Changing of the guard at United Way in Hannibal

Lou Lemen honored for 22 years of service.

The 62nd annual meeting of the United Way of the Mark Twain Area marked the changing of the guard for the agency.

For 22 years Lou Lemen has been the face of the agency but now a new leader with a new vision is ready to take over.

Frank DiTillo who has been a long time volunteer with the United Way will take over as director later this year.

DiTillo says that the ability to reach and touch so many lives drew him to take on the challenge of agency director.

"An opportunity to go back out and have contact again with people," DiTillo said. "To be able to service and provide,satisfy needs for people ... I can't think of anything else I would do that would could contact or touch 44,000 lives in one year like I could working for the United Way."

Outgoing director Lou Lemen was honored by the past campaign chairs with kind words and flowers for her many years of dedicated service.

And speaking of campaigns, 2013 fundraising campaign chairman Mike McFarlane received a round of applause when he announced that the agency had exceeded it's 2013 campaign goal of $577,000 by $3000 for a grand total of $580,000.

"The spirit of giving in this community is tremendous," McFarlane said. "There are literally hundreds of people that are volunteering their time, helping others, raising money and getting the campaign into motion. It's been tremendous to see the energy out there. It's truly their accomplishment."

New director Frank DiTillo echoes McFarlane's praise of the many volunteers who make it possible for the United Way to do what it does.

"Bringing people in the community who have a compassion to help and whose compassion is fulfilled when they get to work with clients and see the result of that. It's wonderful work to be involved in," DiTillo said.

Frank DiTillo was chosen to lead the United Way of the Mark Twain Area from a pool of 50 applicants after an exhaustive search across the area and from United Way worldwide.