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Fox Valley and Central Kane United Ways Announce Merger

Aurora-based Fox Valley United Way and United Way of Central Kane County, headquartered in St. Charles, announced plans Wednesday afternoon to merge Central Kane into Fox Valley United Way (FVUW).

The merger, which will be effective August 1, 2016, was unveiled at a special meeting of representatives of the social services agencies served by United Way of Central Kane County.

Paula Yensen, executive director of United Way of Central Kane County, said the merger announcement was made now to assure agency representatives that current funding requests and allocations would proceed normally – and to reveal that the organizations would receive an additional distribution from UWCKC reserves.

In a companion presentation at the meeting, Fox Valley United Way CEO Michael Meyer pledged to continue to fund the social services organizations that United Way of Central Kane County supports for the next two fiscal years. He also said FVUW would open an office in central Kane.

Yensen said the merger was prompted largely by two issues: The pending retirements of both Yensen and Administrative Assistant Julie Slavens, United Way of Central Kane County’s only other staff person, and extensive new business practices required of all local United Way organizations by United Way Worldwide.

The new business model stresses the need for local United Ways to spearhead collaborative community change, but the organizational capacities required “make it difficult for smaller United Ways such as ours to remain viable,” Yensen said.

United Way of Central Kane County provides financial and related support to 22 social services agencies which in turn serve over 13,000 individuals in the Central Kane communities of St. Charles, Geneva, Elburn, Campton Hills, Kaneville, Wasco, La Fox and Maple Park.

Yensen said Fox Valley United Way was chosen as the best option to continue to serve Kane people and agencies following an extensive cost-benefit analysis undertaken last fall by the United Way of Central Kane County Board of Directors.

Ultimately, Yensen said, the Board “looked for the organization where we would have the most affinity. That was Fox Valley United Way and Mike Meyer.”

Meyer said FVUW is on pace to raise $1.3 million in contributions and grants in the fiscal year which ends June 30. FVUW serves 49 social services agencies in the southern Kane and Kendall County communities of Aurora, Big Rock, Bristol, Hinckley, Little Rock, Millbrook, Montgomery, Mooseheart, North Aurora, Oswego, Plano, Plattville, Sandwich, Sugar Grove and Yorkville.

United Way of Central Kane County expects to raise about $400,000 in the current fiscal year.

For more information, contact: FOX VALLEY UNITED WAY, Mike Meyer at 630-896-4636; or
UNITED WAY OF CENTRAL KANE COUNTY, Paula Yensen at 630-377-1930.

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