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United Way Gives Out Annual Awards at End-Of-Year Celebration

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(PHOTO–Cortland United Way Director Christella Yonta and X101’s Vincente Bellardini carrying a tune at the annual campaign celebration.)

The Cortland United Way held its annual campaign celebration last week at a dinner over at the Cortland Country Club on Thursday (March 28) night.

Not only did the night commemorate the hard work and generous donors behind the organization’s fundraising goals, it also handed out several awards to local individuals and organizations for their outstanding work and example.

The Spirit of Caring Award, was given to an individual or an organization who exemplifies volunteerism. Recipients Renee Lobdell and the staff of Child Development Center exemplified the ability to bring hope, promise and opportunity into the lives of others.

Heritage Award winners Nick and Agnes Renzi were honored for their exceptional generosity and outstanding civic and charitable responsibility. Gutchess Lumber and the Gutchess family were also honored in this category, as they epitomize the United Way values of give, advocate, and volunteer.

Ken and Jo Ann Wickman, Crown Leadership Chairs presented the Live United Award to Dr. James Clark, President Emeritus of SUNY Cortland and Matt Pitcher of Bailey Place Insurance. Each have a record of outstanding involvement, leadership, community building, volunteerism, and philanthropy resulting in a significant contribution toward improving the quality of life for those in need.

The Campaign Champion Award was presented to employees of CFCU Community Credit Union and Ames Linen Service for their culture of strong commitment, a robust annual corporate investment, and employee campaign best practices resulting in the highest levels of employee participation.

Thousands of children and adults in our community depend on United Way funded programs to meet basic needs, assistance in times of crisis, and opportunity for making a better life,” said Christella Yonta, Executive Director of United Way. “The people gathered together this evening are the reason local agencies can meet those needs”

Board President Dale Davis thanked this year’s campaign volunteers, led by Campaign Chairs Matt and Kate Pitcher, who noted that 85% of the goal has been met, with the campaign running until June 30th.

You can still participate at CortlandUnitedWay.org.

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