Bradford Campaign Ends $3,200 Short of Goal

“Your contributions are valued and greatly needed to help fund programs in our area!”

Those are the closing sentiments United Way of the Bradford Area’s Board Secretary, Jodie Wagner, who – along with her fellow Board Members – served as co-chair of the 2017 campaign.  Officials announced Thursday at the first Report to the Community that the appeal closed having raised $336,800, just $3,200 short of the goal.

At the event, Executive Director Mandi Wilton Davis highlighted many positives that came from the four-month fundraising process, including the number of donors who varied up, meaning they were existing contributors who increased their gift, or they were contributors who did not give in 2016.

“We had 46 contributing entities (totaling just over $12,000 in gifts) in 2017 that were not factored in 2016,” said Davis.  “We also had 55 donors who increased their contribution from the year prior, totaling over $19,000.

“We are excited to build upon these numbers as we look towards the 2018 appeal.  However, we also recognize that with the ups, there are some downs.  We saw several contributing entities either slightly decrease their gift from the previous year, or unfortunately not give at all, which essentially negated the increases that we saw,” Davis explained.  “We will spend the next few months analyzing our data to determine the best ways to not only retain the relationships we’ve established or built upon this year, but also developing new recruitment tactics.”

Karen Costello-Pecht, board vice president, said that while the local organization recognizes the financial hardships and difficult times that are present in our local area, everyone on the board remains grateful to those who are able to contribute and help the United Way to continue its mission.

The Report to the Community also featured an update on the McKean County 2-1-1 system, as well as recognition of the employee workplace campaigns who experienced 100% participation for the 2017 campaign.

Costello-Pecht said she was very thankful to each employee for continuing their generosity, but also “to the managers and campaign coordinators who believe so strongly in the United Way’s mission, and promote its purpose positively among the workforce.”  She and Lauren Bly, Board Treasurer acknowledged the following as the 2017 100% participants:  Bradford City Fire Department; Bradford OECD; Bradford Sanitary Authority; Bradford Water Authority; CARE for Children; Hamlin Bank-Bradford; and the YWCA Bradford.

Wagner also stressed that, while the campaign fell ever-so-slightly short of goal, the local United Way does not anticipate any reduced funding to any of the funded agencies.

“Like Jodie said, your dollars matter,” said Costello-Pecht.  “There are so many important programs and services that continue to benefit from the generosity of our donors, and we are so very thankful that we can continue to make an impact on our family, friends and neighbors because of your kindness.”

With money raised during this most recent endeavor, the local United Way office will – on a monthly basis – be able to fund 16 local organizations, supporting 24 programs and services, who applied for funding from the RFP process in the fall of 2017. Those agencies include:  A Partnership in Housing, Inc., Alcohol & Drug Abuse Services; BRMC’s Meals on Wheels; 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; The Salvation Army; 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.  The first quarter Community Innovations recipients were Bradford Ecumenical Home, Inc.’s Silver Strengthening program and McKean County Arts Council’s community outreach programs.  Community Impact recipients included CARE for Children-Pediatric Therapy and Early Learning Professional Training; Dickinson Center-Psychiatric Rehabilitation Program ; Evergreen Elm-Therapeutic Swimming Program; McKean County Historical Society – general programming; and McKean County Special Olympics- Aquatics program.

While this was the first Report to the Community hosted by the United Way, officials are planning this to be an annual event.

United Way Falling Short of Goal, with Friday deadline

One woman was able to leave an abusive relationship through the courage she found while living at the YWCA Bradford.

The YW, as well as dozens other nonprofit agencies in the county, are able to operate and help people in need, in large part, thanks to the funding received from the United Way of the Bradford Area.

Unfortunately, the United Way in Bradford is currently short of the $340,000 goal that it hoped to reach by Friday, said Mandi Wilton Davis, executive director.  Davis said the agency is making its final appeal to the community to raise an additional $30,000 in order to reach its goal.

“We have some significant outstanding (donations) we are expecting to come in, but they haven’t yet arrived,” Davis said Wednesday.  “We wanted to remind everyone how imperative the United Way is in the community and how imperative reaching that goal is.

