United Way of the Bradford Area, Inc.

Category Archives: NEWS

Dr. Jim Evans To Receive Red Feather Award

The United Way of the Bradford Area will honor Dr. Jim Evans with the Red Feather volunteer award at a luncheon on Thursday, May 4th, officials announced today. “Dr. Evans served on the United Way’s Board of Directors for eight years, during which time he was very active in the RFP (Request for Proposal) process and special events.  He was also integral in the transition to the Bradford office managing the Smethport Campaign for United Way,” said Executive Director Mandi Wilton Davis. “He also has been responsible for the internal solicitation of faculty and staff at the University for the annual campaign, having raised over $100,000 in the past 10 years to benefit McKean County.” Davis said that Dr. Evans continues to be a mentor for staff, board and volunteers. “He was the first person I called when discussions first started for our office to manage the Port Allegany Campaign for United Way last year.  His knowledge and passion for what we do - and could be doing - as an organization are appreciated so greatly.  We’re proud to be able to honor Dr. Evans this year.” The impact of Dr. Evans’ philanthropic efforts in our community are far-reaching.  He has served as a past-member and past-President of the Board of Directors for Futures Rehabilitation Center and The Guidance Center, and a founding member of the Board for the Bradford Ecumenical Home, Inc. and The Friendship Table – all of which have been funded agencies of the UWBA.  And, he has been a member of the Bradford Rotary Club for more than four decades, and Chair of the Rotary Foundation Committee for over 25 years. The Red Feather award was implemented to honor outstanding individuals and/or businesses who have made an impact on United Way, and the local community as a whole, through their day-to-day selfless attitude and commitment to exemplify the organization’s mission of enhancing the quality of life in the greater Bradford area. Dr. Evans is a native of New Kensington, Pennsylvania, and a graduate of New Kensington High School, Grove City College, and the University of Pittsburgh. He is a veteran of the United States Air Force, having served on active duty as an officer in the Strategic Air Command (SAC) in the early 1970s. Residing in Bradford and serving as Vice President and Dean of Student Affairs at Pitt-Bradford for the past 41 years, he is married to Dr. Lisa M. Fiorentino, Associate Professor of Nursing and Director of the Center for Rural Health Practice at Pitt-Bradford. According to Evans, “The United Way of the Bradford Area is an outstanding example of ‘neighbors helping neighbors’.  It is remarkable that a community the size of Bradford continues to raise significant sums each and every year, allowing the United Way to provide vital non-profit organizations with the financial support they need to benefit our citizens in so many ways.  I believe strongly in the mission and goals of United Way, and I am truly honored to receive this award on behalf of all those, past and present, who support the United Way of the Bradford Area.” The Red Feather luncheon will be held in the Mukaiyama University Room at the University of Pittsburgh Bradford, beginning at 12:00 pm.  The cost is $30 per person, with sponsorship opportunities also available at various levels.  Reservations may be made through April 24th by calling the office at 368-6181 or emailing admin@uwbanews.org.
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Castano To Receive ‘Excellence’ Award

The YWCA Bradford’s Executive Director, Vanessa Castano, has been announced as the 2017 recipient of the Excellence in Representation Award, according to United Way Executive Director Mandi Wilton Davis. The Excellence in Representation award was created to recognize an outstanding agency representative who best exemplifies United Way’s mission within their own organization, who participates in the annual campaign, and possesses a working knowledge of United Way and how it benefits the various programs and services in the community. “Vanessa has been a local agency representative for just two years, but has proven that her commitment to collaboration is steadfast,” said Davis.  “She has been a true advocate of the United Way, and her expertise and passion to make our world a better place is infectious.  Our county is so fortunate to have someone of Vanessa’s caliber leading one of the most impactful organizations available to our residents.” “I was stunned to learn that I was chosen to receive this award; honored to be chosen out of so many deserving leaders,” said Castano.  “Thank you to the United Way for this recognition, and congratulations to Dr. Evans!” Castano has been with the YWCA Bradford as Executive Director since 2015, where she works to eliminate racism and empower women.  She oversees the administration of the organization’s three signature programs, and has most recently embarked the YWCA on a capital campaign.  She is a member of the Bradford Kiwanis Club, and is a 2016 graduate of Leadership McKean.  She is an avid nature enthusiast, and lives in Wilcox (PA) with her family. The Excellence in Representation award will be given at the United Way’s annual Red Feather Volunteer recognition luncheon on May 4th.  Reservations may be made by calling the United Way office.
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Disbursements Made From Smethport, Port Allegany Campaigns

