United Way names co-chairmen, issues grants

The United Way of Central Missouri has turned to Jefferson City natives Lori Massman and Andy Fechtel to spearhead the 2013 fundraising campaign.

Massman is the community development manager at Scholastic and returns for a second year as co-chair.

Fechtel is a fourth-generation beverage distributor who announced a fundraising goal of $1.7 million, $50,000 more than last year.

"It's a big goal. We're excited about it," Fechtel said.

The campaign will continue through October.

The local United Way board also handed out one-time grants to eleven ageincies from several counties, including both United Way members and non-members.

"Since 2002, the United Way has pushed out over 700 thousand dollars in one-time grants to various agenices to something very specific in that one year," United Way Board Chairman Dan Westhues said.

The following list shows how each receiving agency plans to use the United Way money:

2013 Grant Recipients

Central Missouri Foster Care & Adoption Association: This non-partner agency educates supports and advocates for foster and adoptive children, youth, and families in central Missouri by offering services and partnering with community and governmental agencies to develop healthy and self-sufficient individuals and families. The United Way grant will provide fund a respite program including a monthly venue and activities for children beginning in June and ending in April 2014.

Community Health Center of Central Missouri: This partner agency provides primary care medical, dental and mental health services to citizens of Cole, Osage, Moniteau, and surrounding counties regardless of ability to pay. The United Way grant will fund the purchase of Urgent Care clinic equipment to be used in two new exam rooms and a nursing space recently converted from office space in order to provide services for 2,400 additional patients within the first year of operation.

Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children (CASA): This non-partner agency advocates for the best interests of abused and neglected children with the 19th Judicial Circuit of Missouri, based on the belief that all children are entitled to a safe and permanent home. CASA works with trained volunteers in cooperation with the courts, key agencies, legal counsel and community resources. The CASA program provides critical services to the children of Cole County who find themselves trapped in the court and child welfare maze and if not for a CASA volunteer, could spend their childhood moving from one temporary shelter to another. The United Way grant will be used to replace a ten-year old computer to assist in compiling and providing CASA volunteer

Healing Horses Therapeutic Riding Program: This non-partner agency is located in Osage County and assists children with disabilities in the promotion of a healthy and enriched life. United Way grant funding will provide resources to construct a handicap accessible restroom and insulation for the indoor riding arena to enable the agency to further enhance the services provided to the children.

Jefferson City Day Care Center: This partner agency provides quality early childhood education services to children ages birth to eight years of age for low and middle income working families. The United Way grant will be used to increase security features within the school. Funds will provide magnetic locks to two of the playground gates and upgrade the magnetic lock system on the front door to eliminate unauthorized access to the facility and children in order to provide restricted access to the school.

Job Point: This non-partner agency provides Employment Skills Training, Employment Services, Supported Employment Services and Community Development to low-income individuals and families and people with disabilities. The United Way grant will be used to purchase an economical automobile to transport job seekers with disabilities to Job Point offices for employment "discovery" services, to work sites for career "exploration", and potentially to job sites during the application and interview stage to assist heir

clients to become self-sufficient.

Moniteau Christian Ministries: This non-partner agency is located in California, MO and provides charitable assistance to those in need by supplying basic necessities such as food, clothing, household goods, skills training and monetary support. The United Way grant will fund the cost of the installation of drywall and dropped ceilings in the office, kitchen, bathrooms and the display area for the clothing resale ministry at the new Moniteau Christian Ministries facility, which upon completion will house the Food Pantry, Buddy Pack program and Project Share. This allows the United Way to assist in bringing this new facility to completion to serve those in need in Moniteau County.

Pathways Community Behavioral Health Care: This partner agency provides critical mental health services including professional therapy, treatment, community support and educational services in a physically and psychologically safe environment. The United Way grant will fund one part-time professionally-licensed therapist to provide 8 hours of service including mental health triage assessments, Health Care Home services, and individual and group counseling services for clients within the Miller County Health Department.

River City Habitat for Humanity: This non-partner agency partners with low income families to help them build homes of their own. In addition to building houses, the work of Habitat for Humanity includes helping the homeowner families learn to better manage their finances, maintain their homes, and become assimilated as neighbors in their neighborhoods. The United Way grant will provide funding to purchase an updated phone system to allow communication between their two buildings and facilitate safety and efficiency for staff, volunteers and ReStore customers to help this agency continue and enhance their services.

Senior Nutrition Council: This partner agency provides nutritious meals to home bound seniors to allow them to stay in their homes longer. For seniors able to leave their homes, Senior Nutrition Council provides congregate meals and social activities for seniors to enhance their quality of life in their golden years. United Way grant money will provide a new steam table at the Clarke Senior Center to replace the existing table that is unreliable and not functioning properly.

Special Learning Center: This partner agency provides comprehensive early intervention services to children with and without special needs so they may attain their maximum potential. The United Way grant will fund the implementation of a new security plan to keep the Special Learning Center children and staff safe. The plan includes adding glass to the existing classroom doors so staff can see hallways; adding locks to classroom doors and other essential rooms; installing a fish-eye mirror in the lobby to help identify those seeking entry; installing a panic button at the reception desk; updating the crisis management procedures manual; and displaying room numbers so they are readily visible to first responders.