“Obviously, this is for the agencies that are relying on funding to maintain their services,” she noted.  “We always say that if you find someone who has not been impacted by a United Way-funded agency, you’re almost in a minority.  I think we can all share stories on how we’ve been directly impacted by one of these programs or services.”

Davis said the United Way has been in existence in Bradford since 1925 and has had the generous support of the community since then.  “For us to be able to say that in this community we can consistently raise well over $300,000 a year is a big accomplishment,” Davis said of yearly solicitation of funds held between August 15 and December 15.  She said all funds are expected to be raised at the end of the business day January 5.  If designated funding for the 2017 campaign is received after that date, it will be accepted.

On a related note, Davis said the agency also manages separate, independent campaigns for the Smethport Campaign for United Way which has a goal of raising $17,000, and the Port Allegany Campaign for United Way, which has a goal of raising $15,000.

Several recipient agencies provided stories on how United Way funds have helped the children and adults they serve.  An administrator from the YW had this to say:

“If I could broadcast the experience of watching someone go from despair to excitement, accomplish, hope – it really is a great gift to be able to do what I do.  I wish that all the people who contribute to the United Way and your board could see just a snapshot, because then they’d really know what (the agencies) do with every dollar they give.”

A single father in the YW’s homeless shelter last year, which is also helped through United Way funding, said the shelter has empowered him to “become more self-sufficient, make a better life for myself, fell like somebody cared, feel motivated to try harder, and find stable housing for me and my girls.”

An administrator at the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program of McKean County said the agency served 38 children in 2017 through 23 active volunteers.  Of those, two children were reunified with their respective mothers, one child was adopted and one child entered into guardianship.  

“Notably, we have a 12 year-old child served by CASA who is scheduled to be adopted and was able to trick-or-treat for the first time ever in 2017,” the administrator said.

Brent Raabe, executive director at the Bradford Family YMCA, also thanked the United Way for its generosity.  

“The funding that comes form the efforts through the United Way annual campaign directly support and sustain many programs and services here at the Y that truly impact so many members of our community,” Raabe said.  The funding support programs that include the Sixth Grade initiative, which provides that school group with a free YMCA membership and all its amenities.

“We cannot thank the United Way enough for all they do for our community and the Bradford YMCA,” Raabe said.

To provide a donation to the United Way, visit their website or call 368-6181.  Checks, cash or credit cards are acceptable, as well as pledges that can be billed for payments in the 2018 calendar year.

Holiday Hours

The UWBA office will be closed Monday and Tuesday, December 25th and 26th in observance of the Christmas holiday, but will re-open at 8:30 am on Wednesday, December 27.

UWBA $50,000 Short with Three Weeks to Go

The conclusion of the United Way’s 2017 campaign is just over three weeks away, and the local efforts are currently $50,000 short of the $340,000 goal.


“We’re seeing a great response from the community daily,” said Executive Director Mandi Wilton Davis.  “We’re getting there.  A lot of work will have to go into the next three weeks, however, to ensure this campaign meets goal.”


The Board of Directors, serving as campaign co-chairs, are looking to thank all of this year’s donors, but also encourage those who’ve given in the past to consider committing a financial gift today. 


Davis says a contribution to the United Way is a great way to make an impact on our local community. 


“This year’s efforts will be used to fund 23 programs and services provided by 17 local non-profit agencies with monthly allocations beginning on January 1, 2018.  If you include what we’re able to allocate in quarterly awards, the UWBA funds more than 40 programs and services annually,” said Davis.


The 2017 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, or online at  The office will be closed Monday and Tuesday, December 25th and 26th in observance of the Christmas holiday, but will re-open at 8:30 am on Wednesday, December 27.

UWBA Accepting Quarterly Apps

The United Way of the Bradford Area is currently accepting applications for the first quarter of Community Innovations and Community Impact funding for 2018.


Eligible non-profit agencies may submit a request for up to $1,500 for Community Impact funds.  Awards will be given to programs or initiatives with the potential to make an immediate impact on the local community while being essential to the agencies mission.  Priority will be given to those who have not received prior funding, who have supplied all necessary documentation, and request funding for programmatic costs.


The Community Innovations funding stream is designed for new and innovative initiatives to:  meet health and human service needs; produce measurable outcomes; and be sustainable within a two-year period.  There is not a limit as to what can be requested.


