United Way Welcomes Brittany Barna


Brittany BarnaFulton, NY – Patrick Dewine, executive director of United Way of Greater Oswego County has announced that Brittany Barna will be serving an internship with the agency.

A native of Rochester, Barna is a junior at SUNY Oswego majoring in public relations while pursuing a minor in business administration.  At United Way Barna will be responsible for managing and updating the agency’s social media sites, tracking donations, and will work closely with United Way Resource Development Director Ali McGrath on the annual golf tournament, Stone Soup events, and the agency’s annual campaign.

“I’m excited about my internship at United Way,” said Barna.  “I’m really looking forward to those responsibilities as well as interacting with businesses and community members on behalf of United Way and developing new ideas that accentuate United Way’s strengths and make the agency even more successful.”

While Barna recognized United Way as a worldwide organization she was pleased to discover that Oswego County has its own United Way agency.  “It was a nice surprise.  United Way and the programs it supports are just amazing. The fact that low income families, individuals who are underinsured, and children who have suffered abuse or neglect can get help through these programs at little to no cost is just great.  United Way is working to pave the way for a greater future and a better way of life for these families. It strives to make Oswego County a better place to live by helping to make these programs and services available throughout the community,” said Barna.

“United Way’s impact areas of ending hunger, helping youth succeed, and building healthier communities truly resonates with me.  I’ve always found jobs that relate to helping people very rewarding. When I was a senior in high school, I did an internship with Unity Hospital.  I enjoyed meeting the patients and their families.  It was interesting hearing their stories and being able to make their day a little better.  United Way is all about helping the community and helping to alleviate the challenges that exist.  Helping others is why the opportunity to intern at United Way caught my attention,” said Barna.

McGrath said that she is happy to welcome Barna as part of the United Way team.  “Brittany’s eagerness to learn about Oswego County and gain an understanding of our communities and those that live here will serve her well during her time with us.  We are fortunate to add such a motivated and hard-working individual to our team,” said McGrath.

For more information on United Way of Greater Oswego County visit www.oswegounitedway.org or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield aides United Way Campaign


Fulton, NY – Executive Director of United Way of Greater Oswego County Patrick Dewine meets with Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Regional President Jim Reed to discuss the United Way’s Health and Well-Being impact area and the positive effect it has on programs such as the Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County and Rural and Migrant Ministry’s Open Hands Health Clinic.  Excellus BlueCross BlueShield recently donated $3,500 to the United Way in support of health and well-being.

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield is proud to join other local organizations in sponsoring the United Way of Greater Oswego County,” said Reed. “As Central New York’s largest nonprofit health plan, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield believes in partnering with organizations that work to improve the health and health care of the residents of the communities it serves. We are pleased to work with the United Way of Greater Oswego County in furthering our common goals and ensuring a strong and vibrant community.

We’re fortunate to count Excellus BlueCross BlueShield among our elite Admiral Society donors.  Their generous support helps make it possible for us to continue to achieve results for our three impact areas of ending hunger, helping children and youth succeed, and increasing the health and well-being of our communities,” added Dewine.

Novelis Wraps up United Way Campaign


Oswego, NY – Year after year the Novelis workplace campaign, among others, plays a vital role in the success of the United Way of Greater Oswego County’s Annual Campaign.  Thanks to the generosity of Novelis employees that tradition continued as this year’s workplace campaign, combined with a donor match from Novelis corporate, raised $110,648 in support of United Way.

Coordinator for Novelis’ workplace campaign Julie Becker attributed the success of the workplace campaign to a combination of education and employee involvement in fun and unique fundraising events.  “This was my first year serving as campaign coordinator,” said Becker.  “It allowed me to become very familiar with United Way, the programs it helps support, and the tremendous impact those programs have on the overall health and well-being of Oswego County.  It was a real learning experience for me and I was able to share that education with my fellow employees.  With approximately 80% of our workforce residing in Oswego County it’s important to know that United Way funds benefit their family, friends, and neighbors right here in their own community.

According to Becker a number of fundraisers added an entertaining aspect to this year’s campaign.  “In early November we hosted an on-site ‘Polar Plunge’ fundraising event.  Big Kahuna Rentals in Mexico loaned us a dunking booth, free of charge, where members of the Novelis management team took turns taking a polar plunge for United Way.  In addition we held several drawings throughout the campaign for themed baskets created with some great items and gift cards that our employees collected from area businesses,” said Becker.

With the success of her initial campaign as coordinator, Becker is already looking forward to ways in which next year’s campaign may be even more successful.  “I would like to see us expand the length of our campaign and have the ability to host quarterly fundraisers and continuously remind our workforce of the importance of United Way,” said Becker.  “I enjoyed the opportunity to be able to visit every area of our plant and speaking with employees to educate them about United Way and its mission, which truly resonates with me.  As Continuous Improvement Specialist at Novelis my responsibility is to find out the cause of a problem and finding a way to solve it as opposed to putting a temporary patch on it.  That’s what United Way funded programs seek to do, solve the problem rather than just treat it.  United Way’s mission correlates nicely with mine and made it easy for me to share United Way’s mission and the impact it has on our community with my fellow employees.

