United Way groups combine to serve more Walworth County communities
Advertise on WalworthCountyToday.com
To promote your business, contact our account executives HERE.
Jake Erbentraut, third from left, leads participants at a ball-shooting academy at the Geneva Lakes Family YMCA last week. The YMCA is among the local agencies that benefits from United Way funding. A newly formed United Way of Walworth County combines two former United Way groups to serve more area communities. Terry Mayer/staff.
LAKE GENEVA — Joe Peyer has heard about people in need from a local teacher, a coach or even a neighbor. It might be an elderly woman who could use time in a pool to ease her arthritis, but just can’t afford to pay for a swim class on her monthly Social Security check. Or it’s the 7-year-old who lives for soccer, yet his struggling single-parent mom doesn’t have the money for him to join a team.
Three or four years ago, Peyer, executive director of the Geneva Lakes Family YMCA, said his organization used to budget $15,000 for scholarships for adults and children who couldn’t afford to pay for programs or classes the Y offered. This year, that figure is $30,000.
Feeling the effects of a disastrous economy over the last few years, the Geneva Lakes Family YMCA finds itself relying a bit more on an organization like the United Way to help fund scholarships.
“The United Way has always stepped up and helped,” Peyer said.
This year, when the United Way’s direct marketing appeals for its 2010-’11 campaign hit mailboxes the first week of October, area residents will notice a change. The United Way organizations of Delavan-Darien and the Geneva Lakes area have merged into the United Way of Walworth County. The appeal now will include Elkhorn, East Troy and Sharon.
The merger avoids duplication of fundraising efforts from two United Way agencies in the county that were, in a sense, competing for donors’ dollars.
“It was confusing to a lot of people because they really didn’t know whether they should give to the United Way headquartered in Lake Geneva or the United Way headquartered in Delavan,” said Nancy Russell, a Walworth County board supervisor who is co-chairing the 2010 fund drive with Walworth County Administrator David Bretl.
Russell added that directors of both former United Way agencies, which she said had done a great job, “were on board with this unified campaign.”
Read the full story in the e-edition of Walworth County Sunday, HERE.