No money United Way target will continue: president

SD&G United Way director Angie Baker addresses the AGM, on behalf of outgoing president, Nolan Quinn, on Tuesday, June 19, 2018, while the new president, Andrew Donihee, looks on. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

SD&G – The new president of the SD&G United Way says the campaign’s target, focusing on lives changed instead of a dollar amount, will continue.

“I think we are quite happy with it,” Andrew Donihee said Tuesday, in an interview with Cornwall Newswatch, following the agency’s AGM at the United Counties building on Pitt Street.

Donihee – a teacher at St. Joseph’s Catholic Secondary School – takes over the top spot from Nolan Quinn. Quinn was president for the last two years and was also a campaign chairman for two years. Donihee thanked Quinn, who was unable to be at the meeting, for guiding and mentoring him for the president’s position.

“For us, the campaign was a success,” Donihee said. “There’s always need in the community. I don’t think we will ever reach a figure that we could really be happy with because there’s always so much to give and so many people in need.”

“So, again this year, we’re going to stick with that idea of moving forward without a number but looking at how we can make an impact in the community,” Donihee told CNW.

Last fall was the first time the United Way focused its campaign on the number of lives changed instead of picking a dollar figure that was usually unveiled with fanfare during a breakfast at the Royal Canadian Legion.

Financial statements for the year ending March 2018 show the annual campaign raised $631,051 before adjustments, such as contributions to special events and an amount for noncollectable pledges. The result was about the same as the previous year.

There was $376,450 in contributions to 13 agencies in SD&G. Those were: Big Brothers and Big Sisters, the Boys and Girls Club, Canadian Hearing Society, Canadian Mental Health Association, Meals on Wheels, Counselling and Family Services, Equipe Phycho-Sociale, Glengarry Inter Agency Group (GIAG), March of Dimes, SD&G Development Services Center, SASS, Beyond 21, the Tri-County Literacy Council.

Administration and overhead costs for the United Way were $193,882 – 42 per cent of that is weighed against fundraising while 58 per cent goes against programs the United Way delivers.

The SD&G United Way campaign co-chairs are recognized for their efforts during the 2016 and 2017 fundraising events. Pictured are United Way director Angie Baker, President Andrew Donihee and campaign co-chairs Pauline Bray and Bill Makinson. The agency held its AGM on Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

Also at the AGM, Bill Makinson and Pauline Bray – the co-chairs from the 2016 and 2017 campaigns – were presented with framed picture collages for recognition of their work.

“It’s not easy being a volunteer, especially whenever you have a family or run a business or you’re working like most people are full-time trying to juggle it all. But when these people were asked, they didn’t hesitate,” director Angie Baker said.

A new campaign chairman hasn’t been chosen, something Donihee says will be done “hopefully soon” once the new board of directors is up to speed.

Donihee says they won’t be hiring an executive director to replace Lori Greer, who resigned in March to pursue another career opportunity.

“We’ve moved away from looking specifically at an executive director and looking at a model in the office where we can focus on fundraising as well as looking at managing the office and making sure we meet all those commitments,” Donihee said.

A job posting is out but the board hasn’t reviewed any submissions or done any interviews, he said.