UNITED WAY OF SOUTHERN CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY RAISES MORE THAN $1.3 MILLION FOR A SUCCESSFUL 2020 CAMPAIGN
Pictured: Amy Rohler United Way of Southern Chautauqua County Executive Director and Doug Nelson, Branch Manager for Cattaraugus County Bank during Live on FB announcement
[Jamestown, NY – January 27, 2021] After a full day of taking their campaign celebration “to the streets” visiting key volunteers and business partners, United Way of Southern Chautauqua County announced very good news via Zoom call on Facebook Live. With many of their twenty-eight campaign chairs, their board members and their community partners on the screen beside her, Executive Director Amy Rohler said, “I’m so pleased to announce today that not only have we met our goal of $1.2 million, but we have exceeded it by $108,445.26 for a total raised of $1,308,445.26.” Smiles and words of appreciation sounded across the call. Rohler emphasized how important the role of their chairs had been in this challenging year, when knowing whether they could reach their goal was a big unknown. “The generosity of this community and their willingness to step up when needed is just humbling. We have truly embodied our campaign theme, United We Rise” she said.
Rohler also thanked the campaign cabinet, a group of volunteers—divided by sector--who had helped distribute materials and hosted conversations with their colleagues about United Way. These volunteers included Doug Nelson (Chautauqua Cattaraugus Community Bank), Dave Lockwood (Lockwood Insurance), Theresa Meger (Wegmans), Maureen Donahue (Southwestern Central Schools), Beth Starts (Chautauqua Lake Childcare Center), Mark Prechtl (Chautauqua Patrons Insurance), Robert Dahlin (Weber Knapp), Dr. Kaitlin Ames (Great Lakes Physicians Practice), Melanie Witkowski (Prevention Works), Barrie Yochim (Meals on Wheels) Peter Sullivan, Anne Hedin and Cathy Moots. Rohler and Marketing Director Cynde Johnson visited these volunteers throughout the day, who thanked their teams and announced their team totals. “It was just such a positive day,” said Johnson, “and the feeling of community and camaraderie was so exciting to be a part of.” The United Way team also visited several businesses who had been critical to the campaign’s success or had shown innovation in their workplace campaigns. These businesses included Wegmans, the City of Jamestown, UBS, Clark Patterson Lee, Alliance Advisory Group, Southern Tier Brewing Company, Bush Industries, UPS, Tops Market, and UPMC. “We wanted to recognize these local businesses that went above and beyond,” said Johnson, “they were really creative.
Pictured: Attendees during the Live on FB Campaign Celebration Announcement
At the zoom celebration, several people shared words of congratulations and appreciation. Vince Horrigan, former county executive and retired American Red Cross director—and also a 2020 campaign chair—said, “When difficult times come, it’s who we turn to. When difficult times come, we turn to each other. In this community when times are tough, they get moving and it’s such an honor to be part of this community.” Horrigan also stated “United Way that we count on every year, pulls through again.”
Cindy Aronson, a professional development consultant and also campaign chair, added “Making the goal was a long shot but the vision of United Way was achieved. If you want to love your town, act like somebody who loves your town would act. We Did It!”
2020 was the 100th anniversary of United Way of Southern Chautauqua County, and their campaign chairs included twenty-eight of the previous campaign chairs who had served between 1975 and 2019. These chairs included: John Nord (1975), Dudley Ericson (1977), Peter B. Sullivan (1978), Rhoe B. Henderson III (1980), James M. Smith (1981), Craig Colburn (1984), Dr. Lillian Ney (1990), Michael Metzger (1992), Hadley Weinberg (2001), John & Marie Plumb (2004), Cindy Aronson & Holly Sullivan (2005), Steve Maggio (2007), Mike Roberts (2008), Dr. Christopher Colburn (2009), Tom Schmidt (2010), Kathy Grace (Tim) and Lorraine Diggs (2011), Vince Horrigan (2012), Deb & Deke Kathman (2013), Hans Auer (2015), Anne & Paul Hedin (2016), Jane Cleaver Becker (2017), Kurt Eimiller (2018) and John I. LaMancuso (2019).
Several community partners – agencies funded by UWSCC campaign dollars – were also present on the call. Jeff Kroon, Executive Director of WCD Boys & Girls club, spoke on behalf of many of them, thanking the community for their investment, “What an incredible day of celebration and yet another over the top fundraising effort right here in our inspired and over the top community.”
Amanda Gesing, the recently hired YWCA of Jamestown Executive Director added, “Seeing you all here today and knowing all the work and dedication that went into raising the funds to support organizations like the YWCA of Jamestown gives me a sense of comfort that I really can’t put into words.”
Overall, the 2020 campaign was an incredible success during a challenging year, as well as a bright spot of much-needed good news. The campaign celebration—on the streets, on Facebook and on Zoom—illustrated how much of the community participated in raising the $1,308,445.26 and exceeding the goal. “I’m really proud to be a part of this community,” said Rohler, “we know how to come together and do the hard work when it matters.” She added, “and this year, it really matters.”
Over $1 million will be awarded in grants to local agencies. United Way of Southern Chautauqua County is proud that 100% of every dollar raised each year remains in this community. To access the 2020 Campaign video or to learn more about United Way, visit www.uwayscc.org.