United Way Community Investment Committee Seeks Volunteers

March 6th, 2014

124Fulton, NY ? The United Way of Greater Oswego County would like to invite community members to be part of the agency?s program funding process by participating as a volunteer member of the United Way?s Community Investment Committee. Comprised entirely of concerned community members, the United Way?s Community Investment Committee is responsible for evaluating various agency programs that are available in Oswego County and recommending to the United Way Board of Directors the funding support that these programs should receive.

Participation in the United Way?s Community Investment Committee provides volunteers with a unique opportunity to learn more about their community and make critical decisions on how the money raised during the United Way?s Annual Campaign will be distributed to the county?s human services providers.

?The United Way addresses human service needs throughout Oswego County. It is of the utmost importance that the community is involved in this process. Having volunteers from a broad cross section of the community is quite helpful as they all bring different knowledge and perspective to the process,? said Kathy Fenlon, president of the United Way?s Board of Directors.

Volunteers will be asked to serve on one of five panels, each dealing with a specific field of service: Emergency Services, Children and Family Services, Health and Special Needs, Senior Services, and Youth Development. Panel members will visit agencies that offer programs related to their specific field of service where they will receive a tour of the agency.

While the United Way?s program funding process does not begin until April, the United Way is currently recruiting volunteers now so that the Community Investment Committee and the individual panels can be established and the volunteers can receive the training they need.

As a custodian of community contributions, United Way ensures that those dollars are used in a cost efficient manner to fund effective, meaningful, unduplicated services. ?We provide our Community Investment Committee volunteers with a thorough overview of the principles and polices that are a part of our program funding process. With those parameters in mind, their objective study and review of agency programs will help ensure that there will be an effective and well-balanced array of community services available in Oswego County,? said Melanie Trexler, executive director of the United Way of Greater Oswego County.

Members are asked to invest approximately 15 hours of their time as they meet in April for training and then conduct agency tours and budget reviews throughout April and May. ?Volunteers learn about many of the services in Oswego County. They work together to make informed decisions, knowing that their input is important to the process. It is process that takes little time, but produces big results and provides volunteers with a real sense of accomplishment that many past volunteers have found rewarding,? said Fenlon.

United Way Board of Directors member, Shawn Seale of Key Bank, who along with Debra Braden of Fulton Savings Bank is co-chairperson of the United Way?s Community Investment Committee and has previously served on the Children and Family Services panel, found his experience with the program funding process a worthwhile one.

?The work that the panels do is very effective in evaluating the various agency programs and assessing the impact that these programs have on those they serve, said Seale. ?The program funding process is very important as it allows community members who have no ties with the agencies and / or programs to take an objective look at what the programs do and how they impact the community.

It also allows these same people the opportunity to see how United Way dollars are being used in our community and realize that the United Way ensures that their dollars are used wisely by holding its member agencies accountable and measuring their programs outcomes. While it can be difficult deciding what programs receive funding it is also very rewarding to be able to award agencies what they need monetarily to continue their programs.?

?We are proud of our program funding process and very appreciative of the concerned community members who volunteer their time to serve on our Community Investment Committee and choose to make a difference in our community,? added Trexler.

For more information on the United Way?s program funding process, or to volunteer as an Allocations Committee member, you may contact your United Way office at 315-593-1900.

Cut line for photo: Debra Braden of Fulton Savings Bank and Shawn Seale of Key Bank, co-chairpersons for the United Way of Greater Oswego County?s Community Investment Committee meet to discuss this year?s allocation process. The United Way is currently inviting community members to become an active part of the United Way?s funding process by volunteering to serve on one of five panels that access a specific field of service: Emergency Services, Children and Family Services, Health and Special Needs, Senior Services, and Youth Development. Panel members visit agencies that offer programs related to their specific field of service where they will receive a tour of the agency. For more information, or to volunteer, contact your United Way office at 315-593-1900, ext. 201.

