United Way Donation Goal Met

Residents Give Over $35,000

FORT MYERS, FL (February 19, 2001) – For many years, the residents of Shell Point have been an important part of the United Way Campaign, earning recognition as leaders in supporting this vital community service. This year was no exception, with Shell Point exceeding its goal of $35,000, with a grand total of $35,427! The community is proud to be the home of four Keel Club Members (donating $1,000 or more), as well. At a recent Residents’ Council meeting, Dr. Erwin Rudolph, chairperson of the Residents’ Council, was presented with a plaque of appreciation by United Way associate Kay Timms.

(photo at right) United Way campaign associate Kay Timms, Shell Point coordinator Cindy O’Grady, resident volunteer Dr. Erwin Rudolph, United Way campaign chair Laurel Smith (with life preserver), resident volunteer Jean Gilman, and Shell Point volunteer coordinator Teri Kollath.

United Way Campaign Chair Laurel Smith thanked the residents of Lee County for their tremendous generosity in exceeding this year’s $3.4 million goal, as well as over 1,000 volunteers for spreading the campaign message, “Be a Life Saver. Support United Way.” The 2000-2001 Campaign was the 8th year in a row that the United Way of Lee County achieved or exceeded its goal.

Those who are not familiar with the services provided by the United Way of Lee County may be interested to learn the following facts:

* Through one contribution, donors help support 50 local agencies. This includes the Salvation Army, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the Alzheimer’s Resource Center, Meals on Wheels, ACT, Harry Chapin Food Bank and the Boys and Girls Club.
* All dollars given to the United Way of Lee County remain local, helping people in our community.
* In 1999, Lee County agencies provided service to more than 220,000 people – that’s about one in every two people in Lee County!
* Extensive volunteer involvement allows the United Way of Lee County to keep fund-raising costs extremely low.
* Volunteers annually evaluate agency performance and thoroughly study agency budgets to make sure United Way of Lee County dollars are spent efficiently and with impact.

Jean Gilman, a Shell Point resident, has participated in this vital function for the past two years. Review time takes place in April or May and involves nine to ten volunteers on several committees, who are assigned to visit specific agencies that request money from the United Way. The first step involves reams of paperwork by the agency making the request, followed by a visit from the review committee.

“The Allocation Division is challenging, demanding and rewarding,” Jean commented. “The committee decides how to divide the United Way funds among the agencies we have studied so that they will have the most positive impact on the community. The more people find out about the wonderful United Way agencies and all those who receive help, the more generous they are in their giving.”

Jean has worked with the Southwest Florida Marine Institute, Ruth Cooper Center, Family Life Center, Age Link/Help Link and the Quality of Life Program during her tenure on the committee.

We applaud the donors and volunteers for playing a part in this worthwhile community effort.

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