The Weyburn and District United Way will end over 50 years of history at the end of 2018, as the organization officially will dissolve, and the Regina and District United Way will likely take over.
A special members meeting was held on Wednesday evening at the Weyburn Legion Hall to vote on the motion put forward by the United Way board on Oct. 25 for dissolution, and it was passed by a large majority. This was followed by the vote to disperse of the assets of the United Way, and as a result, close to $170,000 was paid out to the 13 member agencies, with all but two present to receive their cheques.
While the governance board for the United Way is dissolving, there will still be a volunteer board who will gather to organize the Communithon for 2019, and member agencies which serve the Weyburn area will still be supported by local donations, the meeting was told.
“We started over 50 years ago, and did door-to-door canvassing,” said president Sabrina Kraft. “Then about 37 years ago we partnered with Cablenet and had the first Communithon. We started out right here at the Legion, so I think it was appropriate for us to have this meeting here.”
She noted that the event was “always about the volunteers who dedicated their time and are special to us, so we celebrate everyone who volunteered, who we consider to be a Communithon champion.”
Fast-forwarding to today, Kraft explained the reasons behind the move to dissolve the local United Way board, noting primarily it’s becoming more difficult to operate with little or no staff resources. The Weyburn group greatly benefitted from the expertise that Sandra Alexander brought as the executive director for 10 years, but since she retired a couple years ago, the United Way has not been able to replace her.
“We determined that the United Way can no longer exist as it’s currently structured,” said Kraft, noting they held discussions with other United Way boards in Saskatchewan, and with United Way Canada, on what their next move should be, and it seems that the United Way Regina organization would be able to serve the Weyburn area, with a local group of volunteers to work here organizing the Communithon.
“Even though we’re dissolving our board, there will still be a volunteer leadership team who will work with Saskatchewan United Ways and United Way Canada,” she said, noting that donations made here will still stay in Weyburn.