Lisa Minich To Receive 2014 Red Feather Award

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The United Way of the Bradford Area will honor Lisa Minich with the Red Feather volunteer award at a luncheon on Thursday, May 1, officials announced today.

“Lisa is the perfect example of ‘once they’re in, they’re in for life,’ said Executive Director Mandi Wilton Davis.  “She began her volunteer efforts as a member of the campaign cabinet back in the mid-1980’s, and when family and work obligations required her to step back from her campaign involvement, she remained a constant advocate.  She re-joined the campaign cabinet in 2011 as co-chair of the Leadership Division, which this year saw a 17% increase in contributions,” said Davis.

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.

Minich, a Bradford native, started her career with KOA Speer Electronics in 1989 as a Programmer/Analyst and has held positions of I.S. Manager and General Manager.  In 2012 Lisa was named Vice President of Operations and Logistics, a position that exemplifies her strong work ethic and leadership skills.

What initially drew her to the local United Way is what continues to drive her efforts today; giving back.  “Growing up one of eight children, I learned early on the value of hard work and sacrifice.  My parents never let our financial struggles overshadow the importance of helping others,” said Minich.  “My dad, who recently passed away at the age of 93, was the most selfless person I knew.  He was and continues to be the driving force behind my desire to make a difference in the Bradford community.”

Minich also serves on the board of the YMCA and is Chair of the Y’s Annual Campaign, and is also Team Captain of KOA’s Relay for Life team and a member of the 2014 Leadership McKean class.

Steve Williams, President of the Board, said this honor is well-deserved. “Lisa has been – and will continue to be – a tremendous advocate and contributor to the successes of the local United Way, and we, as a Board, are appreciative of her commitments.”

“I’m blessed to be at a point in my life where I have the time, energy and resources to give back to the Bradford community at a leadership level,” said Minich.  “Bradford is a town with many needs, but also a town with big hearts. I’m proud to live in a community where so many come together to make a difference in the lives of others.”

Minich resides in Bradford, and has two adult sons, Brian (Megan) and Dan.

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 $25 per person, and reservations may be made through April 21st by calling Mandi Wilton Davis at 368-6181 or emailing mandi.davis@uwbanews.org.

Three To Receive Excellence In Representation Award

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Futures Rehabilitation Center clients Tom Miller, Ashley Peterson and Mike Walter have been selected as the United Way of the Bradford Area’s 2014 Excellence in Representation honorees.

The trio were part of the Speaker’s Bureau for the 2013 campaign, but have long-been volunteers and advocates for the local United Way.

“I am so happy to be able to recognize my three friends with this honor,” said Executive Director Mandi Wilton Davis.  “Between them, they spoke at 25% of our workplace presentations, and were able to tell their personal stories to more than 300 people.

“Everyone to whom they spoke walked away with a better understanding of not only the relationship between Futures and the United Way, but the importance of continuing to give to the annual campaign to ensure that they and their peers could continue their jobs at the workshop.”

Tom, who is a Bradford native, has been at Futures for 44 years, and has been a member of the Speaker’s Bureau for the past five.  “A favorite memory of mine was going to Control Chief Corporation, and seeing that giant Indian headdress that hangs on the wall,” he said.  “That thing blew my mind!”

For her part, Ashley says she enjoys public speaking, and it’s something she’s been good at for quite some time.  She is currently a resident of Lewis Run, and has worked at Futures for nearly six years.  “I’ve been giving speeches since I was in high school, so this is a lot of fun for me,” she said.

Mike, also a Bradford native, has been at Futures for 25 years, and has been a member of the Speaker’s Bureau for the past 18 years.  “I’m very proud to be part of the United Way and to go out and give the message about Futures and the importance of having a place like this for people with disabilities to go out and earn a dollar.”

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.

The Excellence in Representation award will be given at the United Way’s annual Red Feather Volunteer recognition luncheon on May 1st.  Reservations may be made by calling the United Way office.

