EDITORIAL: Recruiting a point man

The appointment of Phil Foust as the first executive director of Marion County United Way seems to be a good move for the fledgling organization if it is to succeed here.

Since forming in 2003, Marion County United Way has been unable to reach its fund-raising goals with the spare-time energy available from well-intentioned board members who are fully employed elsewhere. The board has needed someone who can focus full attention on the fund drive, even in a part-time capacity.

Phil Foust is relatively new to Marion County, but he appears to be a good choice for the position. Personally affable, and with years of experience in banking and service organizations, Foust seems to be energized for the task and is quick to say he is determined to work for the betterment of all of Marion County.

Even though fund-raising is high on his job description, it seems to us that Foust’s fundamental task will be education-making a convincing case to businesses and individuals that channeling charitable gifts through the United Way makes more sense than going it alone. That could be a challenging mandate; the less-than-desired response to the fund drives indicate that the jury is still out.

Marion County has many support-worthy organizations and causes that would benefit from a strong United Way presence here. Some of these causes will not be adequately funded without the assistance of this cooperative body that closely monitors the needs and opportunities in our midst. -DR

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