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Local United Way consolidating to include Franklin County

PLATTSBURGH - The United Way of Clinton and Essex Counties Inc. has announced it will begin serving Franklin County.

The announcement was made in a press release from the nonprofit organization Oct. 19.

"This change will give our United Way a regional scope, which we think makes a lot of sense for our friends and neighbors throughout the North Country," stated the organization's executive director, John C. Bernardi.

In September, United Way Worldwide requested the United Way of Clinton and Essex Counties include Franklin County in its service area, a request which the board of directors ultimately decided to honor.

Karen Carre, board president of the former United Way of Franklin County, is supportive of the change.

"The people in Franklin County are very generous and a regional approach to the United Way system will be more sustainable," stated Carre. "Our organization will undergo a corporate name change and re-emerge as 'The Good Neighbor,' allowing for the continuation of collaborative efforts to improve the quality of life in our region. We anticipate working closely with United Way and other programs and organizations across the North Country."

Officials and volunteers from the United Way of Clinton and Essex Counties are currently developing strategies to expand into Franklin County and to bring the three counties together through a United Way network of programs, services and partnerships. Bernardi said the North Country 2-1-1 information and referral system is an excellent example of this and his steering committee is comprised of representatives from throughout the region.

"Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties make up a natural region and we are connected in so many ways as friends, neighbors and partners," he stated. "Our United Way will continue to be a great vehicle for bringing people together for the overall benefit of the North Country community."

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