Applications for First Phase of Smethport Funding Due

The deadline to apply for the first phase of the 2014 Community Innovations funding through the Smethport Campaign for United Way is Tuesday, April 1st.

Eligible non-profits providing services throughout the Smethport Area may submit a request for up to $500.  This funding supports programs in the Smethport area. The remaining deadlines to apply for funding through the Smethport Campaign for United Way are July 1 and October 1.

Applications are available at the United Way office or by request at admin@uwbanews.org. You can download the application as a Word document or as a PDF.

All applications are reviewed by a committee comprised of United Way Board members, with recommendations being presented to the full board for final approval. For more information regarding the application process, please contact the United Way.

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Second-Quarter Community Innovations Application Due

The deadline to apply for the second quarter Community Innovations funding through the United Way of the Bradford Area is Tuesday, April 1.

Eligible non-profit agencies may submit a request for up to $1,500. Applications may be received by the United Way office, or by request at admin@uwbanews.org. Along with the application, it is being requested of applicants that a detailed budget of planned expenditures be included.

All applications are reviewed by a committee comprised of United Way Board members, with recommendations being presented to the full board for final approval. For more information regarding the application process, please contact the United Way.

2014 Community Innovations Application (Word Document)
2014 Community Innovations Application (PDF)

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Celebrating Female Leadership in the UWBA

Oprah Winfrey, Melinda Gates, Helen Keller,  J. K. Rowling, Eleanor Roosevelt,  Maya Angelou, Margaret Thatcher, Gloria Steinem, Rosa Parks: These are a few of the countless women who’ve done their part to shape the world in which we live.

March is Women’s History Month, and Saturday, March 8 is International Women’s Day, so we can’t help but think of some of the women in our own organization’s history who have helped shape the United Way of the Bradford Area to become what it is today.

As the first female president of the board of directors, Mary Reiley paved the way for future leaders. Many women have chaired or co-chaired the annual campaign; Francie Ambuske was the first female in this important position. Ruth Gardner was the first female executive director and former executive director Kelly Case was the first woman to be honored with the Red Feather award. Acknowledging all of the women who’ve played a part in our organization – as an employee, volunteer or supporter – would be too long a list.

We cannot thank all of the UWBA’s “leading ladies” enough for everything they have done for our organization, and we’re looking forward to the impact that women leaders will to continue to have in our community.

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Celebrating Success of Smethport Campaign

The United Way of the Bradford Area is celebrating the successes of the 2013 Smethport Campaign for United Way, and officials are inviting donors to join them on March 4th for an open-house event.

Light hors d’oeuvres will be served from 3:00 – 5:00 pm at the Hamlin Memorial Library community room at 123 South Mechanic Street in Smethport. Attendees are asked to RSVP if planning to attend.

Executive Director Mandi Wilton Davis is also encouraging non-profit organizations interested in applying for funds from the campaign to attend as, well.

“I will have copies of the application, and will be available to answer any questions or concerns from agency representatives.  We welcome previous recipients to join us, too, as the application is slightly different than last year’s.

“But, aside from the application assistance, this is a great way for our staff to acknowledge the dedication that the Smethport community has to the United Way movement.”

The United Way of the Bradford Area is pleased with the results of its second appeal in the Smethport area. The $10,000 goal was surpassed, with donations coming from individuals, businesses and employees from workplaces throughout the county.

For more information on the event, or to RSVP, call the United Way office at 814-368-6181.

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“The more that you read, the more things you’ll know!”

 

 

 

 

You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read with a child.
You’re never too busy, too cool, or too hot, to pick up a book and share what you’ve got.
In schools and communities, let’s gather around, let’s pick up a book, let’s pass it around.
There are kids all around you, kids who will need someone to hug, someone to read.
Come join us March 3rd, your own special way and make this America’s Read to Kids Day!

What is Read Across America?

The National Education Association’s Read Across America is an annual reading motivation and awareness program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2, the birthday of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss.