The United Way of the Bradford Area has awarded funding from both the Smethport and Port Allegany Campaigns for United Way to local agencies, after 2016 efforts proved successful. “I believe after completing another successful fundraising campaign in the Smethport community that the donors continue to recognize their importance to sustaining the impactful work of the local agencies,” said Executive Director Mandi Wilton Davis, “and, the same holds true for programs and services in the Port Allegany community.  We’re very proud of the work being done for the residents of these areas.” The recipients of Smethport funding are: Alcohol & Drug Abuse Services, Inc. – Brain Power! Program; CASA of McKean County – general programming; Christian Community Services – food pantry; Girl Scouts of Western PA -  summer day camp; Hamlin Memorial Library – summer reading and family night programming; McKean County Conservation District – My Growing Tree program; McKean County Historical Society – humanities programs; Smethport Volunteer Fire Department – air packs; and Smethport Memorial Recreation Center – swimming activities. Agencies receiving funds in Port Allegany are:  Alcohol & Drug Abuse Services, Inc. – Too Good For Drugs and prevention programs; CARE for Children – kindergarten readiness packs and outreach services; McKean County Conservation District – My Growing Tree and Trout in the Classroom programs;  Port Allegany Recreation Authority – swimming activities; Port Allegany Community Service – food pantry; Port Allegany Fire Department Star Hose Company No. 1, Inc. – public fire prevention and education programs; Port Allegany Youth Baseball Association – equipment; Port Allegany Youth Counselors – various activities; and S.W. Smith Memorial Library – story hour programs.
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Port Allegany Campaign Surpasses Goal

Local officials are touting success, as the initial Port Allegany Campaign for United Way surpassed its monetary goal, raising $17,860. “When the transition to the Bradford office managing the solicitation efforts for the Port Allegany area occurred (in April, 2016), I emphasized our intentions to work diligently to ensure that the long-standing generosity of the residents and businesses could continue to make an impact,” said Mandi Wilton Davis, executive director.  “The donors have shown how important this is to them by way of their continued support of our efforts, and for that I’m very grateful!” UWBA board member and Port Allegany representative, Gwen Rush, said she, too, is appreciative of the response given to the change. “I’m very pleased with how the community came together.  Thank you to those who chose to make a contribution; our achievement in not only reaching – but surpassing – the monetary goal shows that we can continue to create opportunities for a better tomorrow.” Rush and her fellow board members have taken time to enjoy this first campaign, but will begin work on the 2017 efforts in the near future. “I know with some additional work we can secure more business and individual contributions to make next year’s campaign a bigger success,” she said. Applications for funding from the Port Allegany Campaign are due March 1.  Non-profit health and human service organizations providing programming to the Port Allegany area are eligible to apply.  Those applications are available on the United Way’s website, or by contacting Executive Director Mandi Wilton Davis at the Bradford office. For more information on the Port Allegany Campaign for United Way, or to make a contribution, visit www.uwbanews.org/portallegany or call the United Way office at 814-368-6181.
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Bradford Campaign Surpasses Goal