Becker added that she is conducting a post-campaign survey to get feedback from employees regarding the campaign.  “It will be helpful to know what aspects of the campaign employees liked the best and discover if they have any suggestions that may help make next year’s campaign even more successful.  We have a great team here at Novelis that supports the community as much as we can.  We work here, we live here, and we earn here.  It’s very rewarding to be able to give back and help others right here in Oswego County.

The tremendous effort put forth by Becker, her fellow campaign committee members, and the generosity of Novelis employees and corporate is greatly appreciated by United Way’s local leadership.

We are fortunate to enjoy such a wonderful relationship with Novelis,” said United Way Resource Development Director Ali McGrath.  “Aside from our connection we have with the workplace campaign Novelis employees are very involved in the community.  We are seeing more and more Novelis employees volunteering and lending us a hand at different events we put on throughout the year.  Novelis employees are also learning about our member-agencies.   Whether it’s through our relationship, or Novelis’ relationship with that agency, their involvement and understanding of the importance of these programs is growing – and that creates positive impact in our community.  We can’t thank Novelis enough for this.

Cut line for photo: United Way of Greater Oswego County Executive Director Patrick Dewine recently received the results of the Novelis workplace campaign in support of United Way.  The Novelis campaign, combined with a donor match from Novelis corporate, totaled $110,648. From left in front are Julie Becker, Malcolm Gabriel, and Katy Brasser.  In the back row from left are Kaitlyn White, Mike Herron, Kevin Shutt, Tim Foster, and Patrick Dewine.

Lucky Winner


Oswego, NYLucky Winner - Cheryl ArnoldCheryl Arnold was the winner of the United Way of Greater Oswego County’s drawing for a ladies diamond ring.  Arnold purchased her ticket at the United Way Stone Soup Luncheon in November.  The drawing, which is part of the United Way’s Annual Campaign, raised more than $1700 and made Christmas extra special for the lucky winner.  The diamond ring was donated by DuFore’s Jewelry in Oswego.

Drinks & Dancing Fundraiser


Drinks & Dancing FundraiserFulton, NY – Robert and Elizabeth McGrath, owners of The Clubhouse Tavern in Oswego, lent their support to United Way of Greater Oswego County as they organized and hosted A Night of Drinks and Dancing, a special event to benefit the agency’s Community Fund, .  Held at the American Foundry in Oswego attendees danced to the sounds of Brass Inc., a party band featuring a 7 piece horn section, and enjoyed Hors d’oeuvres courtesy of the American Foundry.  The event raised much-needed funds to aid the 30 human services programs that United Way helps to sponsor and collected several boxes of food donations to benefit the Oswego City School District’s Blessings in a Backpack program.

“It was a great evening,” said United Way Resource Development Director Ali McGrath.  “We are thankful for the support we receive from our small businesses and are grateful to Robert and Elizabeth McGrath for making this event possible, DuFore’s Jewelers for providing the entertainment, the American Foundry for providing the venue, and the many community members that joined us for a fun night that helped raised awareness of United Way and our mission of ending hunger, helping youth succeed and building healthier communities,” added McGrath.

Above from left are Elizabeth McGrath, Ali McGrath, Robert McGrath, Tom Ciappa of The American Foundry (foreground), United Way Executive Director Patrick Dewine, and Greg DuFore of DuFore’s Jewelers.

SUNY Oswego Supports United Way


Oswego, NY – Members of the SUNY Oswego Men’s and Women’s Lakers ice hockey teams presented United Way of Greater Oswego County with a donation of non-perishable food items and toys.  The items, which were collected at both Men’s and Women’s hockey games, were shared with Human Concerns and Catholic Charities of Oswego County.

“Our SEFA committee would like to thank everyone that donated food or toys for this event, said Coordinator of SEFA’s United Way campaign Kristin Gublo.  “It was heart-warming to see our college come together to help make this holiday season a little brighter for some local families. We believe it is so important that we give back to a community that we are so proud to be a part of.”

At center of photo are SUNY Oswego Lakers hockey players, L-R: standing: Kenny Neil, Amber Samonek, Lauren Martel, Tyson Bruce, and Cedric Hansen, seated: Victoria Rankin, Brennan Butler, and Kate Randazzo.  They are with, from left: JoAnn Locy, director, Human Concerns Center; Coordinator of SEFA’s United Way campaign Kristin Gublo, SUNY Oswego Chemistry department; Helen Hoefer, director, Home and Community Based Services for Catholic Charities; Robert McCarey, Human Concerns Center board member; Patrick Dewine (background center), executive director, United Way of Oswego County; Nancy Concadoro, SUNY Oswego Human Resources, SEFA Planning Committee; Ali McGrath, resource development director, United Way of Oswego County; Ryan Kanavy, senior Public Relations major and campaign intern for United Way of Oswego County; and Christy Huynh, SUNY Oswego career services, SEFA planning committee.

