United Way
United Way of the Valley
 and Greater Utica Area
FALL 2017 NEWSLETTER CONTENTS
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2017 Campaign Kick Off


Join the celebration as we officially
kick off our 96th campaign year!

Enjoy live entertainment by local musician Gary Johnson the "one man band," taco and hummus bar, and cash bar while you network with problem-solvers and game-changers, like you.

Be sure to invite friends and co-workers who care about taking action and making a difference. Your support, leadership and partnership make it possible!

WHEN: Thursday, September 21, 5:00pm - 7:00pm
WHERE: The thINCubator, 326 Broad Street, Utica
COST: $15 per person (checks payable to United Way)
Please RSVP by Thursday, September 14
Call 315-733-4691, ext 223, or email sandya@unitedwayvgu.org
Thank you to this year's supporters!

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United Way Announces $1,343,694 Investment in the Valley and Greater Utica Area

United Way's Board of Directors has approved its 2017-2019 funding allocations - investing $1,343,694 in Herkimer and Oneida Counties.

One in four people in the Valley and Greater Utica area requests help from a United Way funded program every year. These outcome-based funded programs cover a range of economic and geographic sectors, with particular emphasis being given to target low-income, at-risk families and individuals. Agencies showing impact in at least one of the four United Way focus areas and one community indicator were encouraged to apply for program funding.

A panel of professional community volunteers selects which programs are funded. These individuals review all proposals submitted, interview agency staff, and conduct site visits as needed, to ensure the measurable outcomes and effectiveness of the program is impacting the community. In addition, United Way is committed to investing in one direct impact initiative for each focus area.

"Every two years, a dedicated group of community members volunteer their time to review applications from local non-profit programs requesting funding from United Way. This group is charged with investing the funds entrusted to United Way by thousands of local donors through our annual campaigns," said United Way Executive Director Brenda Episcopo. "This year alone, more than 640 volunteer hours were engaged to ensure the funds we raise get invested in outcomes-driven program serving the greatest needs in our community in the areas of Health, Education, Income and Community Safety Net. We are pleased to announce the following grant awards for programs for the period of July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018."  

For the 2017-2019 funding cycle, United Way will support 49 local community service programs provided by 34 non-profits, and 4 United Way initiatives in Herkimer and Oneida Counties. Additionally, more than $386,500 is designated to over 350 specific programs chosen by donors. Program funding is allocated from donations made during the 2016-2017 Annual Campaign. 

The complete list of funded programs and initiatives for the 2017-2019 funding cycle can be found at www.unitedwayvgu.org/impact.
Interested in Leadership Level Volunteer Opportunities?
Call 315-733-4691, or email volunteer@unitedwayvgu.org
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United Way provides crisis funds in response to flooding


The Mohawk Valley Crisis Fund was started by United Way as a safety net for unusual disaster and crisis needs in our community. United Way contributed funding to the start of this account. Additional restricted funds were added.

On Monday, August 7, United Way presented its one-time investment of $20,765 to the American Red Cross of the Mohawk Valley, and to Salvation Army's Empire State Division. These funds will assist both organizations in recovering costs from the response during the recent flooding.
 
"Our community is just beginning to enter the long-term recovery phase of the recent floods. Many homeowners continue to struggle with cleanouts, damage and future concerns. United Way is pleased to make an investment in both of the early responders, the American Red Cross and Salvation Army, in recognition of the fortitude, commitment and true assistance both organizations have shown during this time of crisis," said Brenda Episcopo, CEO of United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area.
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Boilermaker Presents Check to United Way


The Boilermaker Road Race, along with Sodexo and local musician Chris Cooley presented a check for $3,107 to United Way on Monday, August 7.
 
The funds were raised at the 20th annual Boilermaker Pasta Buffet held on Saturday before the race at the Boilermaker Expo at MVCC.

For several years, Chris Cooley has also contributed to the fundraiser by playing acoustic guitar outside of the venue and collecting donations. 

Sodexo donates their food and services while Smith Packing Company and Olivari Olive Oil also contribute their products to support the fundraiser.
 
