United Way kicks off 2015-16 Tompkins County campaign with Day of Caring at Stewart Park

September 16, 2015 by Mark H. Anbinder

The United Way of Tompkins County's 19th annual day-long event at Stewart Park on Wednesday served as a pep rally as well as a work session, as volunteers helped box up donated items to be distributed to members of the community.

Volunteers pack donated goods into bags and boxes to be distributed in the community. 14850 Photo by Mark H. Anbinder.Volunteers pack donated goods into bags and boxes to be distributed in the community. 14850 Photo by Mark H. Anbinder.Dubbed the Stephen E. Garner Day of Caring, the annual gathering brings together dozens of volunteers who package donated non-perishable food, pet supplies, household goods, and toiletries that can be distributed to area residents who need assistance.

United Way of Tompkins County director James Brown took a moment to single out a few local businesses who provided transportation and supplies: CFCU Community Credit Union provided tote bags, Wegmans provided cardboard banana boxes Brown called "the Cadillac of cardboard boxes," and Maguire Family of Dealerships provided vans to help volunteers transport donated materials to and from the Stewart Park event.

The United Way announced their 2015-16 fundraising goal today.The United Way announced their 2015-16 fundraising goal today.A speaker program at noon allowed Brown to introduce staff, board members, and organizers of the community campaign, which officially kicks off today. The United Way announced a goal of $2,012,638, but says it hopes to exceed that goal. Over $125,000 has already been raised by a few local organizations that serve as "pacesetters," essentially an advance team that gets the ball rolling. A few of the pacesetter organizations are CFCU Community Credit Union, Challenge Workforce Solutions, HOLT Architects, International Food Network, Sciarabba Walker & Company, and Transonic Systems.

Also kickstarting the campaign season was this past Sunday's ninth annual A Cappella United concert at Cornell University's Bailey Hall, bringing together several of the campus's assorted vocal performance groups for a single event. The first Spartan College Classic obstacle course race at Cornell earlier this month also raised $21,000 for the United Way.

Cornell reaches out to all staff each fall to encourage donations and pledges to the United Way. Pledge cards, which allow staff to make donations to United Way campaigns in other counties if they wish, will be distributed next month.


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