United Way Recognizes Volunteers

4/7/15

Campaign Cabinet with Bill, Ali, PatrickFulton, NY – The United Way of Greater Oswego County?s Salute to Leadership Giving and Volunteers Reception held recently was a celebration of many sorts. The reception, which combined the agency? annual meeting with the leadership reception, gave members of the United Way?s campaign cabinet and board of directors a chance to personally thank individuals that contribute to the impact of the United Way within the community. Leadership Givers, corporate sponsors, campaign coordinators, and community volunteers were all recognized as the heartbeat of the United Way of Greater Oswego County.

Among our volunteers recognized were the group of individuals that make up the Harborfest Breakfast Committee. Celebrating their 10th year this summer, their ongoing efforts have helped aid in providing school supplies to more than 15,000 children throughout Oswego County. ?We are proud of our Harborfest Breakfast Committee and the many volunteers that have donated their time and talents to make the event a success story that benefits less fortunate children and their families year after year,? said Executive Director Patrick Dewine.

?The volunteers and donors are truly the backbone of our organization. Their commitment and dedication has a deep impact on our success,? added Dewine. ?It was wonderful to see them thanked for their service; they carry out the mission and vision of the United Way.?

United Way Board President Bill Crist said United Way also chose the annual meeting as a time to express its gratitude to those who strongly support United Way. ?These exceptional businesses, individuals, and donors demonstrate remarkable dedication to United Way and its mission. Their care and concern for our community is inspirational and their generosity is paramount to the success of our Annual Campaign. Our ongoing relationships in the community that continue to strengthen and unite set the pace and get the campaign off to a strong start. We couldn?t do it without them,? said Crist.

?We were pleased to be able to shine the spotlight on our cherished volunteers, Leadership Givers, corporate sponsors, and campaign coordinators; and to acknowledge them on a personal level. They truly are the backbone of United Way,? said Dewine.

Cut line for photo: Members of the United Way of Greater Oswego County?s Board of Directors along with the agency?s Campaign Cabinet recognized its many valued volunteers, leadership givers, campaign coordinators, and corporate sponsors during the United Way?s annual meeting. In front from left are: Campaign Cabinet Chairperson Rob Rolfe of Harmony Financial Services; United Way Board President Bill Crist; United Way Resource Development Director Ali McGrath, and Terry Syrell of Exelon. In back from left are: Brian Finn of Entergy; United Way Executive Director Patrick DeWine; Doug McRae of Bond Schoeneck and King; and Brian Cummings of Oswego County Federal Credit Union.

United Way Stone Soup, Too! Luncheon Receives Rock Solid Support

4/1/15

City of Fulton Food DonationFulton, NY ? Supporters of the United Way of Greater Oswego County gathered at Holy Trinity Church in Fulton to enjoy a delicious meal of soup, salad, rolls and dessert at United Way?s Stone Soup Too Luncheon. The annual event serves as a fundraiser for food pantries in Oswego County.

According to United Way Resource Development Director Ali McGrath, the Luncheon was a great success. ?We raised approximately $1000 and collected several bins of food for our local food pantries. I want to thank the community members who attended, and our many caring sponsors who donated the food for our luncheon: Mimi?s Drive-In, Blue Moon Grill, The Foursome Dinner, and Tavern on the Lock for our soups; C?s Farms & Davis Bros. for the salad fixings and Red Baron for the rolls; Kathy?s Cakes, Joe?s Corner Market, and Springside at Seneca Hill for our desserts; Hudson?s Dairy for the water and Dunkin? Donuts for the ?Boxes of Joe.?

?I would also like to thank Holy Trinity Parish for hosting the luncheon, the Fulton Lions Club for their generous donation of $500, Struppler?s Shurfine Market for donating canned soups to be displayed as centerpieces, and later distributed with the rest of the nonperishable food items, Price Chopper and Blue Moon for donating our door prizes, and of course our hard working volunteers and committee members, who helped to make our Stone Soup Luncheon a success,? added McGrath.

All proceeds from the event, as well as the food that is collected, will be donated to local food pantries including Catholic Charities of Oswego County, Salvation Army of Oswego County, and the Hannibal Resource Center Food Pantry.

Cut line for photo: United Way of Greater Oswego county Executive Director Patrick Dewine (l), accepts a food donation from Fulton Mayor and Rod Woodard (c) and fifth ward councilman Jay Foster (r). City of Fulton employees collected several boxes of food in support of United Way?s Annual Stone Soup Too luncheon. The luncheon is one of the many ways that United Way is working to stop hunger in Oswego County.

