OSWEGO, NY – The United Way of Greater Oswego County paused briefly Wednesday from its humanatarin efforts to honor those who make such work possible – their legions of volunteers.
The organization’s 74th annual meeting and salute to volunteers was held at The American Foundry.
“This is our opportunity to say ‘thanks’ 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 Melanie Trexler, executive director of the United Way of Greater Oswego County. “As each of you stepped out of your comfort zone, taking time out of your busy lives to work together tirelssly for a common cause, you truly embodied the spirit and chaaracter of what the United Way is all about!”
Their work has had a positive impact on the entire community, she added. It has helped sustain the independance of seniors, nurtured and encourgaed children to grow to their full potential, assist special needs residents – “all of which serves to strengthen our families, the foundation of our community,” Trexlar continued. “As we travel this journey together, working toward the betterment of our community, we leave our footprints for others to follow.”
Wendy Tetro, out-going United Way board president, cited the staff, including Trexlar, resourse development director Lois Luber and finance director Dorine Clark, for their hard work throughout the year.
Kathy Fenlon, director of the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau, is the in-coming United Way board president.
The United Way has come a long way in meeting the many challenges currently faced by the community, Tetro said.
“This is a remarkable achievent and could not have been accomplished without the tireless efforts of our volunteers,” she added. “It is heart-lifting to see that our community has embraced the concept that we are all connected when it comes to making a difference in the lives of those in need in Oswego County.”
Campaign chair Jonathon Daniels reviewed the campaign to date.
“After several months of hockey puck drops, filling cans with spare change, we stand before you today as a campaign cabinet to thank you volunteers. We are within about 10 percent of our goal, with a couple months left,” he told the large crowd.
In the last three years, they have raised more then $2.1 million to meet some of the immediate needs in the community, he noted.
The needs include homelessness, filling food pantries and child abuse – “Issues that we wish we’d never have to talk about or deal with in this region,” he said. “They are issues that are far too prevelant to ignore.”
He paused to recognize the Salvation Army, which feeds around 150 people daily and more than 750 families receive bread and pastries from the organization.
“We are within 10 percent of our $800,000 goal,” he said, adding he believes they will reach it before the campaign wraps up in a few months.
The Leadership and Commitment Award was presented to Fulton Savings Bank, for being leaders in educating their employees on the needs of the community and inspiring them to support the United Way.
The Company Team of the Year Award went to Oswego County Government for volunteers whose extraordinary commitment, energy, enthusiasm and talent contributed to the success of their organization’s campaign.
Catholic Charities of Oswego County was presented with the Company Coordinator of the Year Award. It is given to the campaign coordinators whose enthusiasm and creativity go above and beyond what is expected. Employees respond to their efforts contributing to the success of the campaign.
The Spirit of the Community Award was bestowed on Cayuga Community College.The award is given to volunteers who care and want to make a difference in their community.
For more information or to make donations, call 593-1900.