The member agencies of the former Weyburn branch of the United Way are still intending to work together for the sake of fundraising, and this includes a 2019 Communithon.
A near-unanimous vote determined the dissolution of the board, but the fundraising event remains an important part of how so many people can be helped within the community.
At the final board meeting of the Weyburn & District United Way, member agencies voted on the dissolution, with all but one person in favour. Through discussion, it was made clear to the voters that the board was not required for the Communithon to continue.
Sabrina Kraft said member agencies have in the past and will continue to step forward to be part of the Volunteer Leadership Team. The team will be in communication with the United Way Regina, which has been helping with the administrative side of the Weyburn branch this year.
Christa Daku, Executive Director for Envision Counselling & Support in Weyburn and Estevan, said while she is generally focused on helping with fundraising in Estevan, the organization’s Weyburn staff has been committed to Communithon for a number of years.
“We try to help out wherever we can, so we did have two staff there, helping out with the financial area this past Communithon, and the previous couple years we had somebody that was looking after all the backstage management,” said Daku, noting that Assistant Executive Director Lynda Rideout and Executive Assistant Lori Wolstenholme also attended meetings as part the pre-planning committees.
Tasha Collins, Program Director for the Weyburn branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association, said it’s all hands on deck for their organization.
“Usually, some of our consumers are involved in the setup, and sometimes the take-down, and then we also volunteer some of my services throughout the day with the finance desk, and things like that, so essentially they have like a Communithon committee, and within that are people from the member agencies,” explained Collins.
Moving forward, Collins and Daku said each of their organizations are committed to working on the 38th annual Communithon event, which will be held in 2019.
“Moving forward, [Lynda and Lori] will continue to sit on the planning committee, the fundraising committee, and we’ll just see where it goes,” said Daku.
The meeting scheduled for January 12th is open-ended, in that the agenda includes planning for Communithon or something like it, maybe even something better. Factoring in that United Way Regina has not formally committed to Weyburn, they are committed informally as they have been in 2018.
“We’ll have to wait for it to play out, I think it’s too soon to say,” said Daku. “I belong to a fairly large collegiate membership throughout the province, and I know that a lot of United Ways have amalgamated like this, and it just really depends.”
She noted if Regina does end up bringing Weyburn on officially, he said she hopes funds raised in the community stay in the community.
“If that’s the goal that they take with our community, then I think we should continue to be successful,” she said.
Collins said CMHA Weyburn will be in on the January meeting.
“We look forward to working with the leadership committee that is going to be meeting in January,” said Collins.
Former W&DUW board president Sabrina Kraft said nearly $170,000 was paid out to the member agencies. Allocations were made at the December 12th meeting, with each member agency receiving an equal reserve payment of $3,864.98 as well as individual allotments of varying amounts.
In addition to the reserve fund allotment, CMHA Weyburn was presented with $20,000, which includes the quarterly payment as well as the proceeds from the 2018 Communithon, which would have been presented quarterly for the next year if there had been no dissolution.
“We will definitely put all of that funding towards our programs and services throughout the year,” said Collins. “Having those funds available, we’re able to allocate funds wherever we need them. It’s been pretty instrumental for what CMHA does and what we’re able to provide for the community.”
“Looking back on what Weyburn & District United Way has done for us, so much of our programming is able to happen because of those funds,” said Collins.
In addition to the reserve fund amount, Envision Counselling & Support also received $20,000; Big Brothers Big Sisters Weyburn received $18,000; CNIB received $13,750; Weyburn Care-A-Van Society received $10,000; Weyburn Youth Centre received $6,000; Sun Country Kids Club received $6,000; Inclusion Weyburn Received $6,000; Community Low Income received $4,300; Canada Red cross received $4,300; Weyburn Special Care Home received $4,000; Sask Abilities received $3,130; Spinal Cord Injury Inc. received $2,500.
How it will look in the future is still yet to be determined, but the community of Weyburn and area will continue to be impacted by these organizations thanks to the efforts of those committed to service.
Presentation photos are posted below. Missing from the December 19th event were representatives from Big Brothers/ Big Sisters and Spinal Cord Injury Inc.