Community leaders gathered at the Oxford Conference Center Wednesday for a luncheon to celebrate the launch of the United Way of Oxford and Lafayette County’s 2018-2019 campaign.
The local United Way is responsible for funding several programs in Lafayette County. They help keep resources available for residents by providing hundreds of thousands of dollars to that allow these groups to continue their mission of serving the community.
United Way Director Kurt Brummett welcomed everyone to the luncheon Wednesday and after everyone had fixed a plate, he introduced the speaker for the event, Ole Miss Men’s Basketball Coach Kermit Davis.
Davis is relatively new to the Oxford community, moving here less than a year ago. However, he spoke a great deal on the importance of community involvement and the ways in which he has seen the United Way significantly improve the lives of residents.
Davis said he and his family are thrilled to be members of the Lafayette County community and is proud of the programs being provided to residents here through the United Way. He touted the reputation Oxford has for quality of life, and said that is in no small part thanks to organizations supported by the United Way. Davis went on to thank everyone for their support to the community and personally thanked UM Chancellor Jeffrey S. Vitter, who was in attendance.
“The needs throughout Oxford and Lafayette County are significant and requests for grant funding far exceed the available funds, which makes a successful 2018-2019 campaign critical for our community’s future,” Brummett said in an email before the luncheon. “A strong and growing community of individuals, businesses, and public entities supports the United Way of Oxford & Lafayette County as it seeks to advance its mission. Our local United Way sincerely appreciates our generous partners who sponsor our kick-off luncheon as well as our donors, partners, volunteers, and advocates who make a meaningful difference in the lives of others on a daily basis. A full list of event and table sponsors will be included in the kick-off event program.”
There is a lengthy selection process when it comes to figuring out which programs the United Way funds during each of their fiscal years. A committee of volunteers is formed and there is an application process combined with a series of approvals and standards that must be met before a program is selected. This committee looks at how services are being provided to the community in the categories of education, health, financial stability, basic needs and community calitions.
This year, the United Way is funding 22 programs and coalitions on top of their normal community impact work like the Excel by 5 Coalition and LOU Reads. These include the Boys and Girls Clubs of North Mississippi, CASA of Lafayette County, Doors of Hope, Horizons, the public library, Leap Frog and more.
After Davis’ speech, Brummett got back to the podium to thank the extensive list of local sponsors who made the luncheon possible, including the Oxford Conference Center who hosted and Taylor Grocery, who catered.
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