Novelis Employees Campaign for United Way on a Roll


Novelis VounteersOswego, NY – When it comes to community support and understanding the mission of United Way of Greater Oswego County no one realizes it more than the employees at Novelis.  One of United Way’s most ardent supporters, Novelis and its employees are once again in the midst of an in-house campaign to benefit United Way.  To date the campaign, which still has several weeks to go, has raised more than $60,000, in addition Novelis corporate provides approximately a 50% match to the employee campaign total.

Much of the success is credited to the creative ideas that employee campaign coordinator Julie Becker and Novelis’ United Way Campaign Committee incorporate to engage their co-workers and inspire them to support United Way.  “Each year Novelis’ campaign coordinators offer a variety of incentives that add excitement to their campaign,” said United Way Resource Development Director Ali McGrath.  “From fun activities such as a basketball foul shot shoot-off and a polar plunge dunking booth to drawings for SU basketball tickets, an outdoor sportsman’s package, 50 / 50 drawings, and holiday basket drawings. Novelis employees are anxious to participate and enthusiastic about reaching their campaign goal.

In addition to their support of its United Way campaign Novelis employees generously donate their time and talent to assist United Way with many of its initiatives.  Novelis always provides a strong volunteer base for annual Stone Soup Luncheon as well as working closely with some of United Way’s partnering agencies such as ARISE.   “Novelis has always stressed the importance of volunteerism.  Their support of United Way goes well beyond their generous monetary donations to our campaign.  Novelis and its employees are an important part of our community and we are proud to consider them one of our partners on our mission of ending hunger, helping children and youth succeed, and improving the health and well-being of families and individuals,” added McGrath.

Cutline for photo: Novelis employees volunteered their time in support of the United Way’s annual Stone Soup luncheon.  Strong supporters of United Way Novelis employees are in the midst of an in-house campaign that to date has raised more than $60,000 to benefit United Way’s annual campaign. United Way’s Annual Campaign serves as a major fundraiser to help support the many human services programs that have a positive impact in the United Way’s core areas of ending hunger, helping children and youth succeed, and increasing the health and well-being of our communities.   From left are United Way Executive Director Patrick Dewine, Dave Domicolo of Novelis, United Way Resource Development Director Ali McGrath, and Novelis employees Dick Delaney, Dave VanFleet, Xuan Huynh, Hoang Huynh, and Katy Brasser

United Way Stone Soup Luncheon Celebrates 11 Years of Fighting Hunger


Kayle Ali and Theres from UWGOCFulton, NY – United Way Finance Director Kayla Van Fleet (l), Resource Development Director Ali McGrath (c) and Volunteer Theresa Cooper (r) greeted the many community members that attended the United Way of Greater Oswego County’s annual Stone Soup Luncheon at St. Joseph’s Parish Center in Oswego.  Part of United Way’s impact area of ending hunger in Oswego County, the luncheon served as a fundraiser for area food pantries.   The Stone Soup Luncheon raised more than $1,300 and collected several boxes of food items.  All proceeds from the event as well as the food collected will be used to help fill the pantries’ shelves.

It was wonderful to see the support we received from the community,” said McGrath.  “Thank you to everyone that attend our luncheon, our hard working volunteers that helped prepare, serve and clean-up, and our sponsored for their generous donations; The American Foundry, Greene’s Ale House, Canale’s Restaurant, Vona’s Restaurant, The Press Box, Oswego Country Club, Bosco’s, C’ Farms, Davis Brothers, Dunkin Donuts, Kinney Drugs, Giovanni Foods, and the Oswego Lions Club.

UWGOC Partners wth Walgreens and FamileWize Community Services


United Way Flu ShotsFulton, NY – United Way of Greater Oswego County recently partnered with Walgreens and FamilyWize Community Services to sponsor a free health clinic.  Hosted by United Way member agency Rural Migrant Ministry of Oswego County (RMMOC) in Richland the clinic provided no-cost flu shots to uninsured and under-insured individuals in Oswego County.

“We greatly appreciate the efforts of these businesses to come together for such a worthy cause as improving the health of our community members.  Collaborations such as these that help improve the quality of life in Oswego County and have a positive effect on our impact area of improving the health and well-being of families and individuals throughout our county,” said United Way Executive Director Patrick Dewine.

Pictured above from left are RMMOC Clinic Nurse Pat Bellinger; Watertown Walgreens Store Manger Jessica Matthews; RMMOC Executive Director Selena Hoyt (foreground); and Watertown Walgreens Pharmacist Kristen Schneider.

Fulton Savings Bank Donates $6,500 to United Way of Greater Oswego County Campaign


Patrick and Wendy of Fulton Savings BankFulton, NY – Fulton Savings Bank is setting the pace and taking the lead by kicking off its employee workplace campaign in support of United Way of Greater Oswego County with a corporate donation of $6,500.  “Fulton Savings Bank has been a faithful supporter of United Way for many years,” said United Way Executive Director Patrick Dewine.  “We greatly appreciate its generosity and that of its employees which are dedicated to helping our efforts to end hunger, help youth succeed, and improve the health and well-being of families and individuals throughout Oswego County.”

Pictured above are Patrick Dewine and Fulton Savings Bank Senior Vice President Wendy Tetro.