United Way of Greater Niagara held its annual awards breakfast and campaign kickoff on Friday, Sept. 22, at Niagara Riverside Resort, serving as the official start to its annual campaign and honoring local individuals and organizations who continue to make a difference in the Greater Niagara community.
This year’s awards and honorees included the President’s Award to M&T Bank, the Norman Sinclair Humanitarian Award to Rachel Brennan, the Service Cup Award to Mental Health Association in Niagara County, the Shining Star Award to Maid of the Mist, the Joseph C. Weber III Think Positive Think United Way Award to Joanne Beaton, and the AFL/CIO Russell Quarantello Community Service Award to Scott Jones.
“We are so proud to honor these outstanding individuals and organizations for their exceptional dedication, leadership and contributions that have made a profound impact on United Way and our community,” President and CEO Andrea Gray said.
In addition to recognizing this year’s honorees, the 2023 campaign kicked off with two donations. The AFL/CIO Niagara Orleans Central Labor Council presented a check for $24,000 from its “Annual Labors Night at the Races.” Now in its 14th year, the event has raised a total of $207,000 for the United Way, and contributes that to all the sponsors, union affiliates and friends of labor that make the event possible.
Secondly, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 237/NECA National Electrical Contractors Association presented a check for $25,000. These funds are raised by the hours worked per IBEW Local 237 member and put into a fund that is donated to United Way.
United Way of Greater Niagara officially announced its mission has shifted to reflect a new community-driven focus that will support programs that measurably benefit the next generation of people in Niagara County.
A press release stated, “This new direction, created with community feedback, will guide everything United Way does in the fight for a better future for everyone in our community through a new focus, ‘Growing Up United.’ ”
What is ‘Growing Up United’?
The United Way explained, “ ‘Growing Up United’ is a commitment to reinvest in a better tomorrow at its source: our youth. United Way remains dedicated to serving our community, and donations will continue to fund local nonprofit programs for those in need. But now, we are doing even more to maximize the impact of every dollar we raise because, when you give to United Way of Greater Niagara, you are measurably fostering a generation that is driven, compassionate, and equipped to tackle the challenges of tomorrow!”
For more information on United Way’s new direction, visit www.uwgn.org.