“You all have something to be proud of, and we are blessed to be part of it all and call Bradford our home.” Those are the closing sentiments from 2016 campaign co-chairs Andy and Heather Bell, who announced Thursday that the “Color Our World A Better Place” appeal surpassed its $340,000 goal, raising just over $344,000 for the local community. “Our sincere gratitude goes out to every single individual, family, workplace, private business, and corporation that stepped up, not only to help us reach our campaign goal, but to surpass it,” said Andy Bell. Heather Bell echoed the sentiments of pride, adding, “someone once told me, ‘don’t wait until you’ve reached a goal to be proud, instead be proud of every step you take toward reaching that goal’.  Andy and I truly couldn’t have been more proud of the people in our community every single day of this campaign, brining the United Way one step closer to being able to make a difference in the lives of those affected right here in Bradford.” With money raised during this most recent endeavor, the local United Way office will – on a monthly basis - be able to fund 14 local organizations, supporting 21 programs and services, who applied for funding from the RFP process in the fall of 2016. Those agencies include:  A Partnership in Housing, Inc., Alcohol & Drug Abuse Services; CARE for Children; CASA of McKean County; Catholic Charities; Destinations Bradford; Evergreen Elm; Futures Rehabilitation Center; Greater Bradford Senior Activity Center; Growing With Grace Christian Preschool; McKean/Potter Counties Chapter of the American Red Cross; The Family Center – Bradford; YMCA of the Twin Tiers – Bradford Branch; YWCA Bradford. Additionally, there will be funding available to organizations through quarterly allocations from the Community Impact and Community Innovations streams. Executive Director Mandi Wilton Davis said there were many highlights to the campaign, especially the number of new donors. “Nearly $4,000 was contributed by 29 new or renewed donors, and this is only what could be tracked.  I know there certainly many more from workplace campaigns that may not get the recognition that they deserve.” Davis also said she was very appreciative of the work of the Bell family. “We’ve heard so many times that the stories that Andy and Heather were able to share were so impactful, and people related to the emotion they displayed while speaking throughout the campaign. “As local educators, they see first-hand the impact that the programs and services offered locally really do make.  But, as generous, committed community members, they’ve made the choice to be part of the change, and for that I’m truly grateful,” said Davis. On behalf of the United Way’s Board of Directors, secretary Jodie Wagner offered appreciation to all those who were part of the 2016 campaign. “This validates the generosity and community spirit that Bradford continues to have.  We are proud to support many local non-profits on valuable services that they offer to our community, and it is with the support of all of you that we are able to do this.” For more information on the local United Way, contact the office or visit www.uwbanews.org.
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Bradford Campaign at 95%

The conclusion of the United Way’s 2016 campaign is three short weeks away, and the local efforts are currently $15,000 short of the $340,000 goal. “It’s been a wonderful two weeks, as we’ve collected $35,000 is pledges and gifts,” said Executive Director Mandi Wilton Davis.  “We’re getting so close.  I am hopeful.” For their part, campaign co-chairs Andy and Heather Bell are hoping local donors take pride in the current status. “We want to personally thank all of this year’s donors, but also those who’ve given in the past that we haven’t heard from yet, because our successes would not be so numerous without the consistent generosity of our community members,” said Heather Bell. Andy Bell is encouraging those who haven’t committed to a financial gift to consider doing so today. “If you can give a little or a lot, a donation to the United Way is a great way to make an impact.  Our goal is a community that is ready and able to meet the needs of its citizens, and when you give to the United Way, your support is helping to make that goal a reality.” This year’s efforts will be used to fund 20 programs and services provided by 14 local non-profit agencies with monthly allocations beginning on January 1, 2017.  When including quarterly funding awards, the local United Way averages 40 funded programs and services annually. The 2016 campaign will officially close on January 5th.  If you haven’t made a pledge, but would like to, please contact the United Way at (814) 368-6181, via e-mail at admin@uwbanews.org, or online at www.uwbanews.org.  The office will be closed Friday, December 23 and Monday, December 26 in observance of the Christmas holiday, but will re-open at 9:00 am on Tuesday, December 27.  
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Smethport Campaign at 83%

