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United Way of Obion County hears funding requests for upcoming year

United Way of Obion County hears funding requests for upcoming year

Posted: Wednesday, April 13, 2011 9:30 pm
By: Kevin Bowden, Staff Reporter

United Way of Obion County hears funding requests for upcoming year | United Way of Obion County hears funding requests for upcoming year

Aging Director Margaret Shannon Cook met with United Way president David Harris
By KEVIN BOWDEN
Staff Reporter
United Way of Obion County began funding hearings early today at the Obion County Public Library.
Local Walmart manager David Harris is chairman of United Way and he will be joined by members of the United Way board for the day-long schedule of hearings.
It’s going to be a tough day for United Way board members, who are experiencing the impact of tough economic times and the recent announcement that Goodyear is shutting down its Union City tire plant.
The local United Way agency serves as an umbrella organization which raises money donated to a variety of local and regional agencies.
The agency’s board of directors met Tuesday afternoon in Union City to put the final touches on two of its upcoming fund-raising events — a four-person night golf scramble scheduled for April 30 at Wingfoot Park and a three-day tennis tournament scheduled for May 13-15 at the Union City Middle School tennis courts.
Tuesday’s meeting also served as an opportunity for board members to make final preparations before today’s funding hearings.
To illustrate the significance of the Goodyear impact, last year 31 agencies received funding from the local United Way and today there are only nine agencies seeking United Way funding.
In each of the past two years, United Way has provided funding in excess of $100,000 to local and regional agencies.
Today’s hearings began at 9 a.m. with a presentation from the Obion County Red Cross and were scheduled to continue through 2 p.m. with funding requests from Crimestoppers, the Obion County Rescue Squad, Salvation Army, Obion County Ministerial Association, Adult Literacy Council, Boy Scouts of West Tennessee, Office on Aging and Northwest Safeline.
A total of $124,800 is being requested from the nine agencies.
Last year, the local United Way gave $94,000 to the nine agencies.
In the past, the local United Way has relied significantly on donations from Goodyear associates, in the form of payroll deductions. With the local plant closing, that revenue source is being eliminated.
The impact from Goodyear is significant, as the local plant’s corporate and employee donations represent a major portion of United Way’s budget.
Looking back over the past five years, the local United Way has experienced prosperous years where revenue has exceeded $153,000 and then there has been this past fiscal year where revenue dropped to just over $119,000. Contributions make up a significant portion of United Way’s revenue.
“We are experiencing tough times in terms of contributions, and that means we as an agency are facing having to make some tough decisions,” Harris said.
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by e-mail at kmbowden@ucmessenger.com.
Published in The Messenger 4.13.11

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