledge form by the end of November, Frederick said, and individuals should make gifts by mid-December at the latest.

To obtain a pledge form, call Frederick at 517/605-1020.


  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
  • Front.chat
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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