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.

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.

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.