Neighbors Helping Neighbors: United Way kicks off annual campaign

FROM LEFT, SUE TIRSCHEL, Mary Beth Dixon, Joe Jaeger, Justina Blazier and Rob Blazier watch Gage Massie of Iron Mountain as he is escorted by Maureen Garvaglia of The Dickinson County Proud Equestrians during the 2020 fundraising campaign annual kickoff at Pine Grove County Club in Iron Mountain. (Theresa Proudfit/Daily News photo)

IRON MOUNTAIN — The United Way of Dickinson County officially launched its annual fundraising campaign this week with a goal of $130,500.

The amount is down slightly from the 2019 target of $138,500.

The Dickinson County Proud Equestrians were on site at Pine Grove Country Club in Iron Mountain as the Neighbors Helping Neighbors drive kicked off Tuesday.

That effort in the past has donated 2,500 books to 27 local doctors, supported drug prevention in 12 classrooms, instilled bully prevention in four schools, provided prescription assistance for 2,300 people, provided daycare for 20 to 30 seniors, distributed 140 Palpaks to local ambulance, fire and police departments, completed 29 Habitat for Humanity projects, served 240 youth leaders with scouting programs and presented D.A.R.E training to 487 local students.

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

John Estes greets the community at the United Way fundraising campaign kick-off at Pine Grove County Club in Iron Mountain. (Theresa Proudfit/Daily News photo)

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

Those agencies 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.

— Our Place Community Center and Imagination Factory Children’s Museum, a place gearing up to create positive activities for children, youth, adults, families and the elderly.

Tuesday’s event was sponsored by Boss Snowplow, Verso, First Bank, We Energies Foundation and Danielson Insurance Agency. Boss Snowplow donated a Toro snow blower as the grand prize for the evening, which was won by Sally Blom.

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