SUNY Oswego?s SEFA Campaign Aids United Way

3/30/15

Representatives recently met with SUNY Oswego employees to express their appreciation for the support the agency received through SUNY?s SEFA CampaignOswego, NY – For the many SUNY Oswego employees supporting their local United Way is something they take very serious. Each year the United Way of Greater Oswego County is one of the benefactors of SUNY Oswego?s annual SEFA (State Employee Federated Appeal) Campaign. From special events to employee presentations the campaign committee uses unique and inspirational ideas to help them reach their goal.

Howard Gordon, Executive Assistant to the President at SUNY Oswego, sees United Way as a partner in SUNY Oswego?s efforts to support its community. ?As a former board member I have seen first-hand the positive impact that United Way has on Oswego County. The work that United Way does is essential. It helps to facilitate the work of other groups that share the same goal of bettering the community. United Way carefully determines the best use of donor dollars and makes informed decisions benefit those with the most need,? said Gordon.

Gordon?s enthusiasm for United Way and its mission is shared by many SUNY employees that, as a result of their own experiences, see United Way as a valuable community resource.

?I support United Way because of my parents, my grandparents and a story I?ve been told my entire life,? said Head Coach for the SUNY Oswego Women?s Ice Hockey team Diane Dillon. ?The year was 1960 and it was Christmas time in Buffalo. My mother was about six weeks pregnant with me when they crossed the border and headed for their hometown of Chatham, Ontario. When my parents arrived on December 23 they discovered that my grandparents? home had been in a fire. No one was injured but the flame and water damage was so bad that most of my grandparent?s possessions had been lost…including all of the Christmas gifts for their grandchildren.?

?The United Way was one of the first to help. They were there within a few hours helping to see that my grandparents and parents had a place to stay and what they needed to stay warm. United Way even provided some toys and made sure the entire family had a nice Christmas dinner that would never be forgotten. United Way gave my family hope and a wonderful Christmas holiday. Any one of us could someday need the help and guidance of the United Way. I give as a way to say thank you and to help other families in need,? said Dillon.

Dillon?s story is just one of the many examples of why supporting United Way is a very personal decision. ?We see United Way as part of our community. You cannot work in a place and go about the day to day thinking you do not need to be involved. United Way has a special place in our minds and hearts,? added Gordon.

To reach its goal for this year?s SEFA Campaign SUNY employees held bake-offs, a walk-a-thon, a skate with the Lakers, and its annual Baskets of Caring. Events such as these combined with payroll donations helped SUNY?s SEFA Campaign surpass last year?s total and raise more than $28,943.00

?We have a very dedicated and informed campaign committee. United Way representatives have raised their awareness of the needs that exist in our county. We understand that it?s more than just giving. It?s about relationships. We are happy to be partners with United Way they are truly a leader. It?s not easy to engage people with their community, however United way is successful in doing that. They are a leader in that role,? added Gordon.

Cut line for photo: Representatives from United Way of Greater Oswego County recently met with SUNY Oswego employees to express their appreciation for the support the agency received through SUNY?s SEFA Campaign. From left are: Nichole Brown, Christy Huynh, Aaron Lee, Caroline Currier, United Way Executive Director Patrick Dewine, Kristen Burke, SUNY Oswego Executive Assistant to the President Howard Gordon, and United Way Resource Development Director Ali McGrath.

United Way Helps Bring 2-1-1 to Oswego County

2/26/15

United Way Helps Bring 2-1-1 to Oswego CountyFulton, NY ? For those in need of human services, help is only three numbers away. United Way of Greater Oswego County in collaboration with the state of New York, United Ways of Central and Northern New York, and Contact Community Services have brought the 2-1-1 System to Oswego County.

Dialing 2-1-1 will connect callers with the information and answers they need regarding the availability of health and human services in Oswego County and the proper way to access them. Callers can seek assistance with an array of topics ranging from basic needs such as housing, heating and food subsidy to substance abuse, mental health issues and family issues. Whether a crisis situation or information on where to turn to, the 2-1-1 System serves an invaluable link to all types of human services.

?We are very pleased to have such a wonderful resource as the 2-1-1 System in Oswego County,? said Executive Director of United Way of Greater Oswego County Melanie Trexler. ?Locating information on human services was a difficult task that may have required several phone calls to find the correct resource. The 2-1-1 System eliminates that problem. To have one number that people can call for assistance with human services is tremendous.?

