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Eastern Panhandle United Ways vote to operate as one

October 22, 2005

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -The two United Ways in the Eastern Panhandle will merge and begin operating as one organization on Jan. 1, according to a press release.

The boards of the United Way of Jefferson County and the United Way of Berkeley and Morgan Counties both voted unanimously in favor of the merger, according to the release.

"This is an historic moment for the United Way movement in the Eastern Panhandle," Margie Bartles, president of the United Way of Berkeley and Morgan County Board, said in the release. "I am enthusiastic about the United Way of the Eastern Panhandle's ability to help our community."

The merger will enhance the capacity of the United Ways to make a difference in Eastern Panhandle communities and strengthen their local and federal campaign efforts, resulting in greater service being provided to the more than 50 member agencies in Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties, according to the release.

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Becoming one organization also will increase the United Way's ability to receive grants and maintain a professional and diverse staff that can focus on a year-round campaign, according to the release.

"On behalf of the entire Jefferson County Board, we are pleased with the decision because it allows us to be more effective in the collection of funds necessary to meet the great needs of our community," said R. Steven Nichols, vice president and campaign chair for the United Way of Jefferson County and superintendent of Jefferson County Schools.

For more information, contact the United Way of Berkeley and Morgan Counties at 304-263-0603 or the United Way of Jefferson County at 304-725-4483. Information also is available at www.jcunitedway.org.

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