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Ithaca, NY – United Way of Tompkins County announced that it has exceeded its 2014/15 Community Campaign Goal of $2,150,000 with donations to date totaling $2,155,335. It is the 11th consecutive year UWTC has exceeded its annual goal. These funds, raised throughout the community, will strengthen education, income, and health programs throughout Tompkins County.
Volunteers, donors, and community supporters gathered Tuesday, April 28th for the Community Campaign Celebration and Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast at the Country Club of Ithaca. The 2014-15 UWTC Community Campaign was led by Volunteer Co-chairs Lisa Whitaker, President & CEO of CFCU Community Credit Union, Carl Sgrecci, recently retired from Ithaca College, and Hannah Wildenstein, a TC3 2015 graduate who was also honored this year as a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All American. Wildenstein is currently playing soccer in Denmark and was not able to attend the event.
The campaign kicked off on September 28, 2014 with the Stephen E. Garner Day of Caring, the food and personal care items drive that officially starts the United Way community campaign. Over 14,000 pounds of donated goods were collected that day from Tompkins County businesses and residents and distributed.
The generosity of UWTC’s Corporate Cornerstone Partners was noted at the breakfast. The Corporate Cornerstone Partners Program allows for 100% of donors’ gifts to build and support health and human services and programs in our communities.
The New Business Initiatives Division welcomed eight new businesses to the campaign, Communications for Research, Inc., Dairy One Management, Empowerment by Design, GiveGab, Guthrie Medical, Renovus Energy, Smart Yogurt and Spartan Race.
Cornell University’s United Way Campaign, led by Anne Kenney and a group of over 50 Ambassadors, raised approximately 36% of the total campaign revenue. Tompkins Cortland Community College’s United Way campaign exceeded their goal and Ithaca College raised over $45,000.00.
United Way student support on both the Cornell and Ithaca College campuses was also recognized during the program. Ithaca College Junior Dominick Recckio accepted United Way Worldwide’s (UWW) EDUCATION Promising Practice Award for Ithaca College Student United Way’s role in launching the UWTC Youth Venture program. Cornell Student United Way Co-chair Sam Coleman accepted UWW’s GIVE Promising Practice Award for Cornell Student United Way’s successful fundraising programs.
The Cornell Student United Way, led by Coleman ’15 and Elizabeth Joyce, ‘16, raised over $27,000 this year through various campus events, including the Duff Ball and A Cappella United, an event that unites Cornell’s a cappella groups for a once-a-year concert.
Among the highlights of the breakfast program was a showing of ‘The Honest Beauty Project’ video by Lehman Alternative Community School students, Ilana Wallenstein and Marlena Doerr, who developed the project under UWTC’s Youth Venture program.
At the Campaign Celebration, Campaign Co-Chairs Whitaker and Sgrecci presented the 2014-15 Key Contributor and Patricia E. Stage Outstanding Volunteer of the Year awards.
Key Contributor Award – This year’s Key Contributor Award was presented to President David Skorton and Cornell University for their leadership and support of the UWTC campaign and community programs. Susan Murphy, Cornell Vice President and UWTC Emeritus Director, accepted the award on behalf of President Skorton and the Cornell community.
Patricia E. Stage Outstanding Volunteer of the Year – This award was established in 2004 to recognize a United Way of Tompkins County volunteer who has gone above and beyond with their time, efforts, and support. The award was named in honor of Patricia Stage for her outstanding work as a United Way volunteer. This year the award was presented to Katie Foley, who served as volunteer chair of UW’s Seneca campaign division for the second consecutive year. The Seneca Division exceeded goal for the last two years and this year exceeded goal by 14%. She also established UWTC’s annual Fat Tuesday Mardi Gras fundraising event. Foley is Senior Director of Development and Donor Relations at Planned Parenthood of the Southern Finger Lakes.
Both Foley and Cornell received proclamations from State Senator Thomas F. O’Mara’s office.
Attendees were entertained with music from the Cornell a cappella group After Eight and a showing of the Cornell Student United Way Duff Ball video.
The meeting started with a report from Community Investment Committee Co-Chairs Elaine Quaroni and Scott Keenan who described how the committee seeks to understand community conditions and invest in programs, initiatives, community change and capacity building efforts that focus on education, income and health.
Working with other, United Way of Tompkins County…
- Children and youth succeed in school, work and life,
- Individuals and families have improved financial stability and self-sufficiency.
- Children, seniors and adults have improved physical, emotional and mental well-being.