Busy season ahead for new United Way director

United Way’s mission to help build a better community will continue on under the reigns of a new executive director.

Naomi McKimmie’s eyes have opened up since taking over the selfless organization for former director Trish Milne.

“I’m feeling great about it because it’s something that I missed a lot from my time away from the Chamber so I’m very much looking forward to reconnecting with some of the businesses,” she said from her office above Gordon Wall Floor Coverings in Trail.

McKimmie spent five years working for the Trail and District Chamber of Commerce, before taking some time off to complete bookkeeping and a business management course.

“I thought this job would be a good fit,” she said. “The fact that I have so much community knowledge from my past job experience at the Chamber as well as the other community groups that I’ve worked with.”

Trail United Way is an umbrella organization that takes care of financially struggling groups that do good work in the community – including this year’s three new community members: Columbia Youth Community Development Centre, Healthy Schools and the Greater Trail Community Justice Program.

“The more money we can bring in, the more community partners we can help support with their endeavours to better the community,” said McKimmie.

Taking over the position at the tail end of the organization’s year, McKimmie has plenty of work ahead of her.

The organization is holding its annual general meeting on June 23, when the remainder of the allocations will be handed out to its 21 community groups.

“Some community partners needed the money right up front so they got their lump-sum in January but most of them got half then and will receive the other half in June,” McKimmie explained.

It’s projected that about $55,000 will make its way back into the community, slightly less than last year.

The United Way will kick off the campaign season with its “Park with Us” event on Sept. 15.

Parking fees in downtown Trail will be waved thanks to the city and its sponsors. Residents are reminded to park responsibly – still keeping prime parking open to shoppers.

The Harvest Country Fair will be held at Gyro Park on Sept. 24, welcoming autumn with a farmer’s market, baking and preserves contests, kids game and more.

For more information on upcoming events or to reach McKimmie, call 364-0999 or email info@traildistrictunitedway.com.

The office is now open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.