The past year was another strong one for the United Way Estevan, according to past-president Dawn Schell and incoming president Doug McDavid, and they are looking forward to 2014.
The local United Way held its annual general meeting on March 28. And while the organization missed meeting its goal during its telethon for the first time, and it wasn't the first in Canada to reach its goal, Schell was still enthusiastic about the past year.
“We learned that goals, even though they are set to motivate, can kind of take us away from the bigger picture, and take our focus away from things that are really important,” said Schell. “Is being the first United Way in Canada to reach our goal really what this is all about?
“Until this past year, this has always seemed to be a given to us. 2013 brought this organization, and the community of Estevan, to the realization that all of this is more than that.”
Estevan is a changing community, Schell said, and the United Way has to educate new residents and new businesses about the efforts of the United Way in the community.
Schell said her one year as president was an opportunity she'll never forget, and she was honoured to lead the organization.
McDavid, who has been on the board for seven years, said he is "honoured" and "humbled" to be the new president.
He said he has three goals for this year: increase the number of board members from the current total of 17; to raise money for member agencies; and to raise the profile of the United Way and the member agencies in the Estevan area.
“Almost everyone in the community knows about our telethon, but do they know about what we do, and what you do as member agencies?” he asked. “Do they know about the (Hillcrest) breakfast program, the Day of Caring and (the support for) Challenge Day?”
Member agencies do some amazing things, and McDavid said he knows that from personal experience, as he has had to access some of their services in the past.
Financial statements were released during the annual meeting. The United Way received $478,662 in donations in 2013, although some of that revenue had to be turned over to the Oxbow swimming pool and other United Ways, as per the requests of those who contributed to Ensign Energy Service's United Way campaign.
More than $280,000 was doled out by the local United Way to its 18 member agencies for 2013, and another $33,000 went to three community projects.
Representatives from most of the United Way's member agencies were at the annual meeting, and they expressed their gratitude to the organization for their efforts during the past 12 months.