United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region’s annual Community Breakfast kicked off the 2019 Campaign on Tuesday, September 24th, raising almost $52,000. A capacity crowd of more than 360 people joined United Way to celebrate the launch of its annual campaign, the 2019 Community Champions—Dr. Pamela Edington, President of Dutchess Community College, and Dr. Kristine Young, President of SUNY Orange—and the two 2019 Nonproft Champions—The Art Effect and Cornerstone Family Healthcare.
“United Way is proud to honor our two Community College presidents and support their efforts to provide emergency funding to students,” said Jeannie Montano, President & CEO of United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region. “We also recognized the work two Nonprofit Champions – represented by their executive directors, Nicole Fenichel-Hewitt (The Art Effect) and Linda Muller (Cornerstone Family Healthcare). These nonprofit partners join with us, promoting health, education and financial stability throughout our community. This annual Community Breakfast is a way to honor the work of outstanding individuals and organizations, while raising funds to support our efforts in education, workforce development and wellness.”
Dr. Young noted that 4 out of 10 students at SUNY Orange were food insecure, 35% were housing insecure and 10% were homeless. She said that these students are “choosing to invest their resources and their time in learning, trying to lift themselves up through education…and are putting off some basic life needs.” Dr. Edington explained that at Dutchess Community College: “We have adult students who have fled abusive situations. Who have lost jobs. Who are facing childcare issues and other challenges, while at the same time trying to get to classs, do homework, and juggle family demands.” She continued: “We’re seeing traditional students, who through no fault of their own, are on their own, because of a parent’s drug or alcohol addiction.”
Realizing that providing help for these students is an essential need in our community and to help ensure these dedicated students don’t drop out, United Way has established a College Student Emergency Fund. This fund will provide support to students at each of the two community colleges. For more information on United Way’s College Student Emergency Fund, go to www.uwdor.org/collegestudentemergencyfund.
A surprise highlight at the Community Breakfast was a flash mob performance of “You Can’t Stop the Beat” from Hairspray, by six students from Dutchess Community College’s Performing Arts A.S. Degree Program: Melissa Ansari, Hailey Gallinari, Chloe Kramer, Benjamin Simonetty, Jonah Woodcock, and Samantha Vega. Another surprise was the presentation of $5,000 scholarships to both Dutchess Community College and SUNY Orange by KeyBank’s Market President of Hudson Valley & Metro New York, David Lewing.
“As a community-minded bank, KeyBank has been a long-time supporter of the United Way and the important work they do to help the most vulnerable members of our community,” said Lewing. “We congratulate Dutchess Community College and SUNY Orange on their awards and are proud to provide scholarships to help financially challenged students achieve their educational goals and become productive, contributing members of our community.”
Longtime volunteer and United Way’s 2018 Distinguished Leader, Denise Doring VanBuren, was the inimitable emcee. Joe Daily and Michelle Taylor did a live broadcast of their show “Wake Up with Joe and Michelle, interviewing Community Breakfast guests during the program.
The Community Breakfast launched United Way’s 2019 Workplace Campaign with a goal to raise $1.24 million dollars this year, to support after-school enrichment programs, shelter for homeless teens and families, legal services for veterans, food for families, supply drives for essential items, free tax prep, prescription discount cards, United Way’s 2-1-1 24/365/7 confidential helpline and more!
The Community Breakfast Top Sponsors include: (silver sponsors) Adams Fairacre Farms, Cornerstone Family Healthcare, Dutchess Community College and the Dutchess Community College Foundation, IBM Corporation, Orange Bank & Trust Company, SUNY Orange and Th!nk Dutchess; (bronze sponsors) ArtCPA: Arthur DeDominicis Accountant & Consultants, Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp, Crown Maple, D’Arcangelo & Co, LLP, Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union, Lakeland Bank, Legal Services of the Hudson Valley, Mackey Butts & Wise LLP, Marshall & Sterling Insurance, Merrill Lynch, Petro Home Services, The Poughkeepsie Galleria, RBT CPAs LLP, TD Bank, Vassar College and Wells Fargo. The Media Sponsors for the Community Breakfast are The Poughkeepsie Journal and iHeart Media/Q92.
For more information about the work of United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region in our community and how you can be involved, go to www.uwdor.org.