Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

September 29, 2012

United Fund grants lined up

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat — Officials from a whole variety of community organizations lined up one after the other to offer more on what they plan to do if granted a funding request from the United Fund of Pauls Valley for next year.

It came during a recent gathering of United Fund board members meeting with representatives of dozens of organizations that provide a whole slew of services to the community.

Connie Weeks, board president of the United Fund effort, says there is a wide range of services — from food for those in need to various activities for kids to health care and transportation.

“This money goes for the needs of the community,” Weeks said.

With that in mind the volunteer work for her and other United Fund board members brings great personal satisfaction knowing the funding will go to help some really great causes.

“It feels great,” Weeks said about the United Fund work.

“I love our community,” she said. “I honestly wish we could have even more services for the community.

“It does feel good I'm a part of this community. It does feel good knowing when a family that's hungry comes in they'll get the help they need.”

An example of the funding requests comes from officials with the local Scouts.

Paul Robbins said any United Fund money provided does make a big difference for many of the 86 boys signed up for the local Cub Scouts pack.

“Some of the money you gave us last year went for a few uniforms for needy boys,” Robbins said.

Jim Ruster told the group the funding goes to help the local Boy Scouts as many of the 17 kids in the troop are going for merit badges and have Eagle projects planned.

A request for funding from Mindy Bellock is for the Healthy Beginnings program through the McClain/Garvin County Youth and Family Center.

“The funding here in Pauls Valley would help us serve a lot families here,” Bellock said.

“We know the money is stretched, but it has been very beneficial,” she said.

With ridership up for Delta Public Transit, Susan Coldwater said any United Fund monies would go to help with the increasing cost of fuel for the buses that cover the Garvin and McClain counties area.

“We use United Fund funding to help cover the cost of fuel operations,” Coldwater said.

“Ridership has increased immensely in the last couple of years because of the high cost of fuel.”

Another request is to help the general funding of an organization working to help Pauls Valley's downtown area.

“This is my first time to do this with you,” said Samantha Robb of Main Street Pauls Valley.

“We are trying to survive,” she said. “The funding would be to help us continue to do things that support our community.”

In the case of the Pauls Round Up Club, Dessie Daugherty said any funding will help the group with the local rodeo arena.

“This funding would be used for the upkeep of the arena,” Daugherty said.

One funding request is to help bring more visitors to Pauls Valley for a unique attraction.

Ryan Peacock of the Toy and Action Figure Museum said a United Fund grant will help with the cost of an Interstate 35 billboard.

“This is a proven way to get people off the interstate and into Pauls Valley,” Peacock said.

“It will help us maintain that billboard. It will help us bring people into Pauls Valley.”

Officials from a number of other groups also made presentations during the recent gathering.

As for the overall campaign, Weeks said the board has agreed next year's goal for United Fund will be $75,000, which represents a slight drop from this year.

“We agreed to lower it because we haven't met this year's goal,” Weeks said, referring to the $90,000 total.

“We think that's more realistic,” she said about the new goal.