Trexler recognized the importance of collaboration on this project and praised Oswego County Legislator, District 21, Terry Wilbur. ?Terry was instrumental in bringing the 2-1-1 System to Oswego County. His dedication and commitment to his constituents is commendable. United Way is proud to have been a part of this project and appreciate the efforts of Terry, Frank Lazarski of United Way of Central New York and everyone involved in making the 2-1-1 System a reality in Oswego County.?

Trexler added that 2-1-1 System would also prove to be a useful tool for elected officials and staffs at local human services agencies. ?It?s not uncommon for representatives to receive calls from their constituents, or agencies to receive requests for services they do not offer. They will now be able to let callers know that dialing 2-1-1 will give them the answers they need, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,? said Trexler.

In addition to the 2-1-1 number there is also a companion website, www.211cny.com. This comprehensive website has a wealth of information regarding including a list of topics and services available and crisis hot lines for specific agencies.

?The 2-1-1 System is best way to get connected and get the answers you need regarding human services in Oswego County,? added Trexler.

Cut line for photo: Executive Director of United Way of Greater Oswego County Melanie Trexler meets with Oswego County Legislator, District 21 Terry Wilbur to discuss the new 2-1-1 System. Now available in Oswego County the 2-1-1 System provides 24-hour free and confidential information regarding health and human services resources available in Oswego County as well as Central New York. For more information contact your United Way office at 315-593-1900 or visit oswegounitedway.org.

United Way to Recognize Volunteers at Annual Meeting

2/26/15

United Way to Recognize Volunteers at Annual MeetingFulton, NY -?United Way of Greater Oswego County will hold its ?Salute to Leadership Giving and Volunteers? reception March 11 at The American Foundry in Oswego. The reception is combining for the first time the United Way?s annual meeting with The Admiral Society?s Leadership Giving reception. The United Way staff, campaign cabinet and board members have adopted this year?s new format to give them the ability to strongly recognize both volunteers and leadership givers on a more personal level.

When it comes to appreciating the importance of volunteering, no one understands it better than United Way of Greater Oswego County. Volunteers are the lifeblood of the United Way and play a major role in the success of the United Way?s Annual Campaign and its many initiatives. Staying with the theme of recognizing all contributors there will not be an awards ceremony this year. However, a small but notable recognition will be given to the committee of the Harborfest Breakfast, which will be coming up on the 10th year. Held the Saturday morning of Harborfest, and hosted by The Clubhouse Tavern in Oswego, the event raises much-needed funds in support of the Stuff-A-Bus campaign. In the past 9 years, it has helped over 15,000 kids in Oswego County receive school supplies that likely would have gone without.

?For the past 9 years the Harborfest Breakfast planning committee and volunteers has done a remarkable job. The volunteer committee that started this almost 10 years ago is still the same committee. That spirit and dedication is commendable and representative of the level of commitment that United Way enjoys from our volunteers,? said United Way Resource Development Director Ali McGrath. ?We cherish each and every volunteer and can?t thank them enough for all they do.?

United Way?s Annual Meeting will also serve as an opportunity to recognize and personally thank donors that are Leadership Givers, those who pledge $500 or more annually.

?We truly appreciate our Leadership Givers,? said United Way Executive Director Melanie Trexler. ?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 is paramount to the success of our Annual Campaign. They set the pace and gets the campaign off to a strong start.?

United Way?s ?Salute to Leadership Giving and Volunteers? is made possible in part to Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, Community Bank, Planned Results, Inc., and Bond, Schoenick & King who are sponsoring the event.

Cut line for photo: Executive Director Melanie Trexler and Resource Development Director Ali McGrath meet with member of the United Way?s Campaign Cabinet in preparation for the agency?s ?Salute to Leadership Giving and Volunteers? reception. To be held March 11th at the American Foundry in Oswego, the United Way?s reception will combine their Annual Meeting with the opportunity to recognize the agency?s many volunteers and leadership givers. For more information the United Way of Greater Oswego visit oswegounitedway.org. From left are: Rob Rolfe of Harmony Financial Services, Brian Finn of Entergy, Brian Cummings of Oswego County Federal Credit Union, Melanie Trexler, Dick Delaney of Novelis, Ali McGrath, Terry Syrell of CENG, and Doug McRae of Bond Schoeneck and King,

Fulton Savings Bank Dedicated to Supporting United Way

2/5/15

Employees at Fulton Savings Bank?s branch office in Central Square Fulton, NY To the employees and management of Fulton Savings Bank ?giving back to the community? is more than just a phrase, it?s a mission they are committed to. For decades Fulton Savings Bank has been a strong supporter of United Way of Greater Oswego County. With the completion of this year?s United Way campaign Fulton Savings Bank employees once again demonstrated their support for the agency and the positive impact that it has on Oswego County.

