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Letter: Tough Choices in the Real World

To the Editor:

As a member of the volunteer United Way panel that helped make the decision not to fund the Bugbee Senior Center proposals, I’d like to emphasize to the community that there was no one on the panel who thought the programs at the senior center were not worthwhile. We did not take the job lightly. Our job was to review 14 programs from eight agencies in the Upper Valley and make the tough decision of dividing a limited pot of money among those agencies. This is the real world.

Unfortunately, we don’t live in a world that has unlimited funds to give to every cause. Choices must be made. Many of these agencies get the bulk of their funding from the government, but hope to fill in the remainder from the United Way and other private sources, or from fundraising events. The government has made drastic cuts already to many of these agencies, and continues to debate whether more cuts will be made. There are many, many needs for service in the community.

Jim Kenyon’s quote from the review committee was accurate: We “determined that there were other programs that were more compelling than the one submitted by the Bugbee Senior Center.” We wished we could fund all programs 100 percent.

I believe the United Way performs a valuable service in support of a wide range of programs and should be commended, rather than denigrated. Jim Kenyon could do a service by encouraging private individuals and local businesses in the Upper Valley to increase their donations to the United Way, thus expanding the available money so more programs could be funded. Next year, perhaps, the Bugbee Senior Center’s proposals will be successful! Please give as generously as you can to the United Way campaign; there is much need.

Sue E. Fritz

East Thetford

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Jim Kenyon: United No More

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A volunteer driver who delivers “meals on wheels” for the Bugbee Senior Center in White River Junction became alarmed Monday when he knocked on an elderly man’s door and nobody answered. “It’s not just about dropping off a meal,” said Len Brown, the Bugbee Center’s executive director. “We like to make sure that people are OK.” After the driver returned …