United Way Salutes Volunteers at March 14 Annual Meeting

February 29th, 2012

27Fulton, NY – When it comes to appreciating the importance of volunteering, no one understands it better than the United Way of Greater Oswego County. Volunteers are the lifeblood of the United Way and play a major role in success of many of the United Way’s initiatives and its annual campaign.

On Wednesday, March 14th, as part of the United Way of Greater Oswego County’s 74th Annual Meeting, the United Way will pay tribute to its many volunteers. “We truly value our volunteers. Without them we would not have been able to maintain the many partnerships and collaborations that we have established over the years. Whether it is serving as a Campaign Coordinator for our Annual Campaign, helping out at our Stone Soup Luncheons, or serving on our Community Investment Committee, the time and effort that we receive from our volunteers is essential in allowing us to continue our mission of building a stronger, healthier community. We are proud of our volunteers and I look forward to honoring them at our annual meeting,” said Executive Director of the United Way of Greater Oswego County, Melanie Trexler.

Sponsored by Alliance Bank, the United Way’s 74th Annual Meeting will be held Wednesday, March 14th at 8:00 a.m. at the American Foundry, Route 104 West (behind Fajita Grill) in Oswego. In addition to honoring the United Way volunteers, Trexler stated that the program for the United Way’s 74th Annual Meeting will also recognize the exceptional individuals and businesses whose efforts help support the United Way of Greater Oswego County’s Annual Campaign and the work of the United Way’s member agencies.

Receiving awards at this year’s Annual Meeting are:
– Company Team of the Year – Kathleen Fenlon and John Ferry, Oswego County Government.
– Company Coordinator of the Year – George Timmins, Catholic Charities of Oswego County
– Leadership & Commitment Award – Fulton Savings Bank
– Spirit of the Community Award – Cayuga Community College, Fulton Campus

Lois Luber, resource development director for United Way, said that United Way Campaign Cabinet members and representatives from CENG, Entergy, Novelis, and Pathfinder Bank would present the awards at this year’s meeting.

“We are proud to have Terry Syrell, manager of Nuclear Safety and Security for CENG and this year’s CENG campaign chairperson, presenting this year’s Leadership & Commitment Award. As strong partners, CENG commitment to giving at a higher level is commendable,” said Luber.

Syrell credits communication as one of the key reasons for CENG’s level of leadership giving. “Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station (NMPNS) encourages leadership giving by frequent, thorough communications regarding the United Way campaign and its impact on the Oswego County communities in which we all live, work and play. A senior leader is called upon to sponsor the campaign on-site and champion the cause, and the campaign is discussed many times throughout its duration during leadership meetings at all levels. NMPNS employees have raised more money than any other company in Oswego County for more than 20 years, a fact of which we are very proud and hope to continue well into the future,” said Syrell.

The United Way’s annual meeting is open to the public. The cost to attend the event is $15.00 per person and includes a complete breakfast. For more information on the United Way of Greater Oswego County’s 74th Annual Meeting, or to make reservations, contact your United Way office, 315-593-1900 or via e-mail at: loisunitedway@windstream.net, no later than Friday, March 9th.

Cut line for photo: United Way of Greater Oswego County will pay tribute to its valued volunteers during its 74th Annual Meeting to be held Wednesday, March 14th at the American Foundry in Oswego. Representatives from CENG will present this year’s Leadership and Commitment Award. Above in the back row from left are: CENG Site VP NMP, Ken Langdon; Executive Director of the Port of Oswego Authority, and Chairperson of the United Way Campaign Cabinet, Jonathan Daniels; and Terry Syrell and Brian Gover of CENG. In the front row from left are: United Way Campaign Cabinet member, Rob Rolfe of Pathfinder Bank; CENG NMP Communications Specialist, Jill Lyon; Bob Close of CENG; Executive Director of the United Way of Greater Oswego County, Melanie Trexler; Jim Tsardakas of CENG, and Lois Luber, United Way Resource Development Director, Lois Luber.

