United Way launches annual funding campaign

From left, John Estes, United Way campaign chairman and president-elect, and Chuck Munk, vice president and co-chairman, draw names for prizes during the 2019 United Way of Dickinson County fundraising campaign kick-off Tuesday at Pine Grove County Club in Iron Mountain.

IRON MOUNTAIN — United Way of Dickinson County officially launched its annual fundraising campaign Tuesday with a goal of $138,500.

The amount is down from the 2018 target of $156,900.

“We didn’t quite make our goal last year,” executive director Barb Messer explained during a kick-off event Tuesday evening at Pine Grove Country Club. “The board wanted to be realistic with the amount because the agencies count on what the board tells them we are hoping to give them. We have to work hard for it, but the community is responsive when they see a need. The board feels this amount is do-able. If there is an overage, they will divide it.”

Two new organizations were added to the upcoming Neighbors Helping Neighbors drive in 2019.

The Alzheimer’s Association-Greater Michigan Chapter and Our Place Community Center are both named to receive funds from the United Way.

The Alzheimer’s Association provides caregiver workshops to area families and coordinates health care with Family Ties Adult Center.

The organizers of the Our Place Community Center movement and Imagination Factory Children’s Museum are putting together final arrangements on a building before making a public announcement.

“This is coming. It is exciting. We have 25 to 30 exhibits; we are so ready. It’s just wonderful,” said Barb Reisner, director of the Dickinson Iron Great Start Collaborative.

Tuesday’s event was sponsored by First Bank, We Energies Foundation and Danielson Insurance Agency. Boss Snowplow donated a Toro snow blower as the grand prize for the evening. “We appreciate the support the community has given us and are looking forward to a good year this year,” Messer said.

Sixteen area agencies stand to benefit from the annual fundraising campaign, which also provides 4-H summer camp scholarships.

Other agencies in line for funding include:

— Bay Lakes Council Boy Scouts of America;

— Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area;

— Caring House Inc., which addresses domestic and sexual assault in the community through education, advocacy and other appropriate interventions and offering a save haven for victims;

— Catholic Social Services of the U.P., a non-denominational agency that provides family, individual and marriage counseling as well as child welfare services, including problem pregnancy counseling, adoption and work and community consultation services;

— D.A.R.E. of Dickinson County, which educates Dickinson County schools and students on making safe and responsible decisions concerning drugs, alcohol and other risky behaviors;

— DCH Prescription Assistance Program, a Dickinson County Healthcare System service that includes Medicare drugs, supplement enrollment and health benefits counseling for the uninsured in the community;

— Dickinson County Proud Equestrian Program, which offers a week of horseback riding instruction for 20 to 30 physically challenged youth and young adults;

— Dial Help, a crisis intervention information referral service and victim support and assistance service for emotional or substance abuse problems;

— Family Ties Adult Center, which provides day care to adults with dementia so caregivers can attend to personal needs or take a break;

— Imagination Library-Great Start and Intermediate School District, which offers early literacy opportunities from birth to age 5 in Dickinson County;

— Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes;

— Habitat for Humanity Menominee River, which works to help people in the community by building and renovating houses and improving neighborhoods through home repair projects.

— Medical Care Access Coalition, which is developing a system to provide quality, affordable health care to the uninsured in Dickinson County;

— Northwoods Airlifeline, a service that uses volunteer pilots to provide air transportation at no cost to medical patients who need treatment at distant facilities.

“United Way helps support non-profit agencies that serve the health and human needs of the residents of Dickinson County and the surrounding area,” Messer said. “Over half the residents of Dickinson County used one or more of the agencies in the past year. They are well used.”

For more information on how to contribute, go to www.unitedwaydickinson.org.