United Way panel ponders allocations

An all-volunteer group is beginning its work to decide how to allocate money pledged during the current United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley Campaign.

Members of the five Allocation Panels attended an orientation session this week where Bill Wagner, president of the United Way Board of Directors, told the group that “you will find out that it is very difficult to give money away.” The Allocation Panels will visit United Way member agencies to hear their budget requests and learn how the agencies serve the community.

“This is a very unique process,” Wagner told the group, “because if it is completely volunteer-driven.”

George Smoulder, United Way executive director, welcomed the volunteers and thanked them for their time to serve the community. He also expressed thanks to their employers for allowing them to spend the time away from work to complete their task.

Once the Allocation Panels complete their agency visits, each panel will review the information gathered and make funding recommendations to the Allocations Executive Committee. The executive committee, made up of each panel’s co-chairs, as well as Wagner, Carol Loew of the Cornerstone Group, and Wheeling attorney Jeff McCamic, will review the panels’ recommendations before making a final recommendation to the volunteer United Way Board of Directors. The board will review and approve the final fund allocations.

Although the allocations process has begun, the United Way campaign is continuing, with a goal of $777,777.

The Allocation Panels and their assigned agencies are as follows:

Panel A Catholic Charities Neighorhood Center; Community Child Care Center; Sexual Assault Help Center; Girl Scouts;

Panel B Family Service of the Upper Ohio Valley; Salvation Army, Brooke and Hancock Counties; Brooke County Committee on Aging; Brooke County Library;

Panel C YMCA; YWCA; American Red Cross; Salvation Army, Moundsville;

Panel D Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Upper Ohio Valley; Seeing Hand Association; Information Helpline; Salvation Army, Bellaire;

Panel E Russell Nesbitt Services; WATCH; Harmony House; Salvation Army, Wheeling; Wheeling Health Right.

Panel members and their employers are:

Panel A Pam Loges, Riesbeck Food Markets and Jeff McCamic, co-chairs; Jennifer Brewer, Riesbeck Food Markets; Sandra Milliken; Lisa Mullin, Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce; Jack Poling, Hampton Inn; Amy Strain, Swisher International; Paula Zavacky, Walmart #2199 (St. Clairsville); Jodi Zusack, Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

Panel B Emily S. Fisher, consultant, and Susie Nelson, Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley, co-chairs; A. Lee Blundon, WesBanco; Darlene Cortez; Amy Dobkin, Chesapeake Energy; Michelle Knight Blake, Williams; Aaron Purman, Cabela’s Inc.; Jamie Remp, WesBanco; Mark Sliter-Hays, Catholic Charities West Virginia; Brenda Thomas, The Cornerstone Group.

Panel C Carol Loew, The Cornerstone Group, and Debbie Romaine, Wheeling Hospital, Inc., co-chairs; Cole Elliott, Reynolds Memorial Hospital; Sheri Harvey, Belmont Community Hospital; Janet Hewitt, AEP Kammer-Mitchell Plants; Robert Kulpa, Wheeling Jesuit University; Robert Plumby, Phillips, Gardill, Kaiser & Altmeyer, PLLC; David E. Slack, BB&T; Donald Stenger, AAA East Central; Ryan Vitek, FirstEnergy.

Panel D George Krupica, Main Street Bank, and Anna Mae Kuhayda, Northwood Health Systems, co-chairs; Julia Bachmann, Ohio County Public Library; Todd Cover, the Citizens Bank; Sharon DaRe, AEP-Ohio Valley District; Matthew Jenkins, The Citizens Savings Bank; Jennifer Johnson, The Health Plan; Jessica Rine, WTRF; Christine Villamagna, Wheeling National Heritage Area Corp.; Jamie Ward, WTRF.

Panel E Patti Fast, The Health Plan, and Rodne Haley, Oglebay Resort & Conference Center, co-chairs; Darcy Clark, Cabela’s Distribution; Jamie Crow, Elmhurst, The House of Friendship; Joy Gillispie, The Health Plan; Kirk Pfister, Wheeling Island Hotel Casino Racetrack; Debbie Lee Whipkey, Steptoe & Johnson PLLC.