United Way kicks off yearly campaign at Chamber coffee

United Way hosted the weekly Chamber Coffee Thursday morning, giving an update on their organization as well as handing out award letters to the 12 agencies they support financially.

9-10 Chamber Coffee 6

Gina Shelton, treasurer of United Way, said they wanted to use this Chamber Coffee as an opportunity to recognize the agencies they support and give them a chance to describe what they do.

“You know in general what the agencies are, but you don’t know about all of them,” Shelton said.

Shelton also described changes that have come to the area United Way in the past seven months or so, in their effort to cut administrative costs so they could give more to area charities and agencies.

“We had seen that there was a progressive decline in the money that was coming in,” Shelton said.

As a result, United Way gave up their office as well as their landline and also let go of a paid position so it is run by a board of volunteers. Because of all these changes, Shelton said this year they will take a break from the Zombie Chase, but bring it back next year.

Even with all these cost-saving cuts, Shelton said they are still in need of donations from the community so United Way can invest it right back into Fort Scott and Bourbon County through organizations that assist the infirm, young, elderly, destitute and others in a variety of ways.

“We really want to get the money more out to the community,” Shelton said.

United Way presented award letters to 12 area organizations to support them in their work, including Bourbon County Inter-Agency Coalition Board, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Bourbon County Senior Citizens, Care to Share, 4-H Fair, Kansas Legal Services, Keyhole Youth Center, Fort Scott Ministerial Alliance and Hospitality fund, Safehouse Crisis Center, Southeast Kansas Respite Services, Tri-Valley Developmental Services and United Cerebral Palsy of Kansas.

Representatives from each organization gave a brief description and update of their respective entity.

Other local business members also gave announcements for the cost of $1 to go toward the fund for Dolly the Trolley. Announcements this week included:

  • This weekend, Common Grounds will host performers including Doug Harper of Nevada and local high school student Alex King.
  • The Church of the Nazarene will again hold their Motor Sunday event on Sept. 20, including a ride for life and a car show as well as other activities for families.
  • The Fort Scott National Historic Site will start placing flags Thursday afternoon for their Symbols of Sacrifice event which will begin Friday and continue through Sept. 17. The weekly Concerts in the Park event will be performed at the fort Friday evening and the 1st Infantry Division’s Brass Band will perform a concert Saturday at 6 p.m. The event still needs volunteers to read the names of those who have died during the war on terror Saturday over the downtown public announcement system. Names will be read in 15 minute increments.
  • Meals on Wheels in Bourbon County continues to look for volunteers who can deliver meals to senior citizens of the community.
  • The 59th Pioneer Harvest Fiesta will begin Sept. 24 with a parade before events such as a quilt show and machinery auction start Fri., Sept. 25, and end on Sept. 27. The event is in need of volunteers who can participate any of those days.
  • With the end of the year approaching, Fort Scott Family Dental encourages those with dental plans to set up their appointments. New patients are also always welcomed.
  • Already, the local rotary club is beginning preparations for the sixth annual Dancing with the Stars event to be held in February, featuring married couples performing a variety of dancing styles. Those interested in being involved can contact rotary members.
  • My Father’s House is partnering with Casey’s to hold a fundraiser, featuring pizza and donut coupons. The $15 pizza coupon allows the coupon holder to buy a large pizza and get a second small pizza free 10 times, while the $10 donut coupon gets a second half a dozen donuts free on 10 occasions.
  • Deb Madison, the community relations coordinator for Medicalodges, will retire at the end of the month after 21 years with the center. A reception will be held for her Sept. 29, 8-9 a.m.
  • The Fort Scott High School and the city of Fort Scott are looking for adult mentors to get involved with the Career Exploration Mentor Program, pairing a community member with a high school junior or senior. Mentors meet with the student a couple times a month and help them plan for a future career.
  • USD 234 will hold the Tigers on the Move Color Run Friday at the Riverfront trail at 5 p.m., before the first home game for the varsity football team.
  • The Town-wide Garage Sale will be held Friday and Saturday, with maps of participating homes available at the chamber of commerce and other local businesses.

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