NBT Bank to Sponsor United Way?s Annual Meeting

February 21st, 2014

122Fulton, NY ? Melanie Trexler, Executive Director of the United Way of Greater Oswego County has announced that the NBT Bank will serve as the official sponsor for the United Way?s Annual Meeting and Salute to Volunteers. Scheduled for Wednesday, March 12th at 8:00 a.m. the event will be held at the American Foundry, Route 104 West (behind Fajita Grill) in Oswego.

?I am pleased to announce that once again NBT Bank will be the sponsor for the Annual Meeting. Their commitment to United Way and our community is unwavering and I am proud to count them among our supporters,? said Trexler.

Barbara Bateman, Senior Vice President and Oswego Market Executive at NBT Bank, said, ?NBT Bank is dedicated to supporting the United Way of Greater Oswego County. Our staff is committed to the works of the United Way and the agencies that it supports. By providing sponsorship to the annual meeting we are able to supply the community with an avenue necessary to fulfill the mission of the United Way and to promote additional philanthropic opportunity throughout. By assisting the United Way we are able to provide support to so many different agencies, therefore allowing our charitable dollars to reach the places that need assistance. Giving back to the communities that support you is one of the most important commitments a business can make. We take our role in this seriously and will continue to promote and to support our communities,? said Bateman.

The focus of United Way?s Annual Meeting will be the recognition of the United Way?s highly valued volunteers who exemplify the notion that it is our community and it is personal. ?Our volunteers do more than demonstrate their love of community by assisting us at United Way, many share their time, talents, and treasure with other organizations and do more than their part to make our communities a better place to live,? said Trexler.

The United Way?s annual meeting is open to the public. The cost to attend the event is $15.00 per person and includes a complete breakfast. For more information on the United Way of Greater Oswego County?s Annual Meeting, or to make reservations, contact your United Way office, 315-593-1900 or via e-mail at: loisunitedway@windstream.net, no later than Friday, March 7th.

Cut line for photo: Executive Director of the United Way of Greater Oswego County, Melanie Trexler (r) and United Way Board President, Kathy Fenlon (l), meet with Barbara Bateman (c), vice president at NBT Bank to discuss the United Way?s upcoming Annual Meeting to be held from 8:00 ? 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 12th, at the American Foundry, Route 104 West (behind Fajita Grill) in Oswego. NBT Bank is the official sponsor of the United Way of Greater Oswego County?s Annual Meeting.

United Way Decisions on Mini-Grants

February 19th, 2014

Fulton, NY – In accordance with its mission of raising awareness of human needs in Oswego County and supporting solutions to address those needs, United Way of Greater Oswego County offered a limited number of mini-grant funding opportunities for community organizations in Oswego County that reflect the agency?s mission and its five funding categories; Emergency Services, Health and Special Needs, Supporting Families and Children, Youth Development, and Senior Services.

In November 2013, Melanie Trexler, executive director of United Way of Greater Oswego County explained that the mini-grants are for not-for-profits serving Oswego County. ?Organizations that wish to apply for a mini-grant must submit a brief narrative that includes; a description of the project and proposed activities, its goals, who it will serve and how it will benefit those served. The project must also have clear, measurable goals and a defined beginning and end. Applicants are also encouraged to partner with other community organizations on the project,? said Trexler.

