United Way of Perry County celebrated its 40th Anniversary on August 22 at the Tell City Depot surrounded by former campaign chairpersons, board members, community partners and other supporters. Guest speaker, Roger Frick, President of the Indiana Association of United Ways (IaUW) recapped many of the organization's accomplishments. Founded in 1973 by the Tell City Jaycees, the United Way of Perry County was totally volunteer driven until 1991 when they were able to hire their first employee through a grant from the Indiana Association of United Ways. The organization is currently served by its Executive Director of 14 years, Rebecca Fenn. The United Way of Perry County has gone on to be awarded many more grants to benefit the Perry County community from IaUW over the years.
2012 Campaign Co-Chairs, Mary Roberson and Missy Noble, introduced the 2013 Campaign Co-chairs, Wendi Rich, Tell City School, and Chad James, ATTC Manufacturing. Rich and James announced their campaign goal of exceeding Roberson and Noble's campaign results of over $125,000. The pair also announced a new project, the Born Learning Trail, that is being sponsored by ATTC. The trail will consist of a series of interactive signs along the Windy Creek Trail in Hagedorn Park in Tell City that encourages parents and children to do a variety of activities from hopscotch to observing nature.
One of the highlights of the evening was a video that compiled the history of the organization through today. The video was made by recent Herron School of Design graduate, Kylee James. Old newspaper clippings, photo displays and posters shared the story of how the many board members, campaign chairs, community partners, agencies and programs worked together over the past 40 years to make Perry County stronger through the United Way.
The United Way of Perry County initiated many new programs for the county. They led the way in creating a countywide Christmas Assistance program called Holiday Helpers United, a countywide school supply drive known as "Stuff the Bus," volunteer opportunities every year called Day of Caring and Youth Day of Caring, the Farmer's Market Nutrition program, the Dolly Parton Imaginaion Library, the FamilyWize prescription discount card program and the Perry County Food Coalition. From 2009-13, the United Way and the Community Foundation collaborated to lead the Power of Youth Council to teach philanthropy to high school students. United Way of Perry County led two 4Community collaborations, one of which led to the creation of the Perry County Greenway Initiative.
Former local board member and state board member, Bob Ramsbottom, wrapped up the evening by sharing the importance of giving to ones community to make it stronger and enphasizing how United Way of Perry County has touched thousands of lives over the years making Perry County a more caring place.