United Way of Greater Niagara Seeks to Raise $1.3 Million During Annual Community Care Campaign

September 27, 2013 Updated Sep 29, 2011 at 4:23 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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United Way of Greater Niagara Seeks to Raise $1.3 Million During Annual Community Care Campaign

September 27, 2013 Updated Sep 29, 2011 at 4:23 PM EDT

Lockport, N.Y. (WKBW release) -- Surrounded by a number of individuals who know the benefits of United Way support, officials from United Way of Greater Niagara on Thursday announced its fundraising goal for the annual Community Care Campaign.

This year, United Way has its sights set on raising $1,310,000 during its ten-week campaign.

The campaign goal was unveiled at the Lockport facility of Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara, the largest not-for-profit organization in Niagara County providing programs and services for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities. Opportunities Unlimited is one of more than 20 agencies across the county that receive funding support from United Way of Greater Niagara.

Carol Houwaart-Diez, president of United Way of Greater Niagara, made the announcement alongside Niagara County Sheriff James Voutour, who will once again serve as the honorary chairman of the Community Care Campaign.

“One look around this room today will make clear the important role United Way plays in our Niagara County community,” Houwaart-Diez said. “The important work that our United Way agencies perform for and with the people they serve is made easier by the support United Way is able to provide thanks to the generosity of others.”

The annual Community Care Campaign seeks to raise funds to support United Way programs and services across Niagara County through a combination of corporate and individual donations, many of which are provided through regular payroll deductions from workers at area businesses. Last year’s campaign raised more than $1.4 million.
   
“It’s true that for as little as $1 a week, you can help change someone’s life,” Sheriff Voutour said. “Tens of thousands of people from Niagara County are helped in some way by United Way-sponsored programs and services, but we have more to do and more people to serve. From our area’s largest employers to small local businesses, everyone can do their part to make Niagara County an even greater community.”

Voutour will be assisted this year by three campaign co-chairs – Greg Chenez, Andy Touma and Peter Robinson. Chenez is a long-time United Way volunteer and current board member who previously served as campaign chair for the former Eastern Niagara United Way. He is president of CWA 1117 and is employed at Verizon. Touma is assistant principal at North Tonawanda Middle School. He has been instrumental in past United Way campaigns, serving as both a group chair and division chair. Robinson works as a court officer in the New York State court system. He previously served on the board of the former Eastern Niagara United Way and last year started the Peanut Butter and Jelly Campaign, an effort to help feed local families.