Walmart Lends Support to the United Way’s ‘Stone Soup Too’ Luncheon

February 24th, 2012

26Fulton, NY – With plans for the United Way’s Fourth Annual ‘Stone Soup Too’ Luncheon underway, the Walmart Supercenter on Route 3 in Granby will be lending its support to the event by hosting a food drive on Saturday, March 10th.

From 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Walmart employees will be donating their time to collect donations of non-perishable food items and invite the community to attend the United Way’s third annual ‘Stone Soup Too’ luncheon. All food donations collected will be used to help stock the shelves of the food pantries at Catholic Charities of Oswego County and the Fulton Salvation Army.

“We are very appreciative of Walmart’s efforts to help us in our goal to provide our food pantries with some much-needed help,” said Resource Development Director for the United Way of Greater Oswego County, Lois Luber. “The management and employees of Walmart are always willing to help us whenever they can. They care about their community and have truly embraced the United Way’s Live United concept.”

Hosted by Holy Trinity Parish, 309 Buffalo Street in Fulton, the United Way’s ‘Stone Soup’ Too Luncheon will be held Tuesday, March 20th. The United Way invites community members to come together to break bread, warm their hearts, gather with friends, and enjoy a delicious lunch of ‘Stone Soup’ while helping to support Oswego County’s struggling food pantries. “Food pantries throughout Oswego County are hard pressed to meet the ever increasing demand for their services. The goal of our Fourth Annual ‘Stone Soup Too’ luncheon is to raise awareness of the food shortage in Oswego County and encourage the community to us help fill the shelves of our area food pantries.”

According to Luber a number a local eateries have come together to ensure that the United Way’s ‘Stone Soup Too Luncheon’ will provide those who attend with a tasty lunch and a good time with their friends and neighbors.

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. Tuesday, March 20th at Holy Trinity Parish, 309 Buffalo Street in Fulton. The United Way is accepting donations of $5 per person. All proceeds from the luncheon will be used to support area food pantries. Attendees are also encouraged to please bring a donation of non-perishable food as the United Way will be collecting donations for area food pantries including the Fulton and Oswego Salvation Army, Catholic Charities of Oswego County, Human Concerns, and the Oswego County Mental Health Association.

Those unable to attend the luncheon but would like to donate food items may contact Helen Hoefer, director of Catholic Charities of Oswego County’s Emergency Services program at 315-598-3980 for information on where to drop off non-perishable food donations throughout Oswego County.

For more information contact your United Way office at 315-593-1900.

Cut line for photo: Employee volunteers from the Walmart Supercenter on Route 3 in Granby meet with Melanie Trexler, executive director of the United Way of Greater Oswego County, to finalize the details for a food drive that Walmart will host on Saturday, March 10th from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. All non-perishable food items collected that day will donated to Oswego County food pantries as part of the United Way of Greater Oswego County’s Fourth Annual ‘Stone Soup Too’ Luncheon. Scheduled for Tuesday, March 20th the luncheon will at held at 11:30 am at Holy Trinity Parish, 309 Buffalo Street in Fulton and serves as a fundraiser for food pantries throughout Oswego County. Pictured from left are: Melanie Trexler, Mary Munk, Sharon Miller, Lori Lyons, and Ariel Rhoades.

Stone Soup, Too 4th Annual Luncheon to support Fulton Food Pantries

February 21st, 2012

25Fulton, NY – 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 our area food pantries. On Tuesday, March 20th the United Way of Greater Oswego County will hold their fourth annual ‘Stone Soup Too’ Luncheon in Fulton.

Hosted by Holy Trinity Parish, 309 Buffalo Street in Fulton, the United Way’s ‘Stone Soup’ Too Luncheon will draw upon the agency’s theme of ‘Live United’ as the United Way invites community members to come together to break bread, warm their hearts, gather with friends, and enjoy a delicious lunch of ‘Stone Soup while helping to support Oswego County’s food pantries that are struggling to meet the increasing demand for their services.

