Ellert talks United Way with Culver Kiwanians

Culver's Francis Ellert stopped by the Culver Kiwanis Club to promote this year's United Way of Marshall County campaign, which aims to raise $475,000 to support a variety of area charities and community organizations.

Ellert, a Culver resident for nearly 20 years, is the current UW board president and a six-year board member. He's also been president of the Marshall-Starke Development Center, a member of the Ancilla College board of trustees, St. Joseph Regional Medical Center hospital board, and president of the Plymouth Rotary Club, among other past positions, according to wife Susan, introducing him. During his tenure as head of United Way's fund drive in 2009, the campaign surpassed its goal of $375,000 by more than $50,000.

Francis Ellert called United Way "a good steward of your donation dollars" and said supporting the organization is a passion of mine."
He noted about 2,000 people in the Culver community received some form of benefit from United Way last year, adding that 24,000 out of the 40,000 people in Marshall County did as well.

Most employers, Ellert explained, allow payroll deductions for those wishing to donate to United Way, something which has aided its success throughout the county. More than 50 volunteers annually, he noted, contribute their time to the organization in Marshall County.

The Marshall County Community Foundation has recently partnered with United Way to set up ongoing funds for those wishing to set one up in the name of a relative or for other purposes, allowing the MCCF to manage the monies.

The Cornerstone Fund was established last year, said Ellert, for those who might wish to contribute towards the United Way's operating expenses. The brainchild of Culver's own John Zeglis (also immediate past president of the MCCF), the fund raised $62,000 last year.
Ellert also said the United Way of Indiana has established a matching grant program which Marshall County's UW is taking advantage of.

Last year, he said, the Union Twp. Emergency Fund received $500 from United Way, and the Culver Boys & Girls Club received nearly $22,000 of a $25,000 request.

"United Way does a really good job trying to meet all the allocations they can," he added.