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United Way of Adirondack Region reaches annual campaign goal

The fundraising drive was a success despite challenging times

Jerry Morrow places the final fundraising tag outside the United Way offices in Plattsburgh, announcing that the organization met its 2012 fundraising goal.

Jerry Morrow places the final fundraising tag outside the United Way offices in Plattsburgh, announcing that the organization met its 2012 fundraising goal. Photo by Stephen Bartlett.

— Nobody can do anything alone, says Jerry Morrow.

“Together we can do the extraordinary,” said the Chesterfield Town Supervisor and chair of this year’s United Way campaign drive.

The United Way of the Adirondack Region met its 2012 campaign goal of $775,000.

This year’s campaign raised a total of $775,112, which includes proceeds from special events.

“We are so delighted to deliver this exciting news to our three county region,” said United Way Executive Director John Bernardi. “It is once again a testament to the generosity and caring nature of the North Country.”

It was a challenging year to raise funds with continued economic struggles and the damage caused by Tropical Storm Irene.

“If anybody would have asked me after Hurricane Irene would we reach our goal, I would have said no way,” Morrow said. “But the people of the North Country pull together and help their neighbors out.”

Bernardi pointed out that this enables the United Way to deliver a tremendous asset throughout the region.

“We can deliver services to more than 80,000 people.”

The mission of the United Way, which serves Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties, is to be a leader in community partnership building and to increase the organized capacity of people to care for one another.

The funds raised from the campaign will be allocated to local community partner agencies based on donor designations and agency applications for additional funds.

A committee of community members review requests for undesignated funds and recommends to the board of directors the awarding of grants based upon prioritized community needs throughout the region.

“All the funds stay local and go toward supporting critical services for our friends and neighbors here in the North Country,” said Kirk Stallsmith, President of the United Way Board of Directors.

Bernardi explained that many of the programs funded are through non-profit health and human services agencies. There are some smaller organizations that do rely on United Way funds, such as Compassionate Friends of the North Country.

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