What Matters? You Matter!

What Matters? You Matter! by Bonnie Sorensen As a child and young adult growing up in Vermillion, I have memories of a huge thermometer on the highway, now Cherry Street. Every time my folks would drive by I would watch the red in the thermometer get closer and closer to the top.

I often wondered if it would ever explode and red paint would be splattered everywhere. It never did. But it would have been a grand sight. Year after year I would wait and watch for signs of the thermometer inching its way to the top. And I never understood why Vermillion had a thermometer and what did it mean? Now I know.

In the spring of 1956, Robert Kolarich, W.M. Barton, Louise L. Majewsky, Marian F. Green, J.G. Farmer, I.D. Weeks and Phillips B. Crew "associated ourselves together for the purpose of forming a corporation under and by virtue of the statutes and laws of the State of South Dakota, and we do hereby certify and declare as follows, the name of the corporation shall be United Way of Vermillion."

The purpose was and still is to raise money by the people in the community for the good of the people in the community. So there it is � the beginning of the thermometer.

The United Way of Vermillion works to improve people's lives by mobilizing a caring force. What I did not know was that the monies raised stayed and worked right here in our community. What I did not know was the countless number of volunteers and hours it took to achieve the goals. What I did not know is how everyone in the community is impacted by the generous contributions of our neighbors.

In September, United Way of Vermillion kicked off its 2005 fund-raising campaign. The theme of this year's campaign is YOU MATTER! Twenty five local agencies will be benefiting from your generosity to impact lives and the needs of our neighbors. This year we plan on raising $85,000 with your help.

If you could help your neighbors realize their dreams and achieve their potential with one powerful gift, wouldn't you do it? Send your pledge to United Way of Vermillion, P.O. Box 216, Vermillion, SD 57069.

The thermometer is still on the highway at 24 E. Cherry Street. Drive by once in a while and hope that the red paint will splatter all over the sign!

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