United Way of Sevier County reorganizes to keep doors open

United Way of Sevier County reorganizes to keep doors open

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By JOSH AULT
6 News Reporter

SEVIERVILLE (WATE) - There is good news for agencies that rely on United Way funds in Sevier County. The agency is not shutting down.

Back in September, board members decided to close the doors at United Way of Sevier County after the executive director resigned and the charity saw record lows in fundraising efforts.

When news hit that the agency was shutting down, county leaders stepped forward to reorganize it.

"Several leaders in the county, the county mayor, and the city managers, for example, just realized the importance of United Way," said Sevierville City Manager Russell Treadway, "That it is a viable organization, and decided we would take on the challenge of trying to keep it alive."

Treadway, who has never volunteered with United Way before, has been chosen as the new chairman of the board.

In the past two months, the entire leadership has been changed.

Treadway says the 19 agencies that they already help should not see a huge difference in the funding they provide because they still have money left over from the previous board.

They will start the new fundraising push in the fall.

"You have three months where you do big push for fundraising," said board member Margit Worsham, "That will be August, September, October, and into November."

One person who has already volunteered to be on the board is Gatlinburg business woman Margit Worsham.

Worsham and her husband were on the board four years ago. At that time, the agency was doing well, raising up to $900,000 dollars.

They were not happy when they heard United Way was shutting down.

"We were extremely concerned and very upset because we knew how important it was for our agency partners that they did get the money United Way always raised for them," she said.

She has a goal to see the donations rise again.

"We can't expect to make a million dollars, but I could hope we can get at least $600,000 to $650,000," said Worsham.

The new board just wants the community to know United Way of Sevier County is alive and well.  

United Way of Sevier County is in the process of looking for a new executive director. You can visit their website to find out how to apply.

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