United Way launches campaign

United Way launches campaign by David Lias With the theme "Energizing for now and the future," the Vermillion Area United Way formally kicked off its 2000 fund-raising campaign by hosting a "taste of Vermillion."

Local residents who stopped Thursday evening, Sept. 23, at the Washington Street Arts Center, home to the Vermillion Area Arts Council, had the opportunity to dine on fine food offered by several of the community's dining establishments.

While enjoying food and fellowship, those in attendance also learned of the goals of this year�s United Way campaign. The Vermillion Area United Way board of directors� goal is to raise $68,245.

Over 98 percent of the funding raised by United Way stays in the Vermillion community. The dollars in this latest United Way campaign will be distributed to agencies that fulfill four important roles in the city: health care, youth, seniors and special needs, social support and environment and culture.

Health care

In the area of health care, funding will be distributed to Sioux Valley Vermillion Hospice, Sioux Valley Vermillion Homecare and the Clay County Rescue Association.

The Sioux Valley Vermillion Hospice assists the terminally ill with physical, emotional, social and spiritual assistance regardless of the ability to pay.

Sioux Valley Vermillion Homecare provides intermittent nursing care and other therapeutic services to individuals in their homes regardless of their ability to pay.

The Clay County Rescue Association provides equipment and support to emergency response teams in Clay County.

Youth, seniors,

and special needs

The United Way will provide financial assistance to several local organizations that fall under this category. They are:

? Vermillion Red Cross Swimming Lessons. Hundreds of area children have learned to swim through this summer program operated through Vermillion�s Park and Recreation Department.

? Sioux Council Boy Scouts. Over 300 boys and girls in Clay County are provided a comprehensive youth development program.

? Mathilda Geppert Childcare Center. The center provides a quality infant and toddler childcare program for low-income parents.

? Center for Children & Families. This is an organization trying to bring a dream to reality by constructing a facility dedicated to the care and education of children and families.

? Sioux Trails Girl Scouts Council. The council helps girls develop as resourceful individuals and provides community service through local care projects.

Social support

Organizations under this category targeted to receive United Way funding from the 2000 campaign are:

? Clay County Child Protection Team. This organization provides parenting workshops and school presentations to prevent child abuse and neglect.

? Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The coalition provides psychological, physical and legal support and maintains a 24 hour hotline and safe houses for victims of domestic violence.

? Vermillion Food Pantry. The food pantry is made up of community volunteers organized to collect and distribute food to people in need.

? Senior Citizens Center. The center supports and promotes activities for seniors in Vermillion and Clay County.

? Senior Nutrition Center. This organization promotes senior nutritional support through daily meals at the Senior Citizens Center and by delivery of meals to the homebound.

? South East Transit. This is a source of transportation for all citizens, including the elderly and those with disabilities.

? Southeast SD Activities Center (SESDAC). This facility provides services and support to those with developmental disabilities.

? Big Friend/Little Friend. The goal of this organization is to match qualified adult volunteer mentors with youth ages 5 to 17.

Environment and culture

Three local organizations defined under this category will receive United Way funds. They are:

? Friends of the W. H. Over Museum. This group provides South Dakota historic and contemporary museum exhibits and educational programs.

? Vermillion Area Arts Council. The council provides cultural enrichment through arts education and special events.

? Vermillion Beautiful Inc. This organization provides projects focused on the beautification of the city of Vermillion.

The executive director of the Vermillion Area United Way is Barbara Campbell. Her mailing address is P.O. Box 216, Vermillion, SD 57069.

Officers of the Vermillion Area United Way Board of Directors are John Gors, president, Phyllis Packard, vice president, and Janis Schaner, secretary/treasurer.

Board members are Gary Girard, Randy Houska, Lisa Ketcham, Mary C. Merrigan, Connie Nelsen, Jon Robertson, Chuck Schwartz, Theresa Wingen and Kathy Prasek.

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