Area groups benefit from United Way funding

By Brian Sweeney
A number of community organizations are among the recipients of disaster-related funding from the United Way of Delaware and Otsego County.

The United Way Board of Directors met November 17 to allocate the remaining funds collected following the two storms that wreaked havoc throughout the region.

The board also voted to approve $3,000 to the Margaretville Central School District for disaster preparedness and related expenditures. A donation of $1,000 was approved for the Community Pantry in Arkville and $500 each for the Margaretville Meth-odist Church and the Gould Reformed Church in Roxbury; all of these groups played key roles in helping feed and care for flood victims.
The Arena, Arkville, Fleischmanns, Halcottsville and Margaretville fire departments will each receive $1,000 in unallocated disaster donations made to the United Way following Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee in 2011. The departments can use the funds for any disaster related equipment or preparations.

Middletown American Legion Post 216 in Margaretville will receive $3,000 to assist with insulating the flood-damaged meeting hall.

Pet assistance
An additional $600 will be paid to Peabody’s Pets in Fleischmanns to cover the cost of various sized pet kennels that will be provided to area fire departments and shelter locations as part of the Town of Middletown’s preparedness plan against the next potential disaster. The Town of Middletown Highway Department also received $1,000 in funds for disaster-related expenditures.
Funds were also distributed to Catskill Mountain Christian Center in Margaretville and to the Fleischmanns United Methodist Church to help replenish funds spent on their immediate assistance to residents.

In addition, the United Way paid for supplies and equipment (chainsaws, rakes, wheelbarrows, gloves) for organizations providing assistance for the May 5 Clean-up Day.
United Way Executive Director Terry Capuano said her organization collected more than $114,000 in donations following the two flood events, with 51 percent of that money earmarked for Delaware County.

Immediate relief
The majority of these funds were distributed through Delaware Opportunities to assist with immediate flood-related relief work. The remaining money was allocated to communities throughout the county that were affected by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.
Ms. Capuano said the United Way worked through the Delaware County Emergency Services Department that put out requests to determine where the funds were most needed. From the applications it received, the United Way board determined the most effective means of awarding the money.

“We tried to do our best to provide some type of compensation for those organizations that provided so much assistance during these emergencies,” she explained.
The funds will be distributed at the Delaware County Board of Supervisor’s meeting in Delhi on December 12. All disaster money has been utilized at this time, Ms. Capuano stated.
She pointed out that the United Way had also recently provided $10,000 to assist the Community Pantry with its move to Arkville. She said this funding was also flood-related, as a response to the increased community needs for food when the Freshtown Supermarket was closed for nine months following Hurricane Irene.