tampabay.com

United Way has $50,000 more to give this year

Some agencies will receive larger allocations.

By BETH N. GRAY
Published April 13, 2007


The United Way of Hernando County is poised to allocate about $630,000 to 24 member agencies this month, up from last year's disbursements of about $580,000.

"Allocations will be no less than last year," said interim executive director Kathy Jones. "Some will receive more."

There has been some concern about fundraising at the United Way since executive director Valerie Hunt went on medical leave for back surgery in September. But Jones and the board, headed by president Joseph Corwin, plus volunteers have stepped in successfully.

There has been no dropoff in contributions or distributions, Corwin confirmed.

"When allocations are distributed, there shouldn't be any kind of cuts," he said.

Added Jones: "When we had an agency meeting last month, I told everyone their funds will be the same and we're looking at whether we can give more."

Two agencies have been added to the list of health, social service and civic organizations that will receive funding from the 2006-07 campaign.

Absent from the books this year is some $50,000 in hurricane disaster money, awarded through federal grants in 2006. But that doesn't affect the traditional allocations, Jones said.

A check for $112,000 from Publix, a corporate contribution that matches donations of its employees, will be presented to the United Way, said Corwin, a Publix manager in Hernando. It is the single-largest corporate donation this year, the executive director announced.

Agencies expected to receive funding from the current campaign include: the American Cancer Society, Achieve Tampa Bay, Access Hernando, the Alzheimer's Family Organization, the American Red Cross, Arc Nature Coast, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Catholic Charities, Childhood Development Services, the Children's Home Society, Consumer Credit Counseling Services, the Dawn Center, the Deaf Service Center, the Family Visitation Center, Girl Scouts of Suncoast Council, Gulf Ridge Boy Scouts, Habitat for Humanity, HEART Literacy, the Hernando Family YMCA, Hernando-Pasco Hospice, Jericho Ministries, the Jerome Brown Center, the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill/Hernando and Youth and Family Alternatives.

Jones, who heads a staff of two employees and several volunteers, said there are several United Way events in the coming months:

- Training for office reception volunteers will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 27 at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 6193 Spring Hill Drive, with light refreshments. RSVP at 688-2026.

- The 20th anniversary Hernando United Way gala is scheduled for Sept. 15 at the Palace Grand with automobile and motorcycle shows and a dinner-dance featuring a nine-piece band from Orlando. Sponsorships are being solicited.

- The United Way's annual Day of Caring, the kickoff for the 2007-08 campaign, will be Oct. 5, with volunteers performing community service for the needy in Hernando County.

Beth Gray may be contacted at graybethn@earthlink.net.