Officially kicking off the Campaign 2017 the United Way of the Mark Twain Area, Board of Directors, partner agencies and supporters gathered in Central Park, Hannibal Missouri to celebrate this year’s theme “Lend a Helping Hand to Your Community.”

Campaign Chairman Roy Hark talked about his commitment and passion for the work of the United Way. “ I understand that the United Way in North East Missouri is more than a fundraiser. Many lives are touched by United Way partner agencies. The agencies are helping with those problems that may not be the topic of conversation at parties, frustrating problems that are hard to solve, have been around for generations. We – the United Way and the agencies who wear the United Way brand – go looking for ways to find and work with those problems.

  • We don’t just feed people – we are combating hunger all year long.
  • We stand with those children who have been left behind, often more than once.
  • Keeping the elderly safe in their homes.
  • Hands on help for those who still do not have access to adequate health care.
  • Programs that face poverty – looking for ways to be effective beyond just the band aids, more than just survival.
  • Breaking cycles that have become generational, working in areas to improve literacy, leadership skills, work programs.

United Way Key Initiatives are Youth and Education, Health and Welfare, Financial Stability and helping the Disabled. The agencies have a broad reach. They are the ‘point of the spear’ in our community. I enjoy sharing the success stories that will grip and warm your heart. They are worth the telling and they are worth the hearing.”

In keeping with the campaign theme, ‘Lend a Helping Hand to Your Community,’ three United Way partner agencies were heard from directly as they advocates on behalf of the themselves and the United Way, sharing their stories, their impact upon our Community:

  • Whitney Holiday, Director, Hannibal Parents as Teachers
  • Judy Edmondson, Director, Avenues
  • Jessica Homeyer, Child Advocate, The Child Center

Supporting the United Way’s commitment to Youth, entertainment was provided by the chorale group from Mark Twain Elementary. Mark Twain Elementary is a “Light House School” in the “Leader In Me Program.”

Refreshments were sponsored by:

  • Becky’s Old Time Ice Cream Parlor: Come by and let a United Way Director or Volunteer spoon out ice cream for you.
  • Refreshments Services Pepsi: There will be water and soft drinks on ice.

The campaign target for 2017 is $380,000. Frank Di Tillo, Ex. Director for the United Way of the  Mark Twain Area, commented, “When you look at the challenges in our five county area it is not enough, but it is a good place to begin.”