During the event, Bernardi announced this year's "pacesetters" - businesses and individuals who begin early fundraising efforts - who have so far raised $164,719.84, bringing the campaign to 22 percent of its overall goal.
Bernardi said the money pledged so far is a promising sign of the campaign reaching its goal and building upon the more than 80,000 people the United Way was able to help last year alone.
"It is a huge challenge and we're counting on people throughout the region to step up to the plate," said Bernardi. "And, at the end of the day, it doesn't matter how much the dollar amount is. What matters most is how many people we're able to impact in a positive way.
Those wishing to make contributions toward the local United Way campaign may send donations in care of United Way of the Adirondack Region, 45 Tom Miller Road, Plattsburgh N.Y. 12901. Donations may also be arranged through a payroll deduction, which may be arranged through one's employer.
For more information, contact the local United Way office at 563-0028 or visit www.unitedwayadk.org.