By Darrell Todd Maurina
Curry County United Way officials distributed awards totaling nearly $265,000 to 16 local agencies Thursday night, and said the group may soon be merging with its smaller sister United Way in Roosevelt County.
“As we all know, it all comes down to donors, and donors have been incredibly generous this year,” said United Way President Derek Cockrell.
Although the United Way board raised more than $356,000, it didn’t meet the upper target set by organizers.
“We have a ‘needs goal’ of $375,000 and our minimum goal was $350,000,” said campaign chair John Sharp. “The organizations always ask for more than we can raise for them.”
The remainder of the $356,000 raised goes for brochures, salaries, rent, electricity, and other office expenses, according to executive director Erinn Burch.
Cockrell said future United Way fundraisers may take a much different shape because of a request by Roosevelt County United Way to consider a merger with the larger Curry County organization.
“They approached us and asked about merger with us,” Cockrell said. “We felt we could eliminate some duplication of resources, and we could improve the cooperation between Roosevelt and Curry counties.”
“We felt that as a board we should support the cooperative efforts that are already going on between the chambers of commerce and the city and county governments,” Cockrell said, noting that eight of the 16 organizations funded by Curry County United Way already have operations in Roosevelt County.
Sharp said he’s glad to support the United Way and its activities.
“The United Way is important because there are a lot of people out there who have a lot of needs the organizations will meet,” Sharp said.
Next year’s campaign chair will be Ray Sullivan, who said the focus of support will be to organizations meeting four criteria: those that strengthen youth and families, improve self-sufficiency, provide crisis intervention, and assist in putting citizens to work. Sullivan also announced a 2004 fundraising goal of $392,000, a 9 percent increase over the 2003 goal.
“You create the future by imagining what it could be,” Sullivan said.
United we stand
Agencies supported by the Curry County United Way
> American Red Cross — Zia Service Center: $40,000
> Boy Scouts — Conquistador Council: $20,000
> Big Brothers Big Sisters: $7,500
> Clovis Meals on Wheels: $26,000
> Crisis Referral Hotline: $10,000
> EPCOG — Single Parents in Need: $10,000
> Family and Children Court Services/CASA: $10,000
> Family Services — Cannon AFB: $2,000
> Friends of Cannon Families — $4,000
> Girl Scouts — Sangre de Cristo Council — $7,750
> Habitat for Humanity: $15,728
> The Hartley House: $28,500
> Life Saver Food Bank: $32,500
> The Oasis — Children Advocacy Center: $11,500
> The Salvation Army: $32,000
> Youth Opportunities Unlimited: $7,500