13 grants were submitted and reviewed by the United Way Executive Committee on December 12, 2013. The total allocated for 7 Mini-grants was $5,000.
Grant totals and non-profit projects:
Aurora of CNY $640.00 for the Oswego County Visually Impaired, a transportation fund to assist members to attend monthly social/networking outings for the purpose of peer support and socialization.
Children’s Museum $675.00 for the Power of Produce, to launch a POP club to provide interactive and educational activities to promote healthy eating and lifestyles for our community youth.
Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways $950.00 for College Life 101, a program that exposes at risk teen girls in Oswego County to a collegiate environment and provides beneficial experience and advice from academic staff and students.
Integrative Community Planning of Os. Co. $1000.00, Tobacco Free Baby and Me, a program specific to women who are pregnant or parenting young children, providing diaper incentives for participants with negative nicotine testing.
Move Along, Inc. $1000.00 for Inclusive Sports Training, to raise the general awareness to similarity/inclusive sports options for both disabled and able bodied participants in Os. Co.
Oswego Industries $385.00 for Put Your Best Foot Forward, to develop an empowering strategy that focuses on the health and wellness for intellectual and developmental disabled individuals living in Os. Co. (pedometers)
Oswego County Search and Rescue Team $350.00 for Project Lifesaver, bracelet for one potentially vulnerable adult who is at risk of wandering due to dementia. Clients are identified through the Office of Aging and The Alzheimer’s Support Group.

Oswego Elks Lodge Supports United Way

February 14th, 2014

121Oswego, NY ? In keeping with their tradition of giving back to the community, Board Chairperson of the BPO Elks Lodge #271 Carol Dillabough, Board Chair presented, Lois Luber, resource development director with United Way of Oswego County with a $5,000 donation on behalf of the club?s members in support of United Way?s Annual Campaign. ?We are thankful that the members of Oswego Elks Lodge recognize our efforts and chose us for this generous donation. It is a wonderful example of how the partnerships we create with our area organizations allow us to serve even more families and individuals in Oswego County,? said Luber.

United Way to Recognize Volunteers at Annual Meeting

February 13th, 2014

123Fulton, NY ? When it comes to appreciating the importance of volunteering, no one understands it better than the United Way of Greater Oswego County. Volunteers are the lifeblood of the United Way and play a major role in success of many of the United Way?s initiatives and its annual campaign.

On Wednesday, March 12th, as part of the United Way of Greater Oswego County Annual Meeting, the United Way will pay tribute to its many volunteers. ?We truly value our volunteers. Without them we would not have been able to maintain the many partnerships and collaborations that we have established over the years. Whether it is serving as a Campaign Coordinator for our Annual Campaign, helping out at our Stone Soup Luncheons and Harborfest Breakfasts, or serving on our Community Investment Committee, the time and effort that we receive from our volunteers is essential in allowing us to continue our mission of building a stronger, healthier community. We are proud of our volunteers and I look forward to honoring them at our annual meeting,? said, Executive Director of the United Way of Greater Oswego County, Melanie Trexler.

Sponsored by NBT Bank, the United Way?s Annual Meeting and Salute to Volunteers will be held Wednesday, March 12th at 8:00 a.m. at the American Foundry, Route 104 West (behind Fajita Grill) in Oswego. In addition to honoring the United Way volunteers, Trexler stated that the program for the United Way?s Annual Meeting will also recognize the exceptional individuals and businesses whose efforts help support the United Way of Greater Oswego County?s Annual Campaign and the work of the United Way?s member agencies.

Awards at this year?s Annual Meeting are:
– Company Team of the Year ?
– Outstanding Special Event Award ?
– Community Volunteer Award ?
– Spirit of Community Award ?
Lois Luber, resource development director for United Way, said that United Way Campaign Cabinet members would present the awards at this year’s meeting.

The United Way?s annual meeting is open to the public. The cost to attend the event is $15.00 per person and includes a complete breakfast. For more information on the United Way of Greater Oswego County?s Annual Meeting and Salute to Volunteers, or to make reservations, contact your United Way office, 315-593-1900 or via e-mail at: loisunitedway@windstream.net, no later than Friday, March 7th.

Cut line for photo: Melanie Trexler, executive director of the United Way of Greater Oswego County, meets with the Chairperson for the United Way?s Campaign Cabinet, Rob Rolfe of Harmony Financial Services, to finalize plans for the United Way?s Annual Meeting and Salute to Volunteers. The event, which is open to the public, will be held Wednesday, March 12th at 8:00 a.m. at the American Foundry, Route 104 West (behind Fajita Grill) in Oswego. For more information or to make reservations, contact your United Way office, 315-593-1900 or via e-mail at: loisunitedway@windstream.net, no later than Friday, March 7th.

