The party has been cancelled, but it’s not all doom and gloom.

The United Way of Dickinson County was to have held its annual kickoff party Friday but, according to a press release issued last week, the organization will end services at the end of the year.

“In recent years, United Way of Dickinson County has seen significant decreases in donations and increases in needs, such that we cannot continue to meet those needs in the future,” read a news release from the board of directors.

It will honor its commitments and distribute almost $34,000 to 13 organizations for 2020.

The fundraising goal for 2019 was $78,000 according to a Sept. 21 story in the Reflector-Chronicle.

“It’s unfortunate the United Way is disbanding,” said Elizabeth Weese, executive director of the Community Foundation of Dickinson County. “But the Community Foundation is here and available to meet philanthropic needs. We’re here and healthy and touch those same organizations.”

The Foundation has also been one of the United Way’s supporters, Weese said.

She said the Foundation is in the middle of its fall grant application cycle now. Not-for-profits can apply for grants on the Foundation’s website,, until Sept. 13.

The Community Foundation is just one organization that didn’t exist when the United Way of Dickinson County began in 1958, 61 years ago, said Hank Royer who manages some other philanthropic organizations.

Two of the organizations, the Jeffcoat Memorial Foundation and the Richard Lowry Estate, along with the Community Foundation, distribute well over $600,000 a year, Royer said.

“It’s not all doom and gloom,” he said.

Besides what the foundations and estates contribute “we have a lot of philanthropy that goes directly to the organizations,” Royer said.

Breanna Huen, executive director of the United Way of Dickinson County, did not a return a request for comment.

Contact Jean Bowers at

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