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Ormond Beach Observer Friday, Mar. 26, 2021 3 weeks ago

United Way exceeds $300,000 goal for its Fill the Gap Match Campaign

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by: Jarleene Almenas Associate Editor

Thanks to an anonymous donor, United Way of Volusia-Flagler Counties was able to exceed its Fill the Gap Match Campaign's $300,000 goal, a press release announced on Thursday, March 25.

Kim McBee of Corporate Synergies, board president, said in the press release that facing a shortfall in United Way's annual fundraising campaign would have severely impacted the organization's ability to help people in Volusia and Flagler counties. Exceeding the match campaign goal will allow the nonprofit to meet the increased demand for services.

“There are so many individuals, businesses, and groups that made the success of this campaign possible, including the anonymous donors who initiated the match campaign, Root Organization, Intracoastal Bank and their senior leadership team, and another anonymous donor that provided the $150,000 match pool," McBee said. "Our team of volunteers were overwhelmed by the generosity of individual donors, the Women United groups, and Generation IMPACT to raise a significant portion of the community’s support. It feels like a real win to call this campaign a success thanks to this gift."

United Way launched the match campaign on Feb. 1, and its fundraising supports 21 programs at 16 nonprofits in Volusia and Flagler counties, which served over 25,000 people last year. These programs are directly responsible for providing subsidized childcare, mental health services, after school programs, and housing solutions, among other outcomes in the two county area, the press release states. Additionally, United Way supports a volunteer platform and the 211 Free First Call for Help, which saw a 200% increase in call volume during the pandemic.

“The United Way responds to the needs of our local community and has continued to provide support for necessary services during the pandemic and even stepped up to provide additional funding for pandemic-specific services,” said Courtney Edgcomb, president of the United Way of Volusia-Flagler Counties. “The Match Campaign’s success is the result of innovative donors who care about this community and the dedication of committed volunteers to take on the challenge.” 


DAR honors more essay contest winners

Emily Burrows, teacher Jeanne Burden, teacher Robin Gentry, Ruby Rutt and Karen Knowles, DAR American History Chairperson. Courtesy photo

The Capt. James Ormond Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution has honored two more local essay contest winners.

For this year's essay, students in fifth through eighth grade were asked to imagine living in Boston and, after witnessing the Boston Massacre, describe their families' discussion and what role it played in organizing the colonists against the British king and parliament. From the Write School, the DAR recognized sixth graders Emily Burrows and Ruby Rutt. Burrows won first place, and Rutt won second.

15,000 pounds of food donated

Three companies – Walmart, Bimbo Bakeries USA and Tyson Foods – recently donated 15,000 pounds of food to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida through a partnership with Feeding America, a press release announced.

This is the fourth year in a row that the three companies have joined forces to help end hunger across the nation. Representatives from each company visited the food bank to deliver the food and tour the facility. Each donated 5,000 pounds of bread and 10,000 pounds of chicken. 

“This past year has been especially challenging, trying to keep up with increased demand from the community,” said Kirsten Langan, director of food strategy and sourcing at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. “We’re seeing more families – those who never thought they’d be in this situation – coming in for help. We cannot thank our corporate partners enough for this generous donation during these trying times.”

Second Harvest Food Bank stores and donates food to more than 550 feeding partners in six central Florida counties, including Volusia.

COA announces new co-executive directors

The Council of Aging has announced its two new co-executive directors to lead the 54-year-old agency. 

Eveline Kraljic and Terri Karol will step up following the retirement of current COA President and CEO Sarah Gurtis, who served at the helm of the nonprofit for six years, a press release states.

Eveline Kraljic joined COA in 2015 as chief operating officer and director of human resources. Courtesy photo

Kraljic, originally from the Netherlands, joined COA in 2015 as chief operating officer and director of human resources. She is also the immediate past president of the Volusia/Flagler Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management and past president of Pace Center for Girls Volusia/Flagler. She is a 2016 graduate of Leadership Daytona Class XXXVI and recently achieved her designation as a distinguished toastmaster.

“Terri and I are very excited about our new roles,” said Kraljic in the press release. “We are both very grateful that Sarah is leaving the organization in such a strong position to move forward. Her phenomenal leadership put us on firm footing to continue to deliver vital services to the growing at-risk senior population here in Volusia County.”

Terri Karol has served as COA's chief financial officer since 2014. Courtesy photo

Karol has served as COA's chief financial officer since 2014. Prior to joining COA, she worked for seven years as an auditor and audit manager with Olivari and Associates, and five years as chief financial officer with the Children's Advocacy Center.

“Our team is well-positioned to move our mission forward creatively and purposefully in these unusual times,” she said. “We are excited about what lies ahead, and we look forward to getting to know more of the community as the community gets to know more about us and the important work we do.”


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