RSVP Offers Free Income Tax Preparation

January 31st, 2014

120Oswego, NY– Beginning February 1 through April 15, The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), a division of SUNY Oswego`s Office of Business and Community Relations, will staff tax sites in Oswego County.

RSVP manages its program in partnership with AARP, the IRS and the State Department of Taxation and Finance. Counseling sessions are available for all, with special attention to those 60 and older.

Taxpayers should bring photo identification, along with last year’s completed tax forms, W-2s, 1099s, unemployment compensation statements, all forms indicating federal income tax paid, dependent care provider information?including name, employer, provider identification or Social Security number?receipts or canceled checks for itemized deductions, bank account information for direct deposit, and a Social Security or individual identification card for the taxpayer, spouse and dependents.

RSVP Sites:
? Central Square: 637 So. Main St. (Rt. 11), — Fridays from 11:30 am – 2:30 pm by appointment only. Call 343-5524 between 9 am – 7 pm to schedule an appointment.
? Fulton: Municipal Building, 141 South 1st Street ? Walk-in only; Wednesdays 9am?12pm and 6-8 pm.
? Oswego: McCrobie Civic Center, 41 Lake Street ? Walk-in only; Tuesdays 11am-3pm.
? Phoenix: Public Library, 34 Elm Street ? Weekdays by appointment. Call: (Fred) 695-2553, (Bill) 458-1465, (Betty) 934-4333.
For more information on this and other RSVP programs, or to receive the Mature Living newsletter, call 312-2317 or email rsvp@oswego.edu. RSVP is a federal initiative of the Corporation for National & Community Service and is sponsored locally by SUNY Oswego and the United Way.

Pictured in photo is AARP Tax Aide and RSVP volunteer, Julie Birtle. Article was reproduced from Palladium Times Jan. 31, edition.

United Way Recognizes Leadership Givers

January 27th, 2014

119Fulton, NY: The United Way of Greater Oswego County recognized its many leadership givers during a special reception in their honor at Under the Moon in Fulton. The event was attended by more than 60 Leadership Givers, those who pledge $500 or more annually.

?We truly appreciate our Leadership Givers,? said Melanie Trexler, executive director of the United Way. ?From our corporate sponsors to our small business owners and our individual leaders, their exceptional level of giving and their care and concern for our community is inspirational. The generosity of our Leadership Givers plays an important role in the success of our Annual Campaign as it set the pace and gets the campaign off to a strong start.?

Community Bank, N.A., one of United Way?s newest supporters, sponsored the event. Community Bank, N.A., operates more than 185 branch offices across Upstate and Central New York, including those in Fulton and Oswego, as well as throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania. ?We are happy to have been able to partner with United Way of Greater Oswego County on this event and are proud to count ourselves among the many area businesses and organizations that lend their support to such a worthy cause as United Way,? said Mark Tryniski, President and CEO Community Bank, N.A.

The United Way?s Annual Campaign serves as the organizations primary fundraiser as the campaign looks to raise money in support of the many human services programs that the United Way and its member agencies provide for those who live in Oswego County. For more about the mission of the United Way and the 2014 campaign contact your United Way office at 315-593-1900 or visit their website at oswegounitedway.org.

Cut line for photo: Executive Director of United Way of Greater Oswego County, Melanie Trexler (l), welcomes Fulton Branch Manager for Community Bank, N.A., Tina Stephens (c) and Branch Assistant, Sue Kasperek (r) to United Way?s Leadership Givers Reception. Sponsored by Community Bank, N.A, and hosted by Under the Moon in Fulton, the event honors those businesses, organizations and individuals that pledge more than $500 to the United Way?s Annual Campaign.