by Nicole Reitz
The United Way of Greater Oswego County thanked its volunteers Wednesday during the organization’s annual meeting and Salute to Volunteers breakfast.
Executive Director Melanie Trexler opened the gathering by thanking a new sponsor, NBT Bank, for partnering with the United Way. She also addressed the many volunteers who served over the past year.
“Your efforts have fed over 2,100 hot meals a month to those in need and sheltered homeless teens,” said Trexler. “United Way applauds our volunteers efforts, their selfless generous spirit and willingness to be part of a movement to better Oswego County.”
Campaign Chair Robert Rolfe reviewed the campaign to date. With the campaign wrapping up in a few months, the United Way is within one percent of its $800,000 annual campaign goal, set last year.
“Our county has responded to the financial crisis by standing up, collaborating and working together to create an environment where we have been successful in raising funds, and made this a fabric of our community,” said Rolfe.
The salute featured an award ceremony of its volunteers. The Leadership and Commitment Award was presented to SEFA/SUNY Oswego for being leaders in educating their employees on the needs of the community and inspiring them to support the local United Way.
Between the months of October and December, SEFA/SUNY Oswego raised over $5,000 through several fund-raisers, including the SUNY walkathon, baskets of caring, a dessert bake off and skating with the Lakers.
“Each year they try to expand their reach,” said Terry Syrell of Constellation Energy Nuclear Group. “What’s remarkable is that as state employees they are given a booklet of over 5,000 charitable organizations they can choose to donate to, and yet they encourage to give locally through our United Way.”
The Company Team of the Year Award went to Fulton Savings Bank. The recipients of the award, Debra Braden, Sharyl Kelly and Nancy DeGilormo, have shown commitment, enthusiasm and talent, which contributed to the success of their organization’s campaign.
Since the last campaign, Fulton Savings Bank increased its donor participation from 79 to 88 donors. With 90 percent participation, the Fulton Savings Bank was able to contribute $9,640 to the United Way’s annual campaign.
“This team also does a fantastic job at getting contributions from branch locations for the Stuff-A-Bus school collection drive,” said Brian Gigon of Novelis.
The Coordinators of the Year award were presented to John Ferry and Kathleen Fenlon of Oswego County government. Together, they have surpassed their goal and increased donorship for the second year. In the current 2012-2013 campaign, Ferry and Fenlon increased their campaign by 28 percent and were able to contribute $17,000 to the United Way.
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