Debra Braden has served as coordinator of the Fulton Savings Bank employee campaign for United Way for the past several years. She, along with co-coordinators Sharyl Kelly and Nancy DeGiliormo, share an infectious passion for United Way that truly inspires their co-workers and serves as the catalyst for the success of the employee campaign.

Braden?s first exposure to United Way was when she served as a community volunteer on the United Way?s Community Investment Committee. As a committee member Braden visited United Way partner agencies that offer programs that are part of United Way?s five specific areas of service; Emergency Services, Children and Family Services, Health and Special Needs, Senior Services, and Youth Development. Learning about the work that these agencies do, and the role they play in assisting United Way in it?s mission of stopping hunger, helping children and youth succeed, and improving the health and well-being of Oswego County made a lasting impression.

?It was an eye-opening experience,? said Braden. ?I had no idea of the amount of need that exists in our county. I was somewhat familiar with United Way but I was not aware of what they did exactly, however after seeing first hand the work that United Way supported programs do, and hearing from individuals whose lives have been transformed as a result of these programs, the impact that United Way has on Oswego County was quite evident.?

As part of the employee campaign Braden and her co-coordinators visited each of Fulton Savings Bank?s seven branches throughout Oswego County speaking with their fellow employees in every department in each branch. Their presentations focused on the work that United Way does and the services offered through its partner agencies.

?Each year we share a heart warming story of a family or individual who benefited from a United Way supported program. It?s always enlightening when you realize that the impact of these programs is far reaching. If a mother receives counseling for parenting skills yes, it benefits her children, but it also benefits all the children that her children come in contact with because if they are treated well they will most likely treat others well and that perpetuates itself in a positive way,? explained Braden.

Last year Fulton Savings Bank employees? United Way campaign raised $10,000. When this year?s campaign was almost at that point. Braden set her sights on surpassing last year?s total. ?Sharyl, Nancy and I wanted to find a way that to put us over the top, something that would be fun and generate some excitement. As it was during the Christmas season we thought an ugly Christmas sweater contest might be just what we needed. For a $5.00 donation employees donned their favorite ugly Christmas and were allowed to wear jeans. We visited each branch and had a lot of fun with it, some people even made their own sweaters, and best of all we did exceed our goal and raised $10,479. Coupled with the Fulton Savings Bank corporate donation we provided United Way with a total of $16,979,? said Braden.

Braden added that much of the reason for the success of their campaign for United Way is the culture of community support that Fulton Savings Bank fosters. CEO Michael Pollock has served as a member of the United Way?s board of directors as well as on the agency?s community investment committee. He is well aware of the impact that United Way has on the quality of life in Oswego County.

?United Way is an important part of our community,? said Pollock. ?Through my association with United Way I have seen the need that exists and the good that United Way funded programs do. When I was growing up I looked forward to going to CYO to play basketball and meet new friends. It was a great experience that not only provided recreation in a safe, welcoming environment but also provided us with fine role models and positive, real life experiences. The CYO program is one of the programs that United Way funds and it is money well spent. We are proud to support United Way and it?s nice to see our employees come together for such a worthy cause.?

?I know it sounds clich?,? added Braden, ?but when it comes to giving back to your community supporting United Way does give you the most bang for your buck. They are amazing stewards of the donations they receive and where else can you donate money that helps so many different programs that serve everyone from youth and seniors to individuals and families. United Way ensures that there are programs that serve those with the most need. I know my coworkers agree with me when I say that United Way has my heart and we will always do what we can to support its efforts.?

Cut line for photo: Employees at Fulton Savings Bank?s branch office in Central Square joined employees donned their finest Christmas sweaters and joined employees from all seven Fulton Savings Bank branches to partake in an employee Ugly Christmas Sweater contest. The contest was part of the fun of the employee campaign for United Way and helped them surpass last year?s campaign total as they raised $10,479 for this year?s United Way campaign. From left are: Hailey Spencer, Vicki Renne, Tina Obey, Laurie O’Neill, Sharon Balducci (kneeling in front) Sharyl Kelly, and Michelle Williams.

Lucky Winner

1/15/15

Jen Losurdo was the lucky winner of the UWGOC's DuFore Diamond Ring Raffle in 2014Oswego, NY -?Jen Losurdo was the winner of the United Way of Greater Oswego County?s drawing for a ladies half-carat halo diamond ring.? Valued at $1,600, the diamond ring was donated by DuFore?s for Diamonds in Oswego.? The drawing, which is part of the United Way?s Annual Campaign, raised more than $1800 for the United Way of Greater Oswego County?s Community Fund and made Christmas extra special for the lucky winner.

