The United Way of Eastern Utah (UWEU) welcomed many to the Jennifer Leavitt Student Center on USU Eastern’s campus on Tuesday evening for the 2021 appreciation dinner.
The event was kicked off by UWEU Board President Nick Tatton, who introduced Megan Cummings. Cummings has acted as the Executive Director for United Way for nearly a year now and thanked everyone for coming out, stating that each in attendance has shown support for UWEU in one way or another.
“It’s been a pretty good year for United Way and that’s in part because of all of you,” shared Cummings.
She then highlighted some of the accomplishments of 2021, which included three awarded scholarships to local high school seniors, giving out more than 90 pairs of shoes to local children, and sharing a large sum with those that have cancer and need to travel for treatment. She also spoke on United Way’s Day of Caring.
This year, Day of Caring saw over 300 volunteers working on nearly 30 projects with over 1,000 volunteer hours. Currently, United Way is focusing on the annual angel tree, which is a community-wide effort to get holiday gifts to local low-income children. Cummings then played a short video for all in attendance that highlighted all things United Way.
The video shared that United Way’s mission is to advance the common good through three building blocks: education, income and health. Following the video, Greg Cook, CEO of Castleview Hospital and UWEU Treasurer, was welcomed to the stage. He stated that United Way holds a tremendous amount of responsibility for the community and the board works to ensure that there is no misuse of funds.
He then highlighted three members that rotated off of UWEU’s board in July. They were Errol Holt, Ethan Migliori and Jamie Tolich, who Cook thanked for their service and gave appreciation for what they have accomplished.
Next, Geri Gamber, board member and Executive Director of the Southeastern Utah Association of Local Governments, introduced the first speaker, who was a high school senior that resides in Castle Dale. They had contacted the UWEU in regard to extending the Day of Caring efforts to include Emery County as well.
This senior is Kegley Terry, who is a Sterling Scholar in science and hopes to one day be a chemical engineer. Terry began by stating that it is his personal belief that what you do to the community is what you’ll receive from the community.
“It is why I choose to give to my community; to do good in the world so that I may receive good,” shared Terry.
He then said that he has found that the best way is to give service to others, which is something that is so simple that can change people’s lives. Through his efforts, Terry shared that he learned first-hand that planning a Day of Caring is not easy, though he thanked United Way for the privilege to serve his community.
“I believe that as a community, united with the community, we can tackle any problems that come our way,” Terry said.
Following the second speaker, who was community member Heather Barker, dinner was served. Barker spoke on how she is in long-term recovery from an addiction and is 3.5 years sober. She thanked all in UWEU, stating that it has helped her and her three children immensely, including through the yearly angel tree.
Heading toward the end of the evening, the cornerstone partners of United Way of Eastern Utah were recognized. These partners include, but are not limited to, the SEUALG, Market Express, Emery Telcom, Dominion Energy, Longwall West Inc., Rocky Mountain Power, Komatsu, Jones & DeMille Engineering, Price AutoFarm, Tram Electric, Fierce MMA and Fitness, and Blue Diamond GM.
Stephen Cromer, who is a local photographer and scientist, donated two works of art that were given to two cornerstone partners that have been especially generous: Castleview Hospital and Lin’s Fresh Market.
Finally, the current board members were recognized by Cummings to wrap up the evening. These members, according to Cummings, attend all of the board meetings, answer phone calls, emails and texts, share wisdom and teach her new things every month.
The current board members for UWEU are Nick Tatton, Taren Powell, Aubrie Carpenter, Greg Cook, Ann Anderson, Cody Bunderson, Geri Gamber, Elaine Gizler, Jared Haddock, Kyle Heffernan, Natalie Randall, Jeff Wood, Chandra Mathis, Mark Morley and Thomas Sitterud.