UCM is looking for some friends. Friends of UCM, that is. This relatively new organization was founded last year with the goal of building a sense of community spirit and pride through fundraising and public awareness for UCM.
Nancy Urban was one of the members involved in starting the Friends and served as its first president. "Marty Saylers and I did the groundwork for the group. We were looking to put together a group of people to spread the word about UCM as well as help with fundraising," she said.
Other people involved in getting this group off the ground were Addy Krizek, Sharon Kelso, Deborah Halla, Tracy Davis and Deb Matthews. The initial planning meeting was held in November, 2000, and the first meeting was held in October, 2001, with about 15 charter members. That meeting had been scheduled for September, 2001, but was postponed due to September 11.
"Maybe that [September 11] had something to do with how quickly people warmed up," said Urban. "It's an interesting group of women. Friends has evolved into a group interested in the community."
MEETINGS ARE HELD once a month, either at members' homes or at the UCM office. This past week, however, Friends of UCM took advantage of one of the many conference rooms available to community groups in the South County Government Center to hold their monthly meeting.
They were treated to a tour of the center by Ken Disselkoen, regional manager of region one. UCM members realized the depth of what the center has to offer as they viewed the teen center, senior center, adult health care center, job source center and other facilities (see upcoming issues for more on some of these services).
Disselkoen mentioned several times how well they work with UCM and Sharon Kelso, executive director of UCM, corroborated that. "It's been a great partnership. Having all the agencies here makes it easier to get together."
Members are still being accepted for the 2003 season. Dues are $45 and members are required to work on one of the committees and attend three of the five monthly meetings. For more information call Tracy Davis @ 703-768-7106, ext. 328.