United Way of Mercer County.

Lifting Families in our Community out of Poverty.

United Way of Mercer County Donate now

Give. Advocate. Volunteer.

Donate now


Today, UWMC held its Annual Meeting in the ballroom of the lovely Avalon at Buhl Park. Roughly 80 attendees enjoyed pastries, fruit, coffee and juice before the program kicked off at 8:00 this morning.

After the Welcome message by Executive Director Jim Micsky, outgoing Board Chairman Bradley Gosser called the meeting to order. He commended longtime staffers Jim Micsky and Brenda George for their dedication and hard work.

Next, outgoing board members were recognized. Personnel/Nominating Committee Chair Tina Cascio thanked Brad, Janice Schwanbeck, Angela Palumbo, Dick Miller and Dom Vadala, all of whom received awards for their selfless service to UWMC and its mission. Brad, Janice, Angela and Dom will remain in service as Committee Chairs.

New board members were then introduced and voted in. Tina welcomed Thom Kwolek, Hope Couch, Superintendent William Gathers, and Sharon Police Chief Gerald Smith to the UWMC Board of Directors.

During the segment of the program, 2015-2016 officers were also announced. Brian Nespor accepted an appointment to Treasurer; Mark Ferrara, to Board Chairman; Bob Piccirilli, to Board Vice-Chairman; and Hope Couch, to Public Policy Chair. Brian’s first official act as Treasurer was to review the 2014 Financial Highlights statement, included in the Annual Meeting program.

All present then saw this video, masterfully created by Bill Dodd of Mud Hut Studios. The video formally announces UWMC’s transition to an impact-based United Way, starting in 2016.

Immediately after the video, UWMC Planning Committee Chairperson Sharon Sorg took the stage with a wonderful presentation about our efforts so far. We’ve initiated literally years of discussion with area leaders and local government, social service, healthcare, finance and other industry professionals, for our goal of building a “Lifting Families Out of Poverty” strategy.

The slides from Sharon’s presentation are below.

The event concluded with presentations from two guest speakers.

Reynolds high school teacher and RUSH late-model dirt track racecar driver Lon Emerick

Reynolds teacher & RUSH late-model dirt track racer Lon Emerick


Reynolds High School teacher Lon Emerick talked about his struggle with depression, the most common form of mental illness. Ten years ago, Lon came within minutes of ending his own life; today, he speaks to groups about his experience with mental illness, stressing the importance of seeking treatment immediately.

You can learn more about Lon’s struggle with depression – and his life today – by clicking here.


Nicola Dora took action to improve the chance of her painfully shy daughter’s academic success. To ensure the two of them have a shot at a better life, Nicole also tackled the monumental challenge of being the single mother of a preschooler, and a full-time college student.

With the degree Nicole earned by meeting that challenge, she became a Family Development Case Worker for Community Action Partnership of Mercer County. An inspiration to those in similar situations, Nicole now helps others improve their lives as well.


If you were unable to attend our 2015 Annual Meeting, download a .pdf copy of our Annual Report here.