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United Way kick off breakfast brings record crowd

 John Bernardi, Executive Director of the United Way stands  with volunteer campaign team leaders during the annual kick-off breakfast.

John Bernardi, Executive Director of the United Way stands with volunteer campaign team leaders during the annual kick-off breakfast. Photo by Katherine Clark.

The United Way of the Adirondack Region (UWAR) celebrated the work of its community supporters with a kick-off breakfast Sept. 20 at the American Legion in Plattsburgh. The breakfast was busting at the seams with a record-breaking crowd of more than 200 people.

The event’s 216 attendees included supporters, pacesetters, community partners, board members and volunteers.

The UWAR is a voluntary fund-raising and human service organization that was started in 1949. It represents Clinton, Essex and Franklin continues with offices in Elizabethtown, Malone and Plattsburgh. Its volunteer board of directors has worked to unite a cross section of volunteers and agencies, both public and private, in a community-wide effort to deliver needed health and human service programs.

UWAR Board President Gerald Morrow said because government can’t be everywhere there are people like the dedicated UWAR volunteers who step in to help.

“The middle class used to be the middle class, but now they are the working poor,” Morrow said.

Executive Director of the UWAR, John Bernardi, said the large crowd was a symbol of the incredible generosity and caring nature of the North Country.

During the breakfast, the newest campaign video was debuted.

Ellen Gordon and DaleAnne Wolter, this year’s campaign co-chairs, both spoke on how the UWAR has touched their lives and the commitment they have on making the $725,000 goal set this year.

Kathy Snow, Director of Development and Marion Daniels, Director of Finance then announced the pacesetter results. The pacesetters are businesses and organizations that complete their campaign before the kick-off.

The total pacesetter totals were $137,064.57, which brings in 18.9 percent of the UWAR’s annual fund-raising goal. Some of the top fund-raisers were; Northern Insuring Company that raised $13,004, Northeast Group that raised $13,500 and the top fundraiser was Nine Platt Hospitality Group which raised $16,135.

The event concluded with all 216 attendees singing happy birthday to Morrow.

“I’m glad everyone was able to make it to my birthday breakfast,” Morrow had joked at the beginning of the event.

For more information on how to get involved with the UWAR visit their website at www.unitedwayadk.org.

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