Rollins sturdy as an oak

United Way shows ap­pre­ci­a­tion for years of sup­port with tree ded­i­ca­tion

The Intelligencer (Belleville) - - NEWS - TIM MEEKS THE INTELLIGENCER

When it comes to giv­ing back to his com­mu­nity, Maurice Rollins has been as sturdy as an oak tree.

So it seemed fit­ting the United Way Hast­ings & Prince Ed­ward de­cided to hon­our the lo­cal busi­ness icon and phi­lan­thropist for his gen­eros­ity by plant­ing a red oak tree with a com­mem­o­ra­tive plaque at Jane For­rester Park in Belleville Thurs­day morn­ing.

Since 2008, Rollins has gen­er­ously sup­ported a Lead­er­ship Chal­lenge Fund ( LCF) de­signed to en­cour­age lead­er­ship level gifts. A lead­er­ship gift is an an­nual do­na­tion made by an in­di­vid­ual of $ 1,200 or more. To date, Rollins him­self has con­trib­uted $ 500,000 which is di­rectly re­spon­si­ble for help­ing the United Way to lever­age a fur­ther $ 1.75 mil­lion in lead­er­ship giv­ing from the com­mu­nity.

“Mr. Rollins has run, for 10 years, the Maurice Rollins Lead­er­ship Chal­lenge. It started as $ 25,000 he would match for gifts of $ 1,000 and up and that started back in 2008. Through­out the years he upped that from $ 25,000 to $ 50,000 and in the last three years he’s been sup­port­ing $ 100,000 in matched do­na­tions from lead­ers and lead­er­ship do­na­tions are $ 1,200 and up, so he does an in­cred­i­ble job of lev­er­ag­ing a lot of sup­port for us and I think he’s lever­aged over $ 1.75 mil­lion with the Lead­er­ship Chal­lenge, so that’s very im­pres­sive,” said United Way ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Kathy Mur­phy.

“We wanted to do a com­mem­o­ra­tion and ded­i­ca­tion of a red oak tree and make sure that we en­sure Mr. Rollins knows that his con­tri- bu­tion to the com­mu­nity and those that are vul­ner­a­ble in the com­mu­nity is greatly ap­pre­ci­ated and we wanted to rec­og­nize it with this small ges­ture.”

Rollins, who was on hand along with sev­eral fam­ily mem­bers for the ded­i­ca­tion, said he sup­ports United Way be­cause they sup­port so many agen­cies and most of the money raised goes to where it’s needed most.

“I sup­port the United Way be­cause they sup­port so many dif­fer­ent agen­cies, some­thing like 40 to 50 of them, and that’s re­ally im­por­tant,” Rollins said. “And, sec­ondly, they do it cheaply, their over­head is very small in com­par­i­son to some of the other char­i­ties where up­wards of 50 per cent of money goes to ad­min­is­tra­tion, and with United Way it’s some­thing like 15 per cent, so that’s the main rea­sons I do it, the money goes to where it’s needed.”

Mean­while, the United Way’s fundrais­ing drive con­tin­ues to­ward its goal of $ 2 mil­lion.

“It’s go­ing good, we’re slug­ging away, we’re prob­a­bly about just over 30 per cent of our goal of $ 2 mil­lion. We reached $ 640,000 on Wed­nes­day and that’s with­out any of the big com­pa­nies, so I think by the time we round up the 20 we’ll be get­ting close, but we still have a lot of work to do,” said Mur­phy.

“We have a lot of com­mer­cial com­pa­nies, smaller busi­nesses we’re hop­ing will come around. The agen­cies we sup­port run cam­paigns, so those that we sup­port will hope­fully come back and sup­port the cam­paign. The health and so­cial ser­vices, teach­ers, and so on, we haven’t re­ceived any­thing from the teach­ers yet, but we’re hop­ing the teach­ers’ union will come for­ward. There is all kinds of op­por­tu­nity out there, we just have to re­ally wave the flag. We don’t re­ally get much in the County, but we’re work­ing with a few peo­ple over there to try to gen­er­ate some ac­tiv­ity and get some aware­ness and, hope­fully, get some do­na­tions from that area,” Mur­phy said.

The Lead­er­ship Chal­lenge Fund is an in­valu­able means to en­cour­age ex­tra­or­di­nary gen­eros­ity from oth­ers. At the on­set of the pro­gram, United Way Hast­ings & Prince Ed­ward had a loyal con­tin­gent of 67 lead­ers whose com­bined gifts equaled $ 98,043. To­day, the or­gan- iza­tion boasts 138 lead­ers whose in­vest­ments unite to $ 237,676, pro­vid­ing a much needed im­pact to close to 40 agen­cies in HPE, sup­port­ing at risk youth, the el­derly, those liv­ing in poverty, and more.

To make a lead­er­ship do­na­tion, and to find out if your do­na­tion of $ 1,200 or more will be matched, please con­tact Mur­phy, kmur­phy@unit­ed­wayhpe.ca, or by call­ing 613- 962- 9531.

TIM MEEKS/ THE INTELLIGENCER

Lo­cal busi­ness icon and phi­lan­thropist Maurice Rollins rakes mulch around the new red oak tree planted in Jane For­rester Park in Belleville to com­mem­o­rate 10 years of the Maurice Rollins Lead­er­ship Chal­lenge Fund for the United Way Quinte & Prince Ed­ward. Look­ing on are fam­ily mem­bers and United Way ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Kathy Mur­phy.

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