Both Impact and Innovations applications may be received by visiting United Way’s website at, the United Way office, or by request at  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.

Smethport Campaign at 60 Percent

Support continues for the Smethport Campaign for United Way, with officials announcing that 60 percent of the $17,000 goal has been raised since solicitation efforts began in August.
Executive Director Mandi Wilton Davis says she and the United Way Board of Directors decided to increase the campaign goal this year, as they’ve seen an increase in need from the area’s agencies.

“We see the need through the requests submitted by the agencies which are providing the programs and services to the Smethport community.  Not only are the monetary requests increasing, the number of entities applying for funding is also. 

“But, the Smethport community should be very proud of what they’ve provided to their friends and neighbors by way of United Way giving,” Davis said.  “It’s been greatly appreciated by us here at the UWBA office, but most importantly by the funded agencies.”

Fundraising will continue until January 5, 2018.  The applications for funding will be available to eligible non-profit organizations beginning February 1, with the submission deadline being March 1 and September 1 with the allocation of funds scheduled for April 1 and October 1, respectively.


Davis said she and the Board are looking forward to not only meeting, but surpassing that $17,000 goal this year.  Anyone interested in supporting the Smethport Campaign for United Way can mail their contribution to PO Box 504 (Bradford); call 814-368-6181; or email

Port Allegany Campaign at 50 Percent

Support continues for the Port Allegany Campaign for United Way, with officials announcing that nearly 50 percent of the $15,000 goal has been raised since solicitation efforts began in August.


In the second year for efforts managed by the United Way of the Bradford Area, Executive Director Mandi Wilton Davis says a driving force up to this point in the new donors.


“We are considering ‘new donors’ to be those who did not give to the 2016 appeal, but have this year,” says Davis.  “Currently, there have been 12 new donors who have contributed $1,145, which is a significant amount!


“We’re reminded of how generous the donors in Port Allegany are, and how strongly they feel of the programs and services supported by their commitments to this campaign,” said Davis.


Fundraising will continue until January 5, 2018.  The application for funding will be available to eligible non-profit organizations beginning February 1, with the submission deadline being March 1 and the allocation of funds scheduled for April 1.


Davis said she and the Board of Directors are looking forward to not only meeting, but once again surpassing that $15,000 goal this year.  Anyone interested in supporting the Port Allegany Campaign for United Way can mail their contribution to PO Box 504 (Bradford); call 814-368-6181; or email

United Way Campaign Approaches 45%

Members of the United Way of the Bradford Area’s Board of Directors say they’re “proud of the giving that our community has provided us so far”, announcing that this year’s campaign is approaching 45 percent of the $340,000 goal.

The Board, collectively serving as this year’s co-chairs, is still quick to stress the importance of giving.


“’Catch the Giving Spirit’ could not be more appropriate for a campaign theme this year,” says Jodie Wagner.  “We need everyone to join us in our efforts until we reach our monetary goal…which will enable so many of our local non-profits the opportunity to continue to provide the programs and services they do with support from the UWBA.”


Wagner says this time of year is difficult, as the Board is in the process of reviewing the Request for Proposals submitted by the local agencies for funding during the next calendar year.


“I can tell you that currently – just in applications submitted from two of our four funding streams – we have requests totaling nearly $400,000.  As you can see, we (the Board) are already faced with tough decisions; not reaching our goal this year could be detrimental to some.”


The local United Way will continue solicitation efforts through December 15th, and will utilize the time until January 5 to make follow-ups and conclude the campaign.


“I hope to be announcing to you all that we not only met our monetary goal, we surpassed it,” said Mandi Wilton Davis, executive director.  “That is obviously what we strive for, because the need is so great.”

Davis said she is in the midst of employee workplace presentations right now, but will be concluding those in the next couple of weeks.  The office will then focus on follow-ups heading into the Thanksgiving holiday.


“I would like to tout our new donors this year,” she said.  “We have received $1,800 from 16 new contributors, which is wonderful!”


The United Way is also preparing for its annual Soup Lunch, which is scheduled for Friday, November 10th.  Hungry supporters may order a 12 ounce bowl of soup, which also comes with crackers and a homemade treat, for $5.  Orders may be placed until the end of the day on Wednesday (November 1st).  Davis encourages placing orders by emailing or calling 814-368-6181.