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United Ways join forces in W.Va.

November 30, 2005

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The United Way of Jefferson County and United Way of Berkeley and Morgan Counties entered into an official agreement Tuesday to establish the United Way of the Eastern Panhandle (UWEP) to become fully operational by July 1, 2006.

The organizations established a United Way of the Eastern Panhandle interim board of directors by combining both organizations' board of directors. The UWEP interim board of directors (the combined UWBMC and UWJC boards) will oversee the establishment of the new entity, according to a news release issued Tuesday.

The interim board elected Teresa McCabe as president; Herald "Chip" Bennett, vice president; Rob Abruzzino, treasurer; and Alice Barkus, secretary. They will serve as the interim officers until June 30, 2006.

The UWEP interim board appointed planning committees for completing an implementation plan. The planning committees have until March 31 to present plans for the organization's governance, resource development, funds distribution, personnel management, financial management and public relations. Committee chairpersons are Jerry Arndt, Paul Espinosa, Tracey Eberling, Ed Wilson, Trip Lowe, Mary Hayward, Laurin Letart, Abruzzino, Tom Diehl, McCabe and Sandy Sponaugle.

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As of Tuesday, Jan Callen, executive director of United Way of Berkeley and Morgan Counties, will report to the United Way of the Eastern Panhandle interim board of directors and will begin integration of the two staffs. United Way will maintain the offices in Martinsburg and Charles Town, W.Va., during the interim period.

McCabe said this is a historic moment for the United Way organizations in the Eastern Panhandle.

"For more than 30 years, the United Ways of the Eastern Panhandle have helped to strengthen and improve our communities by providing funding to human service agencies that address our community needs," McCabe said in the release. "By merging our two strong United Ways into one even stronger organization, we will increase the ability of our 50-plus member agencies to make a difference here in the Eastern Panhandle."

For more information, regarding the United Way of the Eastern Panhandle, call 304-264-0603.

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