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United Way campaign goal set at $200,000

The United Way of Stutsman County is well into its “Rockin’ the United Way” fundraising campaign, which runs through the end of February.

Karla Bachmeier, executive director, said she is hoping the United Way of Stutsman County exceeds the record it set for the 2012-13 campaign when $229,005 was raised.

“We were able to give every agency the funds they requested, except for one,” Bachmeier said.

The goal for the 2013-14 campaign is $200,000.

The United Way has 22 nonprofit groups and agencies to which it gives funds. Only 501c nonprofits located in or near Stutsman County that provide a service in Stutsman County are eligible to apply for funds from United Way of Stutsman County, according to Bachmeier.

In May the United Way Board holds a review of each nonprofit applying for funds. Bachmeier said this is when each nonprofit submits its funding request for the next year. The board’s budget committee meets later in May and sets its budget for the coming year and figures out each nonprofit’s pre-allocation amount. The budget committee then notifies each nonprofit what its pre-allocation amount will be.

“We announce each group’s (nonprofit) final allocation at our annual meeting in March,” Bachmeier said.

She said during the reviews in May the board looks for anything new a nonprofit is going to be doing in the coming year. The board also looks at how big of an impact the nonprofit’s program(s) will have on the community.

“Community impact to us is providing a service that the community needs and may or may not be receiving,” Bachmeier she said.

She said she didn’t know how much has been collected so far since the campaign started in September.

“Typically this time of year, it’s slow. We see our biggest push of donations around the holidays and the end of year,” she said.

The kick-off event for the campaign was an adult prom held Sept. 27 at the Gladstone Inn & Suites in Jamestown. Bachmeier said there was a good turnout with 130 people attending the event.

“People had a ball. It gave people an excuse to dress up, some came in jeans, it didn’t matter,” she said.

Bachmeier is working with her sister to possibly hold a high tea fundraiser in Jamestown.

“It will probably be held between Christmas and New Year’s,” she said.

Bachmeier said one fact she always stresses about donations made to United Way is that 99 percent of the dollars raised here, stays here in Stutsman County.

“We are partnered with some great groups, like the Optimist Club,” she said.  The United Way has provided funds to the Optimist Club for the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, a program that provides books to children ages 5 and younger.

“It’s an excellent program and we’re excited to be involved with it,” she said.

One of the bigger requests the United Way has received for 2013 is for $26,000 from James River Public Transit. James River Public Transit is operated by the James River Senior Center and provides public transportation from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays

 Laurie McGuire, executive director of the center, said she submitted the grant request in May to help cover costs to operate the 10-vehicle fleet in Stutsman County.

“I didn’t submit a request to the United Way last year because I thought we could get by without additional funds,” she said.

What McGuire and her staff at the center didn’t anticipate was increased fuel costs for transporting the public from Jamestown out to the relocated Jamestown Regional Medical Center off of Interstate 94.

“We had a couple of unexpected repairs to a couple of our buses,” she said. “The fuel and the miles we put on our fleet running people out to the JRMC, we didn’t know how big (an increase in cost) that would be for us.”

McGuire said a route system was set up to drop people off at the JRMC, VA clinic and Essentia Health Clinic, which are all located at the new JRMC building.

“In Stutsman County alone we provided 68,000 one-way rides, that is quite a bit for us,” she said.

The James River Senior Center also runs the Wells Sheridan Public Transit out of Carrington, but any funds received from Stutsman County United Way would go to the transportation service provided in Stutsman County. The cost for a one-way ticket within Jamestown is $2.50, with different fares charged for other transportation services offered by James River Public Transit.

McGuire said having an agency offering funding like the United Way helps the James River Public Transit provide its services to all people.

“We are able to offer our services because of groups like the United Way, and the DOT (North Dakota Department of Transportation),” she said.

To make a donation to the United Way of Stutsman County, call 952-8929.

Sun reporter Chris Olson can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by email at colson@jamestownsun.com

Chris Olson

Hometown: Traverse City, MI College: Northwestern Michigan College and Michigan State University

(701) 952-8454
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