United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region celebrated United Way Day on Sept. 21 as it launched the Campaign for the Common Good at a breakfast event in Beacon’s Riverfront Park with more than 225 attendees from throughout the community.
United Way Day began with a formal declaration from County Executives Marc Molinaro of Dutchess and Ed Diana of Orange. Presenting the declaration to United Way were Chair of the Dutchess County Legislature Rob Rolison representing Molinaro and Orange County Deputy Executive James O’Donnell representing Diana.
United Way Day is an effort to mobilize the community for the Campaign for the Common Good through which the organization wants to heighten awareness about community needs and encourage Dutchess and Orange County residents to “think we before me and Live United.”
“The vision for the Campaign for the Common Good is to connect all sectors including individuals, businesses, government agencies and nonprofit organizations and create long-lasting change to produce healthy, well-educated and financially stable individuals and children,” said United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region President and CEO Don Hammond.”
The vision of connecting the community through the Campaign for the Common Good was reinforced by a call to action from Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce CEO Charles North and Orange County Chamber President John D’Ambrosio. The two leaders cited their volunteer experiences in nonprofit programs that were fulfilling to them as well as the community. They called upon business people to volunteer as an investment to help make positive changes in their community.
The event also signaled the beginning of United Way’s Workplace Campaign with a goal to raise $2.1 million. This year there are more than 300 companies and organizations participating in the fundraising effort, which is being led by Campaign Chair John Rath, TD Bank senior vice president and veteran community leader, and Vice Chair Charles A. Freni, senior vice president of Customer Services at Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp.
Rath introduced the campaign’s pace setters that have jump started the Workplace Campaign by raising $153,017.60 to date. “They share our commitment to affecting change in our community,” he said. The pace setters are: Adams Fairacre Farms, C&S Wholesale Grocers, Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce, Macy’s, Orange County Partnership, Riverside Bank, Target, the Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse, United Parcel Service, United Way Board, and United Way’s Staff.
“By giving to the annual campaign you help raise funds that can be allocated to programs where they will have the most impact and best outcomes and meet the challenges faced by so many individuals and families in our community,” Rath said asking those in the audience to give to this year’s campaign.
As he closed the event, Hammond asked the audience to look around. “There are many people here who everyday work tirelessly to create the type of community that we all envision,” he said. “Now I ask you, what will you do to join them?”