"The funds donated from the Boilermaker Pasta Buffet go a long way to help meet the needs of people in our community through safety net funding to soup kitchens and food pantries," said Brenda Episcopo, Executive Director of United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area. "An added benefit of the pasta dinner is the sense of community it builds. There is nothing like sharing a meal with strangers and becoming friends."
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Volunteer & Event Highlights

Fueling it forward at Cliff's Pumps United

United Way partner Cliff's Local Market generously hosted community volunteers for the first ever "Cliff's Pumps United" fundraising event on Wednesday, June 21.

Over $1,700 was raised and benefits United Way's work funding area programs and services, providing a safety net for our community, and addressing crucial community issues in the impact areas of health, education, financial stability and basic needs in the Valley and Greater Utica area. 

Special thanks to locally owned-and-operated Clifford Fuel Co., Inc. for making Cliff's Pumps United possible by providing its Cliff's Local Market locations at Commercial Drive, New York Mills and State Route 5, Clinton (Kirkland). 

"Being involved in our local communities is really important to us and we love the chance to help give back. Clifford Fuel and our staff have been long time supporters of the United Way," said Jim Clifford, president of Clifford Fuel, Inc. "We have witnessed many people who have been helped by the United Way in our local community and are proud to be able to help the organization raise money and awareness in support of their cause."

Employees from event sponsors Berkshire Bank, Joe Tahan's Furniture, McQuade & Bannigan, Inc. and The Hartford, were eager to pump gas and wash windshields for tips. The funds made for their efforts directly benefit United Way.

Day of Action in Herkimer County

On Wednesday, July 26, community volunteers rallied for a Day of Action taking place in Herkimer. This annual event mobilizes the caring power of volunteers to make a meaningful impact in our community.

Volunteers will created fitness activity trails on the walking paths along the Hydraulic Canal Greenway in Herkimer. These trails are a component of United Way's health initiative focused on helping children stay healthy. The trail's colorful design will encourage children, youth, and families to take part in physical activity and socialization, all while having fun!

Seventh Annual United Way Back-to-School Supply Drive

Throughout July and August, residents in Herkimer and Oneida counties donated school supplies.  Thank you to the many amazing supporters who generously gave school supplies, backpacks, and donations to help our community's youth in need return to school prepared to learn. 

A special thank you to Berkshire Bank and Central New York Labor Council AFL-CIO who made the back to school season more successful for youth in our area by sponsoring this year's supply drive. 

"Understanding children's needs for proper education and support is important to our Berkshire Bank Family. Children starting school with the right supplies enable them to be prepared and ready to learn. Berkshire Bank has been a proud supporter of the United Way Back-to-School Supply Drive for the last three years and has assisted in providing kits and support for this great cause," said Matthew Nicholl, Vice President Berkshire Bank. 

More than 3,100 items adding up to over $3,800 in value was collected. In addition to supplies, $2,000 in monetary donations was raised which will help local students get ready to learn. All donations will remain in the Mohawk Valley, Greater Utica, and Rome areas. 

The success of this year's supply drive was also made possible thanks to businesses and organizations which held workplace supply drives including Berkshire Bank, Boscov's, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, and Herkimer College, as well as by partner Max L. Cowen's Student Stores who created and hosted United Way's supply kit online store.

The following schools and organizations received supplies from the drive: Kernan Elementary School, Utica; Watson Williams Elementary School, Utica; Poland Central School, Poland; West Canada Valley Central School District, Newport; Tilden School at House of Good Shepherd; and Catholic Charities of Herkimer County. Each school and organization distributed supplies internally. Families with questions are encouraged to contact their respective District Office.
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United Way Staff

Brenda E. Episcopo
CEO/Executive Director

Kristyn Bucciero
Director of Development and Marketing

Sandra Hoyland
Director of Finance

Administrator of Initiatives and Grants

Sandy Allbright
Resource Development Coordinator
Betty-Joan Beaudry
Director of Community Impact and 2-1-1 Mid-York

Executive Administrative Assistant

Dawn Potter
Finance Specialist

Marketing and Communications Manager

Campaign Coordinator

Family School Coordinator, Remsen

Family School Coordinator, CVA

Finance Assistant

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