Katherine Mayle enjoys clogging and can now plan to continue attending her Wednesday evening clogging class, thanks to the United Way.
Mayle's husband, Ona, 93, suffers from dementia and needs full-time supervision, she said. Twice a week Ona goes to Senior Care of North Central West Virginia, an adult day care in Nutter Fort, so Katherine can run errands and have some time for herself.
Now, the center sends an aide to the Mayle home on Wednesday evenings so Katherine can continue her class, paid for by funds distributed by the United Way.
"If I had to pay for someone to come in every Wednesday I really couldn't afford it. This is helping me to get out and do some things and not have to worry about my husband's welfare," Mayle said.
Money donated to the United Way of Harrison County is distributed to 22 local agencies, including the Senior Care facility.
Owner Barbara Clutter said the additional funds will help her to send aides to several homes and to support those who could not otherwise attend the center.
"This will allow us to help more families by sending in an aide who will stay with the patient while the family can get out for a while," Clutter said.
On Monday the Harrison County United Way announced that it had met its campaign goal of $735,000, an amount $15,000 higher than last year's target.
Bruce Carter, president of United Hospital Center, served as this year's campaign chair.
"I would say I'm relieved, but this was an expected outcome because of the generosity of individuals, businesses and the community. They've always been supportive of the United Way," he said.
Most area businesses and individuals recognize the importance and the benefit of the unified fund-raising effort conducted by the United Way, Carter said.
"Many of these charities are small and they could never on their own conduct a fund-raising effort like this," he said.
"By working through one unified campaign, it maximizes the amount of money that can be raised," he said.
Carter credited the United Way staff for the campaign's positive finish: Ken Moslander, the executive director who recently retired; Julie Perine, marketing associate and April Howell, administrative assistant.
"They kept us on track to make sure we met the goal. And there were so many volunteers who spent hours approaching the businesses and other people to secure the donations. The staff is so small, the work really rests on volunteer efforts," he said.
The board of directors continues its search to replace Moslander. Robert Tolley, board president, said they hope to have a new director in place in March.
"We've had a number of qualified people apply and we expect to start interviews by the end of the month," Tolley said.
The current United Way campaign officially ends on Feb. 22 with the agency's annual awards dinner and election of the board of directors.
Until that time, any additional donations will be credited to the current campaign, Perine said. After that, work begins on next year's campaign.
The United Way plans to hold a Youth Day of Caring in April, Perine said. Much like October's Day of Caring that allows employees to take a day from their work and give that time to help one of the supported agencies, the youth event will be open to high school students.
"This will be something just for the kids, to allow them to see some of the kinds of work our supported agencies do," said Perine, who is in her first year as marketing associate.
The official kickoff of the campaign takes place in September at The Day in the Park, an all-day event that showcase the work of the supported agencies.
"It's really takes a year round effort, but the community has always responded well, and I would like to think that's because they understand that all the money they contribute stays in this area," said Perine.
Assistant City Editor Gail Marsh can be reached at 626-1447 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org