Troy United Way falls short of goal

Fundraising efforts total $715,000 this year

By Melanie Yingst -

TROY — The United Way of Troy’s campaign is short of its $825,000 goal, but supporters are hoping for one final push before the end of the year to make up for the $110,000 shortage.

On Thursday’s end of the year celebration at Troy Senior Citizens Center, it was announced the organization had collected approximately $715,000 in pledges for its 29 agencies thus far.

“We spread it out over those 29 agencies and they do their day-to-day stuff,” said Andrew Wannemacher, United Way of Troy Vice President and 2017 Campaign Co-Chair. Wannemacher said the funds stay in the local community to help with medical care services through agencies like Health Partners or to help rehabilitation and education services through Miami County Recovery Council and on down to children impacted by the heroin epidemic and other issues through Miami County CASA/GAL. Wannemacher said the funding “trickles down” to those in need in the Troy community.

Wannemacher thanked donors and agency administrators for their support this year.

“This community is famous for rallying and helping one another,” said Wannemacher in a press release. “People understand how much the United Way supports our local agencies and I am hopeful we can still reach our goal.”

Executive Director Richard Bender said he believes more pledges will continue to flow through the end of the year towards its goal. Bender said changes in corporate giving and in the younger workforce who likes to give to their own individual charities instead of payroll deductions has impacted the United Way’s giving structure.

According to the press release, employees from approximately 45 businesses and organizations have made pledges this year.

Dessie Szklany, President of the United Way of Troy, invited a local resident whose daughter benefited from United Way to help pay for expenses such as a wheelchair and other services.

Bender said the funding gap will likely need support from its endowment this year.

“We’ve reduced some funding going out to agencies and pulled the rest from the reserves. This year we’ve used up those reserves so we’ll be dipping into our endowment which we have money set aside for a rainy day. This qualifies, so we are trying to get the two to balance,” Bender said. Bender said agencies will not be impacted by major changes in funding and fundraising efforts will continue.

Bender said, “We’ve been trying to determine the new norm.”

“It’s encouraging that we think new people will reach out and say OK, there’s a real need and will reach out. We have seen the benefit from the Troy Foundation gift where several of our donors went over there for the match this year,” he said.

The board also recognizes its outgoing members Amy Lucas, Katie Byrd, Mayor Michael Beamish and Maurice Sadler.

The agency raised approximately $770,000 during its 2016 campaign.

If you are interested in learning more about Troy’s United Way agencies or how to become a businesses partner or donor, contact Bender at (937) 335-8410 or by email at

To donate online or to sign-up for a payroll deduction, visit

Fundraising efforts total $715,000 this year

By Melanie Yingst