Local United Way kicks off $700,000 fundraising campaign

PLATTSBURGH Fundraising efforts for United Way of Clinton and Essex Counties, Inc., are officially underway, with a large boost from employees of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

The business, locally based in Chazy and Rouses Point, drew applause during a campaign kickoff breakfast at American Legion Post No. 20 Tuesday morning with a donation of $121,965. The company's managing director, David F. Champagne, and Wyeth training specialists Tammy Lashway and Diane Letourneau presented the check to fundraising campaign chairman Robert P. Donlan, much to Mr. Donlan's delight.

"This is just terrific. We couldn't do it without you," said Mr. Donlan. "This is a huge percentage of what we bring in every year, and we just can't thank you enough."

Mr. Champagne, in turn, thanked the staff at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals for their commitment to a cause the company has strived to support since 1987.

"A lot of times people take for granted the people who do small things," Mr. Champagne said, in reference to smaller financial contributors. "I want to thank those people and everyone in our facilities who have helped raise money for the United Way."

In addition to the Wyeth contribution, local United Way executive director John C. Bernardi noted "pacesetter" contributions totaling $106,142.41 from a host of local businesses and private donors. The list includes certified public accounting firm Abbott, Frenyea, Russell and Coffey; Agency Insurance; Champlain National Bank; Crossborder Development Corp.; Denton Publications; Donlan and Barcomb Investments; ETS Employment Agency; Eye Care for the Adirondacks; FirstView Eye Care; Griffith Energy Inc.; Landrock E & S Consulting Inc.; Liquor and Wine Warehouse; the law firm of Niles, Piller and Bracy; Nine Platt Hospitality Group; Northeast Group; Northern Insuring Agency; Plattsburgh City School District; The Development Group; and Alan B. and Jennifer Booth.

With the pacesetter results, the Wyeth donation put the local United Way campaign at 32.6 percent of its $700,000 goal.

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