At their annual meeting this week, United Way of Southern Chautauqua County announced the three co-chairs of their 2022 Fundraising Campaign: Heather Turner (Blackstone Advanced Technologies), Denise Heppler (Jamestown Public Schools), and Danielle Stone (Wegmans). Each year, the local United Way raises more than $1.3 million dollars to fund significant community impact and change in Southern Chautauqua County, including investing in 42 local programs.
“We’re excited to have three women from diverse backgrounds and sectors leading our campaign this year,” said United Way Executive Director Amy Rohler. Rohler added that this “team” approach to fundraising had been successful in the past, and this was the first time three women have chaired the annual fundraising campaign. “This is a great team and I’m really looking forward to seeing how we work together,” she said. When asked why they chose to volunteer for the campaign, Turner said it was the broad community impact of United Way: “I love that you can make one gift and contribute to 42 different programs that provide help and support to those that need it.” Heppeler added, “Our family has always felt it was important to give back to our community and this is a wonderful way to do just that.” Stone felt the longtime partnership between Wegmans and United Way had a strong influence; “I really believe that when we’re united, we can overcome any challenge—and I’m honored to be working with United Way this year.”
Heather Turner is the Owner of Blackstone Advanced Technologies & Ulrich Fabrication. Born and raised in Jamestown, Heather graduated from Jamestown High School, Jamestown Community College with a degree in Business Administration, and the University of Buffalo with a Bachelor of Science and Business Administration. She currently serves on the Board at the Northwest Ice Arena, United Way of Southern Chautauqua County, and the Chautauqua Workforce Investment Board. She also volunteers for Chautauqua Striders, Junior Achievement, Dream It Do It Western New York, and the Chautauqua County Community Foundation. Heather lives in Lakewood, New York with her husband Ricky and two young boys.
Denise Heppeler is a retired speech pathologist and special education chairperson from Jamestown Public Schools. She is currently employed by Jamestown Public Schools as Coordinator of Preschool Enrollment. She is an active member of the Jamestown and Lakewood YMCA, and previously served as a YMCA Camp Onyahsa Board Member. Denise is actively involved in many community organizations, including Creche, past president of a local women’s book club, and a member of the Jamestown Garden Club. She also volunteers annually at Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, and as a Eucharistic Minister at Saint Peter & Paul Church. Denise and her husband Tom Heppeler have 3 children and 5 grandchildren.
Danielle Stone is currently the Service Area Manager at Wegmans in Jamestown, and has worked for Wegmans for 17 years, including all three stores in Jamestown and Erie over the last 11 years. She created the Striders/Wegmans work program that has been employing students from the Striders Jamestown High School Program for the last 5 years. Danielle also coordinates the Stone Foster Care Bag Drive through Foster Erie for the last 4 years and is kicking off a partnership with Collaborative Children’s Solutions for 2022-2023. She organizes the United Way Purse Bingo and United Way Golf Tournament through Wegmans Food Markets. Danielle’s husband Matthew grew up in this community. They have four children and two dogs. Together, they both coach T-ball, as well as JAYS Soccer U12 and Timbits teams.
United Way of Southern Chautauqua County officially kicks off the 2022 Campaign on September 22 at the YWCA Lake Lodge at 5pm. Their 2022 campaign goal is $1.31 million, and one hundred percent stays local in the community. These community dollars will be invested in 29 agencies running 42 local programs that align with four priorities: ensuring that families are self-sufficient, everyone is ready to work, young people succeed in school, and those in need can find help.