By Crystal Thompson
The Hill County United Way has raised more money this fund-raising year than any year in recent history, says Director Bob Rice.
The volunteers' efforts have raised $100,032.72, Rice said, adding $100,000 will be divided among local agencies in need.
The United Way of Havre provides funding for 18 local organizations which include the Golden Triangle Mental Health Center, the North Havre Food Bank, the Boy and Girl Scouts, People First Montana, Hill County Mentoring for Tomorrow, the Child Care Link, and many others.
Rice said that this year was a success for the United Way from the start, beginning with the kickoff luncheon on Sept. 19, 2000. Everyone really worked together, Rice said, noting that each of Havre's United Way agencies offered at least one volunteer to help with fund-raising.
The Hill County United Way raises money for local charities a number of ways. Fund-raisers include hamburger cookouts at IGA, the kettlecorn booth at the Great Northern Fair, and a variety of raffles. This year the organization held a Monday Night Football party at Boxcars Casino, which was very popular.
"They really went the extra mile for us," Rice said of Boxcars, who donated the food and space for the football fund-raiser.
The United Way board is also planning a garage sale at the mall for this spring, Rice said.
Nominations for this year's United Way board were recently made, with Mike Evans elected as president. Lori Henderson was announced as vice president, with Kim Cripps as secretary and Robert Floren as treasurer. The finance committee will meet Wednesday to discuss the distribution of this year's funds.
Rice said that the reason for this year's success is due to the support and participation of everyone involved with the United Way. He said that a lot of donations this year were from people who had never donated before.
"It was encouraging," he said.
The United Way has two separate funds, Rice said, addressing concerns about funding staying local. The organization's discretionary fund includes money that the board itself raises. This money is used for national dues and materials. The second fund consists of local donations, which are used strictly for local agencies.
"None of that money goes out of Hill County," Rice said.
Rice encourages local non-profit charitable organizations to apply for United Way funding. The application process is fairly simple, he said, and if the Board approves the agency, they can receive funding.
Applications are submitted annually; agencies currently receiving funds are also required to resubmit every year.
To learn more about the United Way, or to find out how to apply for funding, contact Bob Rice at the Hill County United Way Office, 265-6561.