The Smethport Campaign for United Way has raised $12,500, just $2,500 short of goal with just less than a month remaining in this year’s appeal. This is the fifth year that the United Way of the Bradford Area office has managed solicitation efforts for the Smethport community, and each year has seen an increase in contributions. “The generosity of the Smethport donors has shown in the continued successes of each campaign and, subsequently, that means more money is allocated to programs and services in that area,” said Executive Director Mandi Wilton Davis. Davis says that since 2012, nearly $60,000 has been raised – including what has been pledged or directly contributed in 2016. “The Smethport community should be very proud of what they’ve provided to their friends and neighbors by way of United Way giving.  It’s been greatly appreciated by our staff and Board of Directors, but most importantly by the funded agencies.” The campaign officially closes on January 5th, and the first allocation of funds will be made April 1. “We will have two deadlines for submitting an application for funding; March 1 and September 1,” said Davis.  “Any non-profit, health and human service organization providing services to the Smethport area is eligible to apply for funding.” For more information on the Smethport Campaign for United Way, or to make a contribution, visit www.uwbanews.org/smethport or call the United Way office at 814-368-6181.
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Port Allegany Campaign Reaches 68%

There’s still time for residents of the Port Allegany community to make an impact on the lives of their neighbors and friends, as the Port Allegany Campaign for United Way reaches 68 percent of the 2016 goal. Executive Director Mandi Wilton Davis says as contributions continue to come in for the appeal, it’s the kindness of the donors that will allow local agencies to benefit, making their programs and services possible. “As the holiday season is upon us, we are reminded of our blessings, but those in need are certainly our focus,” said Davis.  “The agencies that will receive funding from this campaign are heavily relied upon in the Port Allegany area, and we want to ensure continued success for them and the residents.” The United Way of the Bradford Area began managing the solicitation efforts for Port Allegany earlier this year.  At the time of the transition being announced, Davis stressed the generosity shown by donors to the previously-known Port Allegany United Fund.  She said that generosity has been prevalent during the new fundraising process. “We’ve had a great response to the campaign so far; but, we continue to ask for the public’s support in meeting that goal.” The monetary goal for the campaign is $15,000.  The money raised from now through January 5, 2017 will be allocated to eligible non-profit, tax-exempt organizations in Port Allegany during the 2017 calendar year.
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Bradford Campaign at 85%

As the end of the 2016 United Way campaign, “Color Our World A Better Place”, nears, there is still $50,000 to be raised to reach the $340,000 goal – but local personnel are confident it can be done. “We’ve seen the generosity of this community time and time again, and we know the work being done with United Way funding is imperative to the successes of our area, so right now we’re feeling good about our status,” said Executive Director Mandi Wilton Davis. Led by campaign co-chairs Heather and Andy Bell, this year’s efforts will be used to fund 20 programs and services provided by 14 local non-profit agencies beginning on January 1, 2017.  With quarterly funding awards, Davis says those numbers will likely double by the end of the 2017 calendar year. “We average 40 funded programs and services annually, which is a true testament to the wonderful work being provided by our local non-profits.  Each are continuing to meet the needs of our community based on their organizational mission, and we’re so proud to collaborate with each of them,” said Davis. The 2016 campaign will officially close on January 5th.  If you haven’t made a pledge, but would like to, please contact the United Way at (814) 368-6181, via e-mail at admin@uwbanews.org, or online at www.uwbanews.org.
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Smethport Campaign at 55%

Support continues for the Smethport Campaign for United Way, with officials announcing that just over $8,000 has been raised to date. One of the highlights, according to Executive Director Mandi Wilton Davis, is the new donors, of which there are 27, contributing a total of $1,292. “This includes individuals who’ve given through the mail campaign, and employees who have taken part in workplace presentations and will give through payroll deduction. “The Smethport School District has been a wonderful addition to the campaign.  I’m very appreciative of the support we’ve received from administration, faculty and staff to incorporate United Way giving back into the district,” said Davis. The money raised through the Smethport Campaign for United Way benefits programs and services in the Smethport community and surrounding area.  The campaign officially closes on January 5th, and the first allocation of funds will be made April 1. For more information on the Smethport Campaign for United Way, or to make a contribution, visit www.uwbanews.org/smethport or call the United Way office at 814-368-6181.
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