“This is our 4th 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. Mimi’s, Blue Moon Grill, The Foursome Dinner, and Tavern on the Lock will be providing our soups; Dunkin’ Donuts is donating ‘Boxes of Joe’; C’s Farms will be providing the salads; Red Baron will provide rolls; Kathy’s Cakes and Joe’s Corner Market are donating cookies; and cake will be provided by Springside at Seneca Hill. Luber added that there would be table arrangements featuring canned soups, courtesy of Struppler’s Shurfine Market, that will be donated to the food pantries following the luncheon and that the Fulton Lions Club has donated $500 for the purchase of food for our local food pantries.

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. Tuesday, March 20th at Holy Trinity Parish, 309 Buffalo Street in Fulton. The United Way is accepting donations of $5 per person. All proceeds from the luncheon will be used to support area food pantries. Attendees are also encouraged to please bring a donation of non-perishable food as the United Way will be collecting donations for area food pantries including the Fulton and Oswego Salvation Army, Catholic Charities of Oswego County, Human Concerns, and the Oswego County Mental Health Association.

“Our food pantries are really feeling a strain this year and it is becoming especially challenging for them as they try to meet the demand for food subsidy throughout Oswego County,” added Luber. “The food collected, and the money raised at our ‘Stone Soup Too’ Luncheon will be greatly appreciated.”

Those unable to attend the luncheon but would like to donate food items may contact Helen Hoefer, director of Catholic Charities of Oswego County’s Emergency Services program at 315-598-3980 for information on where to drop off non-perishable food donations throughout Oswego County.

For more information contact your United Way office at 315-593-1900.

Cut line for photo: United Way’s ‘Stone Soup Too’ Luncheon returns to Fulton. Committee members for the United Way of Greater Oswego County’s Fourth Annual ‘Stone Soup Too’ Luncheon in Fulton meet at the Blue Moon Grill to finalize details for the event. Scheduled for Tuesday, March 20th the luncheon will at held at 11:30 am at Holy Trinity Parish, 309 Buffalo Street in Fulton and serves as a fundraiser for food pantries throughout Oswego County. Standing from left are: Catherine Trowbridge, City of Fulton; and Angela Blanchard of the Walmart Super Center in Granby. Seated from left are: Helen Hoefer, Catholic Charities of Oswego County; Steve Chirello, Chirello Advertising; Karen Hubel, Blue Moon Grill; Jan Rebeor, Community Volunteer; George Timmins, Catholic Charities of Oswego County; and Lori Lyon, Walmart Super Center in Granby. Absent from the photo are committee members, Gina Camardello, Key Bank Fulton; Jo-Lynn Phillips and Stephanie Langdon, OCO; Sue Witmer, Cayuga Community College Fulton; and Michele Sherman, Walmart Super Center in Granby.

United Way Promotes Earned Income Tax Credit Program

February 13th, 2012

32Fulton, NY – Once again the United Way of Greater Oswego County is partnering with community-based organizations to help raise awareness of a program that has benefited hundreds of families throughout Oswego County. The EITC program, a federally funded, anti-poverty initiative helps working people maintain their independence from the welfare system and increase their financial stability.

Working in collaboration with several agencies and organizations including: RSVP and SUNY Oswego, United Way is working to educate the public about the EITC program and how it can have a positive impact on their lives.

Students from the SUNY Oswego VITA program, as well as volunteers from the RSVP program, are available to offer free tax preparation at the following locations:
– Monday through Friday
o Phoenix Public Library, through April 15, by appointment, 315-695-2553, 315-458-1465, or 315-934-4333.
– Tuesdays o Fulton, 200 North 2nd Street, through – April 10, 4:30 – 7:30 p.m.*
o McCrobie Civic Center, Oswego, through – April 10, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
– Wednesdays o Fulton Municipal Building, through – April 11, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. & 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
– Thursdays o Hamilton Homes, 96 Hamilton Street, Oswego – February 23, March 8, 29, and April 12, 4:30 – 7:30 p.m.* o St. Bernadette’s Bistro, Constantia, through – April 12, by appointment, 315-623-9803
– Saturdays o SUNY Oswego, Rich Hall, through – April 14, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.*
*Tax preparation will not be available on Saturday, March 10 through Saturday, March 17, and April 7.

