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BCUW director resigns

PRINCETON –  After five years as Bureau County United Way Executive Director, Michelle Lymberopoulos has decided to step down from the position and retire.

“I have had the opportunity to help people in a variety of areas throughout these last five years and have learned a lot about their desire to survive the tough times, provide for their families, find employment, live without the constant worry of where their child’s next meal is coming from, how to keep their family in their homes, pay utilities, etc,” she said.

Lymberopoulos explained she took the position in July 2008 because she had always enjoyed helping others.

“I felt I was always suited for non-profit work,” she said.

Lymberopoulos admits there have been difficult tasks throughout the years. When she took over the position, it was right around the economy’s recession, and tough times called for tough decisions.

Lymberopoulos said fundraising in a bad economy and seeing an increased need for help while working with less donated dollars were tough challenges.

“Referral services have increased in the last several years due to the economy, and unemployment has also risen,” she said.

Under her direction, however, the Bureau County United Way has seen numerous positive changes such as an increase in volunteer numbers, added annual fundraisers like Trivia Night and an increase in awareness of how Bureau County United Way benefits the surrounding communities.

Lymberopoulos also confirmed the fundraiser events have also grown and netted more proceeds throughout the last five years than in the past.

The Bureau County United Way supports 15 local non-profit health and human agencies, as well as provides referral services and community projects, such as impact grants and the annual Christmas toy drive.

The Bureau County United Way Board is working on a replacement for Lymberopoulos. On Monday, Sue Spratt, Bureau County United Way Board president, had no comment on who the next executive director will be but said more information will be available in the near future.

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