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Aid cut, CREST makes appeal

September 13, 2011
Jenn Brookens - Staff Writer , Fairmont Sentinel

FAIRMONT - The caregiver organization CREST has a more urgent need with its fund-raising this year.

Because of the state budget crisis, a program that funded CREST and several other caregiving organizations was cut.

"For 12 of the 13 years we've been in existence, we've received assistance from the state," explained Rob Stauter, director of CREST. "We received aid from $15,000 to $20,000. It paid salaries and covered the five types of insurance we need. What a lot of people don't know about non-profits is that we need to cover all these insurances to cover the volunteers. So our annual appeal this year is very different because of this."

CREST, which stands for Caregiver Response Effort and Service Team, provides volunteer aid for older adults, or those who are ill or injured. It also helps caregivers by providing respite care.

"We have about 145 volunteers, but our care recipients fluctuate," Stauter said. "We've served over 500 people in the past 12 years in Martin County."

The program was funded under Project Rose, aimed at reaching out and supporting elders and caregivers.

"It was one of those that we applied for every two years and this year it wasn't renewed," Stauter said. "It's not just us. Other organizations in the area like ours were also in the cut."

While Stauter is looking at finding grants to help with funding, it appears the annual appeal fund-raiser must play a bigger role.

"We do have a local donor who has offered to match dollar for dollar the amounts donated this year," Stauter said.

The annual donation letters have gone out to businesses, and will go out to residents this week. But those who aren't on the mailing list are always welcome to drop off donations at the CREST office at Lakeview Health Services Center in Fairmont.

Other fund-raisers include a spaghetti dinner 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday at the Trimont Community Building, and pillow cleaning 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sept. 29 at Covenant Church.

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