For more information requirements and paper work needed to apply for the EITC program and free help with tax preparations you may contact the United Way of Greater Oswego County at 315-593-1900, or RSVP at 315-312-2317.

Cut line for photo: Tax help Available. Members of SUNY Oswego’s School of Business Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA) are offering free income tax preparation. All volunteers are certified by the IRS and are well versed in the Earned Income Tax Credit and will apply the program when applicable and handle all of the manual work of filing the income tax returns. For more information on the program and a list of locations where the service will be available you may contact the United Way of Greater Oswego County at 315-593-1900. Above seated from left in front are: Christopher Daniel, Shawn-Morie Visconti, and Gary Gregory. Standing from left are: Rory O’Connell, David Passonno, Professor Andrea Zielinski, and Professor Charles Spector.

Alliance Bank Sponsors United Way Annual Meeting & Salute to Volunteers

February 13th, 2011

28Fulton, NY – Melanie Trexler, Executive Director of the United Way of Greater Oswego County has announced that the Alliance Bank will serve as the official sponsor for the United Way’s Annual Meeting. Scheduled for Wednesday, March 14th at 8:00 a.m. the United Way’s Annual Meeting will be held at the American Foundry, Route 104 West (behind Fajita Grill) in Oswego.

“I am pleased to welcome back Alliance Bank as the sponsor of this year’s annual meeting,” said Trexler. “Their commitment to supporting the United Way of Greater Oswego County is greatly appreciated.”

Barb Bateman, Sr. Vice President and Regional Executive with Alliance Bank said that supporting the United Way is an example of how Alliance Bank gives back to their communities.

“Alliance Bank is dedicated to supporting the United Way of Greater Oswego County. Our staff is committed to the works of the United Way and the agencies that it supports. By providing sponsorship to the annual meeting we are able to supply the community with an avenue necessary to fulfill the mission of the United Way and to promote additional philanthropic opportunity throughout. By assisting the United Way we are able to provide support to so many different agencies, therefore allowing our charitable dollars to reach the places that need assistance.

Alliance Bank provides support to Oswego, Onondaga, Oneida, Cortland and Madison counties. Giving back to the communities that support you is one of the most important commitments a business can make. We take our role in this seriously and will continue to promote and to support our communities,” said Bateman.

The focus of United Way’s Annual Meeting will be on the recognition of the United Way’s highly valued volunteers and the exceptional individuals and businesses whose efforts help support the United Way of Greater Oswego County’s Annual Campaign and the work of the United Way’s member agencies.

The United Way’s annual meeting is open to the public. The cost to attend the event is $15.00 per person and includes a complete breakfast. For more information on the United Way of Greater Oswego County’s Annual Meeting, or to make reservations, contact your United Way office, 315-593-1900 or via e-mail at: loisunitedway@windstream.net, no later than Friday, March 9th.

Cut line for photo: Representatives from the United Way of Greater Oswego County meet with Alliance Bank Senior Vice President Barb Bateman to discuss the United Way’s upcoming Annual Meeting to be held from 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 14th, at the American Foundry, Route 104 West (behind Fajita Grill) in Oswego. Alliance Bank is the official sponsor of the United Way of Greater Oswego County’s 74th Annual Meeting. Above from left are: Executive Director of the United Way of Greater Oswego, Melanie Trexler; Barb Bateman; and Chairperson of United Way’s Campaign Cabinet and Executive Director of the Port of Oswego Authority, Jonathan Daniels.

