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United Way exceeds $700k campaign goal, credits community's generosity

PLATTSBURGH Its more than they were asking for, but theyll take it. During a press conference held Feb. 8, John C. Bernardi, executive director of the United Way of Clinton and Essex Counties Inc., announced the organizations annual fundraising campaign exceeded its $700,000 goal. In all, $722,330 was raised from corporate and private donations from throughout the two counties and beyond, said Mr. Bernardi. This is a wonderful day and great news for our friends and neighbors throughout the North Country, said Mr. Bernardi. United Way fundraising campaign chairman Robert P. Donlan was equally as impressed with the generosity the campaign received. Mr. Donlan, whose firm Donlan and Barcomb Investments also made a significant contribution to the campaign, attributed the success to the amount of volunteers who came on board for this years campaign, a number which tripled from last year. Once again, the North Country came through for us, said Mr. Donlan. Its amazing how everyone rallies around the United Way and were just so happy it happened again this year. Daniel E. Alexander, owner and publisher of Denton Publications Inc., Elizabethtown, served as vice chairman for this years event and will serve as chairman for next years campaign. Mr. Alexander, who was present for the announcement, said he hopes the momentum will continue as organizers begin to work on the 2009 campaign. This community responds so positively, added Mr. Alexander. The things that they do, the way that they rally around any kind of an effort. Theres nothing better we can do than giving back to those among us in the community who may need some additional help. Its an honor for me to be a part of the process and I look forward to next year. The annual local United Way campaign began last August, said Mr. Bernardi, with a campaign kick-off breakfast getting things into full swing during the month of September. This years campaign saw remarkable donations which included $121,965 from Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Inc., presented during the kick-off breakfast at the American Legion in Plattsburgh. This years amount raised, while over goal, is slightly less than raised last year. The 2006-07 campaign raised $754,981, while the previous year saw $729,275 raised. The goal fluctuates year to year, said Mr. Bernardi, depending on various facts such as need and the amount businesses and individuals are able to contribute. Regardless, all funds raised stay local to fund 33 health and human service organizations in Clinton and Essex counties. Were very fortunate in the North Country to have a great network of health and human service providers and, generally, peoples needs are met, said Mr. Bernardi. Thats not always the case in every region. Mr. Bernardi credited this years campaign team of more than 20 people, including Mr. Donlan and Mr. Alexander, for tremendous spirit and enthusiasm which made a difference in the outcome of the campaign. In the weeks ahead, Mr. Bernardi and Mr. Alexander will begin collaborating with other members of the campaign team to discuss plans for next years campaign, including setting a fundraising goal. For more information about the United Way annual fundraising campaign and the organizations which benefit from funding, contact Mr. Bernardi at 563-0028 or visit their Web site at www.unitedwayce.org . Once again, the North Country came through for us. Its amazing how everyone rallies around the United Way and were just so happy it happened again this year. Robert P. Donlan
United Way fundraising campaign chairman

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