United Way holds 69th annual meeting

MIDDLETOWN — Despite the bitter cold conditions, more than 190 members of the United Way of Northern Shenandoah gathered at Lord Fairfax Community College to elect its new board of directors and honor its volunteers of the year Thursday evening.

The United Way of Northern Shenandoah is a volunteer organization devoted to helping the need by raising funds and distributing monies to area non-profits to help needy residents with financial, medical and educational difficulties.

During 2014, the United Way raised $1.04 million in monies and distributed $496,354 to area agencies to help the needy.

Nadine Pottinga, president of the United Way, said looking forward into this year, the organization is poised to make a positive impact on the region.

“We are in a unique position as an organization,” Pottinga said. “We literally exist to serve the needs of the community and no other organization has the complexity in its relationships as we do.”

She added, “The effort can’t happen alone. It takes all of us, working together to build the kind of community for which we all hope. Now is the time for more leaders to join together and accomplish what a single person can’t.”

During his report to the organization, outgoing chairman of the board David Sovine delivered a resolution to former United Way president Joe Shtultman, who retired in January after 14 years with the organization.

“Under the leadership of Joe Shtultman, the United Way of the Northern Shenandoah Valley has raised $16.7 million, increased its number volunteers to 2,800 and launched a variety of initiatives,” Sovine said.

Sovine also announced an anonymous couple donated a $1.7 million home as an endowment gift to the organization for educational purposes. Sovine said the couple credited the contribution to “Joe Shtultman, who was a very a positive influence on this donation.”

Dennis Kellison, former superintendent of Winchester Schools, was honored as the 2015 volunteer of the year. Kellison has served the United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley for 14 years, as well as organizations like Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the Shenandoah Valley Non-Profit Alliance for Excellence.

“I’ve enjoyed my involvement with the United Way,” Kellison said. “I am honored and really flattered by this recognition from my peers. When I look out, I know a lot of you have worked harder, put in more time than I have, but it is humbling to be recognized.”

Kellison added, “Maybe it was the time and the effort, but I sure do know it was about the caring. For me, I cared about this community for the last 14 years, for me it was about helping the children and the young adults.”

Brooke Souders, a senior at Millbrook High School, was the 2015 youth volunteer of the year. She has volunteered for the Highland Memorial Food Pantry, Habitat for Humanity and Kiwanis, as well as other organizations.

“Volunteering has made a significant impact on the girl I am today,” Souders said. “I’ve experienced new cultures, met people from all over the country, led my peers and had doors open to many opportunities.”

She added, “When people are asked why they didn’t volunteer, they say no one ever asked them to or they were never invited. My goal throughout my years in high school is to start a ripple effect. If I can get three of my friends to volunteer, then they might get three more and a ripple happens, a movement is born.”

The following are the 2015 Board of Directors of the United Way of Northern Shenandoah:

• Chair — Cheryl Thompson-Stacy
• Vice Chair — Scott Harvard
• Treasurer — Ted Troxell
• Secretary — Darcus Breneman
• Lori Bales
• Darcus Breneman
• Jesse Dingle
• Mike Gochenour
• Ron Light
• Bill Nordman
• Chris Rucker
• Jay Rudolph
• Doug Zipp

Contact staff writer Henry Culvyhouse at 540-465-5137 ext. 184, or hculvyhouse@nvdaily.com