Motivating children to read is an important factor in student achievement and creating lifelong successful readers. Research has shown that children who are motivated and spend more time reading do better in school. Poor reading levels can lead to academic problems, which can increase the likelihood of dropping out, substance abuse, teen and early pregnancy, and criminal behavior, which all contribute to the cycle of poverty.

Here are the United Way of the Bradford Area, we want to increase literacy skills for the children in our community. We hold our monthly First Chapter program at the Bradford Area Public Library on the second Wednesday of every month at 10:30am. First Chapter is a free program for children ages 5 and younger and for family members or guardians of the participants.

In addition to joining us for First Chapter every month, here are some easy, everyday ways to incorporate literacy into your everyday lives.

At Home:
• Set a good example as a reader – let kids see you reading every day.
• Get a subscription in your child’s name to an age-appropriate magazine for your child. When relatives and others ask for gift ideas, suggest magazine subscriptions, books, or a book store gift certificate.
• Set up an area in your home where a variety of reading materials are within easy reach. Encourage writing by including paper, crayons, pens and pencils.
• Let your child see you reading, whether it’s the newspaper, a magazine, or the latest bestseller.
• Encourage a love of words by playing rhyming and word games, singing silly songs, or writing poems and stories together.
• Talk about daily activities or tell stories about your family or culture to help children develop their language skills.

At the Library:
• Keep lots of books, magazines, and newspapers around the house. Visit the library often and shop for books at garage and yard sales, swap meets, and used bookstores.
• Visit your local library often. Get your children their own library cards. Try a story hour or other free event at the library.
• Create a library for your child of new or used books. Look for affordable books at yard sales, secondhand book stores, and library book sales.

Visit the NEA’s Read Across America site to get even more fantastic tips!

The Bradford Area Public Library is located at 67 West Washington Street in Bradford, and is open 6 days a week. Library hours are Monday and Wednesday from 10:00am to 7:00pm; Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10:00am to 5:00pm.

 

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United Way to Celebrate Campaign

The United Way of the Bradford Area is celebrating the successes of the 2013 campaign, and officials are inviting donors to join them on February 20th for an open-house event.

Light hors d’oeuvres will be served from 4:00 – 6:00 pm at the UWBA office at 161 Main Street.  Attendees are asked to RSVP if planning to attend.

The “Life Is Good When You’re United” campaign exceeded the $330,000 monetary goal, but Executive Director Mandi Wilton Davis says there’s a great deal to be touting.

“I’m so proud of everything that came from the 2013 appeal,” said Davis, “from the new donors, to increased contributions, to new agencies and programs being funded.  Even efforts that may not have necessarily gone as planned allowed us the opportunity to learn and grow, which only means bigger and better things for your local United Way.”

For more information on the event, or to RSVP, call the United Way office at 814-368-6181.

You + UWBA = Love

Whether Valentine’s Day conjures up warm and fuzzy feelings, a sense of dread and disdain for Cupid, or just excitement for heart-shaped boxes of chocolate, February 14 is all about celebrating love. And here at the United Way of the Bradford Area, we love some very special people – our supporters!

So here’s a declaration of our love for you, our dear friends.

We love you for the generous spirit throughout the year and during our annual campaign. When you show up to our events with a smile on your face and a spring in your step, we couldn’t be happier. From our spring Red Feather luncheon to our campaign kick-off pig roast and clam bake in September, we’re so happy you come to celebrate with us. We certainly felt the love when the 2013-2014 campaign Life is Good When You’re United surpassed its $330,000 goal.

We love you for all that’s made possible with your donations. Thousands of people benefit from the 30 programs and services of our 19 funded agencies. Think of the impact in the Bradford community – now that’s the sweetest thing!

We love you for all the volunteering time put into the United Way of the Bradford Area. Special events, the annual campaign, or even running our organization would not be possible without our trusty volunteers, campaign cabinet and board members.

So thank you, for being part of our organization through all of your support and generosity. This Valentine’s Day, we’re not just glad you “live united,” but we’re so glad your actions show that you “love united” as well!