by Lois Luber, United Way of Greater Oswego County
I extend a heartfelt thank you to all those who lent their support to the United Way’s fourth annual Stone Soup Too Luncheon graciously hosted by Holy Trinity Parish in Fulton.
From the large amount of people who attended, to the many businesses and organizations that helped make the event possible, our Stone Soup Too Luncheon was a perfect example of the United Way’s mantra: “It’s Our Community…and It’s Personal” as the community came together to show their support for the United Way and help our area food pantries.
Our Stone Soup Luncheon would not have been possible if not for the efforts of our committee members; Catherine Trowbridge, City of Fulton; Helen Hoefer and George Timmins of Catholic Charities of Oswego County; Steve Chirello, Chirello Advertising; Karen Hubel, Blue Moon Grill; Lori Lyons and Michele Sherman of the Walmart Supercenter in Granby; Jo-Lynn Phillips and Stephanie Budd of OCO; Sue Witmer of Cayuga Community College Fulton Campus; Jan Rebeor, and our volunteers.
Thanks to the support we received from community members who attended, the generous donations of $500 from the Fulton Lions Club and $100 from the Fulton Sunrise Rotary, our fifth Annual Stone Soup Too Luncheon raised $1,125 for food pantries in Oswego County.
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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With the need for food subsidy increasing and food pantries throughout Oswego County being hard pressed to meet the growing demand, the United Way of Greater Oswego County is doing its part to raise awareness of the food shortage in Oswego County and encourage the community to help fill the shelves of area food pantries.
Tuesday, March 19, the United Way of Greater Oswego County will hold their fifth annual Stone Soup Too luncheon in Fulton. Hosted by Holy Trinity Parish, 309 Buffalo St., Fulton, the United Way’s luncheon will draw upon the agency’s theme of “It’s Our Community…and It’s Personal” as the United Way invites community members to come together to break bread, warm their hearts, gather with friends, and enjoy a lunch of Stone Soup.
“This is our fifth year for our Stone Soup Too luncheon,” said Lois Luber, resource development director for the United Way of Greater Oswego County. “It is the effort of our volunteers and committee members and most importantly the strong support we receive from the community who return year after year to enjoy great food and fellowship that makes our Stone Soup Too luncheon such a success.”
To date a number of caring local businesses have come forward to donate the food and beverages necessary for the Stone Soup Luncheon. The United Way’s ‘Stone Soup Too’ Luncheon is open to the public and will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The United Way is accepting donations per person. All proceeds from the luncheon will be used to support area food pantries.
Attendees are also encouraged to bring a donation of non-perishable food as the United Way will be collecting donations for area food pantries including the Salvation Army of Oswego County, Catholic Charities of Oswego County, and Human Concerns.
Those unable to attend the luncheon but would like to donate food items may call Helen Hoefer, director of Catholic Charities of Oswego County’s Emergency Services program at 598-3980 for information on where to drop off non-perishable food donations throughout Oswego County.
“It’s our community…and it’s personal,” was the message uttered throughout the United Way of Greater Oswego County’s annual Kick-Off Breakfast held Wednesday.
The event, sponsored by Burritt Motors, CENG, Entergy and Planned Results, was held at the American Foundry in Oswego. Executive Director Melanie Trexler gave the opening remarks and was joined by members of the Campaign Cabinet.
Rob Rolfe of Pathfinder Bank is the chairperson for this year’s campaign, replacing Jonathan Daniels, executive director of the Port of Oswego Authority.
The annual campaign serves as the United Way’s primary fund-raiser. Last year, the United Way came within 98 percent of its goal of $800,000, securing $780,000 for the many human services programs that the United Way and its member agencies provide for those who live in Oswego County, said Rolfe.
During the 2012-2013 year, the United Way again hopes to raise $800,000.
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by William Crist, Superintendent of Schools Oswego City School District
Thanks to the tremendous outpouring of support we received from the community and the tireless effort of our many volunteers, the Annual Stuff-A-Bus Campaign, a partnership between Oswego County School Districts and United Way of Greater Oswego County, was a resounding success.
The donations of school supplies that we received from individuals and businesses, the work of the volunteers who sorted and distributed the school supplies, and the cooperation we received from businesses that graciously hosted a bus and served as an official drop site for school supplies is appreciated more than words can express.
The success of the Stuff-A-Bus Campaign would not have been possible if not for the collaborative efforts of the Fulton, Phoenix, Hannibal, Mexico, APW, Pulaski, Sandy Creek, Central Square, and Oswego school districts, the CSEA, and OCTA.
Their efforts, along with that or our many volunteers and Stuff-A-Bus committee co-chairpersons, JoAnn Conzone, and Melanie Trexler, executive director of United Way of Greater Oswego County, helped to put smiles on the faces of hundreds of children who as a result of the Stuff-A-Bus Campaign now have the school supplies they need for a successful start to the school year.
It was moving to see the expressions on the faces of the families that received school supplies for their children. Their gratitude was immeasurable.
Thank you to the countless number of community members who donated school supplies and to the businesses that served as an official school supply collection site.
Your concern for the youth of Oswego County is greatly appreciated.
by Lois Luber of the United Way of Greater Oswego County
I extend a heartfelt thank you to all those who lent their support to the United Way of Greater Oswego County’s fourth annual Stone Soup Too Luncheon graciously hosted by Holy Trinity Parish in Fulton.
From the large amount of people who attended, to the many businesses and organizations that helped make the event possible, our Stone Soup Too Luncheon was a perfect example of the United Way’s “Live United” concept as the community came together to show their support for the United Way and help our area food pantries.
The United Way of Greater Oswego County thanked its volunteers Wednesday at the organization’s 74th annual meeting and salute to volunteers breakfast.
Executive Director Melanie Trexler opened the gathering by thanking Alliance Bank for sponsoring the annual meeting and for partnering with the United Way.
“This is our opportunity to say thanks and pay homage to all of the dedicated, hard-working individuals in our community that work together to make the 2011–2012 United Way campaign such a success,” said Trexler.
Trexler gave a hats off to United Way’s hundreds of volunteers for stepping out of their comfort zone and taking the time to work together for a common cause, which has an impact on the entire community.