Pictured with Losurdo is Greg DuFore.

Entergy Wraps Up United Way Campaign

1/14/15

Entergy Wraps Up United Way CampaignFulton, NY ? The United Way of Greater Oswego County received a significant contribution to its Annual Campaign with the completion of the Entergy Nuclear employee campaign for the United Way.

?FitzPatrick employees are long-time community supporters and are very involved with many non-profit organizations. This year FitzPatrick employees surpassed last year?s contribution with donations totaling $51,416 in support of the United Way of Greater Oswego County?s Annual Campaign,? said Communications Specialist Tammy Holden.

The employee donations, coupled with Entergy Corporate?s generous policy of matching employee contributions put Entergy?s total donation to the United Way Annual Campaign at $102,832.

Holden credited the success of the campaign in part to a number of events that employees held throughout the year. ?This year employees held a silent auction and donated a number of raffle items with the proceeds targeted for the plant?s annual United Way Campaign. Their efforts together with their personal monetary contributions raised $51,416 and demonstrated Entergy?s mission to create value for the communities we serve,? said Holden.

Executive Director of United Way of Greater Oswego County Melanie Trexler was impressed with their efforts and praised Entergy and its employees. ?Entergy?s dedication and generosity to the United Way is a testament to the type of company they are. Entergy provides an environment were even their out of town outage workers feel inspired to give and employees donate items at their own cost as a raffle to raise funds. Their heart filled contributions to our annual campaign helps us to continue to provide funding for the many human services programs that are administered through our member agency programs and help us continue our mission of ending hunger, helping youth succeed, and improving the overall health and well-being of our community,? said Trexler.

Cut Line for photo: Employees at the Entergy Nuclear James A. FitzPatrick plant recently completed their in-house campaign in support of United Way of Greater Oswego County. The campaign surpassed last year?s total and raised $51,416, which when coupled with the match from Entergy Corporate totaled a donation of $102,832 for the United Way?s Annual Campaign. From left are Communications Specialist Tammy Holden, Director of Regulatory and Performance Improvement Brian Finn, United Way Resource Development Director Ali McGrath, and United Way Executive Director Melanie Trexler

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Aides United Way Campaign

12/16/14

We are happy again to accept Excellus as one of our Leadership Givers for the 2014-15 Campaign

Fulton, NY – Ali McGrath, resource development director for the United Way of Greater Oswego County announced that Excellus BlueCross BlueShield has once again lent its support as Leadership Giver for United Way?s Annual Campaign.

?We truly appreciate our Leadership Givers,? said McGrath.? ?Their exceptional level of giving and their care and concern for others helps to enrich our community by allowing us to serve those in need with dignity and compassion.? The generosity of our Leadership Givers plays an important role in the success of our Annual Campaign and we are proud to count Excellus BlueCross BlueShield among them.?

A strong supporter of United Way of Greater Oswego County, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield?s status as a Leadership Giver demonstrates the level of commitment the company has for the communities it serves.

?Excellus BlueCross BlueShield is pleased to support the United Way of Greater Oswego County for the eighth consecutive year,? said Arthur Vercillo, M.D., regional president, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. ?As Central New York?s largest nonprofit health plan, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield partners with organizations that work to improve the health or health care of the residents of the communities it serves. We?re proud to join with the United Way of Greater Oswego County to benefit individuals and families throughout the county.?

The United Way?s Annual Campaign serves as the organization?s primary resource and allows United Way to continue its mission of stopping hunger, helping youth succeed, and improving the health and well-being of residents of 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: Arthur Vercillo, M.D., regional president, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield presents Melanie Trexler, executive director, and Ali McGrath, resource development director for United Way of Greater Oswego County, with a check for $3,500 for the United Way 2014-2015 annual campaign.

SUNY Oswego Supports United Way

12/1/14

OsSUNY Donationwego, NY – Members of the SUNY Oswego Men?s and Women?s Great Laker ice hockey teams recently presented a donation of non-perishable food items along with some toys for Christmas that will be given to children in need in Oswego County.? The items were collected at both Men?s and Women?s hockey games.? The United Way will distribute the food items to area food pantries.

From left are: Andrew Barton, Mackenzie Scott, Bobby Gertsakis, Resource Development Director for the United Way, Ali McGrath, Deb Deeb of Human Concerns, Major James Purvis of the Salvation Army of Oswego County, Rachel Lenard, Bridget Hamlin, and Lydia Cosgrove.