Community Support Bolsters Area Food Pantries

February 2nd, 2012

33Fulton, NY – For decades the food pantries of the Human Concerns Center, Catholic Charities of Oswego County, and The Salvation Army, have been an emergency food source for those in need. Given the current economic conditions, both have been faced with the challenge of keeping their shelves filled and meeting the increased demand for food subsidy. Thanks to the generosity of community members, both pantries are continuing to provide for hungry families and individuals in need of food.

Deb Deeb, director of Human Concerns, Helen Hoefer, supervisor of Community Services at Catholic Charities of Oswego County, and those at the Salvation Army locations in Oswego and Fulton, were thankful for the support they received over the holiday season and are still receiving. “As more people became aware of our situation the support began to increase,” said Hoefer. “Most community members were not aware that we have to purchase our food. While the Food Bank of Central New York is very good to us, we would not be able to feed the number of families we do without the generous donations we receive from individuals, business and organizations.”

Human Concerns and Catholic Charities each serve approximately 80 to 100 families a week, and even more than that during the last two weeks of the month. “We provide emergency food assistance. When money becomes scarce towards the end of the month they turn to us,’ added Hoefer.

Deeb said that the demand on Human Concerns food pantry began to noticeably increase in July. “I started to see a lot of new faces and was concerned about how not only we, but other area food pantries, would be able to meet the demand. Thankfully United Way became involved and helped us address our concerns,” said Deeb.

In response to the challenges that Oswego County food pantries are facing United Way of Greater Oswego County collaborated with area food pantries and other human services agencies to form a Safety Net committee. Working together, members of the Safety Net committee developed a strategy that would allow them serve as many families and individuals as possible. “We needed to take a proactive approach so that we may best serve our community now and in the future. We are reaching out to concerned businesses and organizations, as well as families and individuals who are able to assist us in our fight against hunger and poverty in Oswego County and the response has been encouraging,” said Melanie Trexler, Safety Net committee member and executive director of United Way of Oswego County.

Thanks to the efforts of the Safety Net committee to raise awareness of hunger in Oswego County Human Concerns and Catholic Charities, as well both the Oswego and Fulton Salvation Army locations were able to feed hundreds of families and individuals during the holidays and have been able to continue doing so during the winter months. “We are very fortunate. Donations from businesses large and small, as well as caring individuals who gave very generously, has had a tremendous impact. Additionally, food drives and donations from area schools, churches, and organizations have also made a difference. The response that we are receiving is encouraging, ” said Deeb.

While donations are essential to the survival of food pantries such as Human Concerns, Catholic Charities, and The Salvation Army, both Deeb and Hoefer agree that without the tireless efforts of their volunteers it would be very difficult to keep their doors open. More than 30 volunteers donate their time and talents to Human Concerns and another 25 do the same for Catholic Charities. “I can’t say enough about our volunteers. Their compassion and their concern for their neighbors make it possible for us to serve the number of families and individuals that we do,” said Hoefer.

In the months ahead both Deeb and Hoefer are hopeful that the outpouring of support that they have received of will continue. “We want to be able to not only help families that visit our pantries, but also reach out to seniors who are in need but are not able to access our services. If possible, in emergency situations, we would like to able to offer delivery to seniors,” said Deeb.

While it may not be noticeable to many, the efforts of agencies such as Human Concerns, Catholic Charities of Oswego County and other human services agencies do much to improve the quality of life in Oswego County. These efforts may not be possible if not for community support they receive. “We are fortunate to live in a county were our communities have demonstrated their willingness to help their neighbor. Now, more than ever, we rely on that spirit of compassion and caring to continue to serve those in need and provide them with the services they so desperately in need of. We truly appreciate the work that our food pantries do and are proud to be able to support them,” added Trexler.

For more information on Oswego County’s food pantries contact your United Way office at 315-593-1900.

Cut line for photo: Helen Hoefer (l), supervisor of Community Services for Catholic Charities of Oswego County and Deb Deed (r), director of Human Concerns in Oswego, fill the shelves of the food pantry at Human Concerns. While their respective food pantries are facing a record demand for food subsidy, the two are encouraged by the support they have been receiving from their communities.