The following was written by Nancy Doolittle and originally published in the Cornell Chronicle. It was NOT written by the Ithaca Voice … click here to submit community announcements directly to The Voice, or contact us at tips@ithacavoice.com.

ITHACA, N.Y. —More than 100 boxes of nonperishable food items – in addition to personal care items and pet and school supplies – covered the pavilion picnic tables at Stewart Park in Ithaca Sept. 13. The items were donated to the United Way of Tompkins County (UWTC) to mark the 2017 Stephen E. Garner Day of Caring and kick off the county’s United Way campaign. The goal for 2017-18 is $1,933,184.

J.R. Clairborne, advocacy coordinator at Loaves & Fishes of Tompkins County and UWTC chair of the board, welcomed supporters, volunteers and community members to the Day of Caring and thanked all for their efforts devoted to the food drive. All donations will be given to local food pantries and community organizations in Ithaca and such neighboring towns as Caroline, Dryden, Freeville, Newfield and Trumansburg.

Noting that just in the past week the UWTC had filled nearly two tractor-trailers with supplies for Houston after Hurricane Harvey, James Brown, president of the UWTC, spoke to the generosity of spirit that characterizes Ithaca and nearby areas.

Also speaking were John Rudd, Cayuga Medical Center, and Heather McDaniel Tompkins County Area Development, county campaign co-chairs; and Pacesetter Co-chairs Jason Moore and Matt Forney, from Tompkins Financial Corp.

On Sept. 20, Cornell will kick off its 2017-18 Cornell United Way Campaign, noon to 1 p.m. in Friends Hall, Hall of Fame Room. Prizes will be raffled; all Cornell community members are invited to attend. Cornell faculty, staff, students and retirees customarily contribute about 40 percent of the UWTC funding each year; donations go directly to local agencies helping people in need.

Led by campaign chairs Andy Noel, the Meakem*Smith Director of Athletics and Physical Education, and Kathy Zoner, chief of Cornell University Police, the campaign will be of shorter duration this year, concluding at the end of November. This change and others will be outlined at the kickoff event.

Featured photo: All Day of Caring donations will be given to local food pantries and community organizations in Ithaca and such neighboring towns as Caroline, Dryden, Freeville, Newfield and Trumansburg. Photo by Chris Kitchen/University Photography