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United Way groups adopt bylaws

New guidelines place agencies a step closer to merger

New guidelines place agencies a step closer to merger

March 11, 2006|By ROBERT SNYDER

MARTINSBURG, W.VA.

The Eastern Panhandle's two United Way agencies took one step closer toward their planned merger later this year with a vote Friday to approve adopting the new group's bylaws.

The combined Board of Directors of the soon-to-be-formed organization, which will be called the United Way of the Eastern Panhandle, voted to approve a set of operating bylaws that will clear the way for the formation of a new 25-member board, following a presentation by Governance Committee Chairman Paul Espinosa.

The new board will be composed of 14 members from Berkeley County, eight from Jefferson County and three from Morgan County, said Espinosa, adding each member is eligible to serve two consecutive three-year terms.

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The merger, which formally was approved in November, is set for July 1 and will join the Jefferson County agency with the chapter in Berkeley and Morgan counties, board President Teresa McCabe said.

McCabe said the merger, which had been on the drawing board for a number of years, will result in two positive outcomes.

"We feel that by having a United Way of the Eastern Panhandle, it's going to make the choice a lot easier for the donors, but more importantly, the agencies that we serve," McCabe said.

McCabe said a single agency will eliminate uncertainty by donors with ties to both counties, while the groups that receive funding from the United Way will benefit from the merger by not having to submit applications to two organizations.

"There'll be one management structure, one set of forms and one standard process that will certainly benefit the agencies," she said.

The United Way serves more than 50 agencies in the Eastern Panhandle, including Hospice of the Panhandle, the Shenandoah Women's Center and the Boys and Girls Club, which itself is in the midst of a merger, McCabe said.

The United Way remains about $40,000 away from reaching the $1,275,000 goal it set for its most recent fundraising campaign, Executive Director Jan Callen told board members Friday.

Callen said the group is awaiting the results of the federal employee campaign in Washington, D.C., before it closes this year's fundraising effort.

"We'll hit that without any problem," Callen said.

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