Many contributors and agency representives attended the annual meeting of the Northern Berkshire United Way at the Williams Inn on Thursday.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Northern Berkshire United Way set a fundraising goal of $560,000 this year.
The goal aims to set the bar higher from last year's $550,000 goal, which was passed and reached $555,899
— marking the first time the annual goal was surpassed in five years.
"Our goal at the Northern Berkshire United Way is to support the wonderful programs and activities our member agencies provide for North Berkshire County," said Executive Director Joseph McGovern at the opening meeting and kickoff for the 2013-2014 campaign, hosted at the Williams Inn on Thursday morning. "These agencies are the backbone of our United Way."
These agencies include Berkshire Food Project, Brien Center, The Kids' Place, Goodwill Industries, Berkshire Community Action Council and many others
This year, outgoing President Thomas Rumbolt will lead the charge in a new role — as the chairman of United Way's fundraising campaign this year. Rumbolt has been president for three years and worked with the organization since 2002.
"I have served in numerous capacities, and as Joe said, never thinking this would be one of them," Rumbolt said. "But the more I thought about it, the more it brought me back to why Northern Berkshire United Way means so much to me... the work of you, our member agencies."
Thomas Rumbolt will take over as chairman of the organization. He served as president of the board of directors for the previous three years.
Amy Giroux, who previously served as first vice president and chairman of agency relations, will take over as president.
Rounding out the officers of the Board of Directors will be Maureen Baran as campaign vice president, Dan Caplinger as agency relations vice president, Mike Hffman as finances vice president and Jana Hunkler Brule as community needs vice president.
Baran also announced the retirement of two longtime members, Jack Gould and Jerry Demarais. Gould worked with the Northern Berkshire United Way for 16 years on-and-off as a board member and held numerous positions, including co-chairman of the allocations committee and president of the board of directors. Demarais served for 14 years in roles that included allocation panel vice president and 10 years on the board of directors.
Rumbolt said he pictured this year as one of producing his own film, titled "How Can I Say No?," which will highlight his inability to say "no" to the needs of family — and of NBUW agencies.
"How can you say no to the 21 member agencies listed on the back of the annual report?" Rumbolt asked the packed banquet hall.
And his film idea also plans for a happy ending.
"Lastly, the camera shifts to all of us on a beach in Hawaii, celebrating the wonderful accomplishment of surpassing our goal by simply saying yes," he said.