Fulton, NY Ã¢â‚¬â€œ The United Way of Greater Oswego County got its annual campaign off to an inspiring start with a special breakfast held Wednesday, September 9th at the American Foundry in Oswego. Those in attendance learned of the impact that the United Way has on the lives of thousands of families in Oswego County and that how reaching out a hand to one can influence the condition of all.
Executive Director of the United Way of Greater Oswego County, Melanie Trexler welcomed those in attendance and spoke about the importance of working together to achieve a common good. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We are all united this morning for a common purposeÃ¢â‚¬Â¦to help strengthen the fabric of our community and help champion the needs of our families, our youth and our seniors. The United Way proudly supports 23 agencies and 39 human services programs that serve thousands of individuals in our community. The structure of the United Way rests upon the spirit, commitment and dedication of its volunteer base. This sound foundation is comprised of everyday people, small businesses, unions, and area corporations, each coming together as one to reach out and support our community and to spread the good word of the United Way. Your support and commitment to our campaign is truly appreciated,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Trexler.
United Way Board President, John Scardella spoke of the importance of commitment and the positive impact that the United Way has on the lives of so many in Oswego County. He also commended the United WayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Campaign Cabinet for their efforts in planning this yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s annual campaign. Ã¢â‚¬Å“The United WayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Campaign Cabinet has been working diligently to ensure the success of the 2009 / 2010 campaign. Their enthusiasm is infectious and they are 100% committed to achieving our goal. This cross section of concerned community leaders, have been working hand in hand with the United Way staff and the board of directors as they planned the United WayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Annual Campaign and they will continue to do so as they implement and oversee the campaign. Whether itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s helping to establish employee giving campaigns, arranging company presentations, or speaking with civic groups and other organizations, the members of the United WayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Campaign Cabinet are dedicated to sharing the United WayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s mission with the community. We couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t do it without them. They are the driving force behind our campaign. Their commitment to the United Way and their ability to inspire their fellow community members is what will make this campaign a success. We are truly appreciative of their efforts and are proud to count them among our supporters,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said.
Keynote speaker for the event, former NFL and Syracuse University football great, Chris Gedney, spoke of the difference the United Way makes in the lives of those it touches and praised the special video presentation that highlighted the services offered through United Way funded programs. He also challenged those involved with the campaign to stay committed to achieving their goal. Ã¢â‚¬Å“When I think of the United Way I think of the many people who come together to make the United Way the great resource that it is. If you question why you are here today or what impact you can have, just take another look at todayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s video. By supporting the United Way you make people smile and you give them hope. If you are passionate about the United Way, if you celebrate its vision and if you live it, that will resonate with those you come in contact with. If you celebrate your goal and share it with others you will get the results you desire. If you maintain a positive attitude and work together you will overcome any adversity that may come up. You make a difference, what you do truly affects and influences people,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said.
Prior to officially announcing the goal for the United WayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 2009 / 2010 campaign, Jonathan Daniels, who is the executive director of the Port Of Oswego Authority and serves as the chairperson for the United WayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Campaign Cabinet, spoke of the previous yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s success. He noted that last year 4,500 individuals raised $800,000, which allowed United Way funded programs to touch the lives of 50,000 people in Oswego County. While he recognized that as a significant achievement, he announced that the Campaign Cabinet is looking to improve upon that figure. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We have set an ambitious goal for this yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s campaign. We know it will be a difficult task but we wanted to challenge ourselves and our community. In times like these we need to dig a little deeper to develop the resources to help our neighbors and friends in Oswego County. We have established a goal that is ambitious yet attainable. Last year 4,500 individuals gave to the campaign, if we can get all of those 4,500 individuals to increase their pledge by only 50 cents a week we would add $117,000 to our campaign total. I am confident that when we meet in the spring we will be able to announce that we not only met, but exceeded our goal of raising $880,000,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Daniels. In response to a thunderous applause he added, Ã¢â‚¬Å“It starts now!Ã¢â‚¬Â
With the 2009 / 2010 Annual Campaign officially underway, Trexler again praised the many United Way supporters who were in attendance. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Our ultimate success will be measured through youÃ¢â‚¬Â¦the campaign volunteers who work tireless to motivate your coworkers to support our fundraising effortsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦the individuals and small businessÃ¢â‚¬Â¦the area corporations who generously provide corporate gifts and matching giftsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦and you, the volunteers who give of their time and are truly the foundation of the UW. I am confident that this yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s campaign will be a great success.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The United WayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s annual campaign serves as the organizations primary fundraiser. For a free copy of the video that premiered at the kick-off breakfast and highlights the positive impact that the United Way has on Oswego County you may contact your United Way office at 593-1900.