United Way campaign kicks off with music, prizes

Cornell launched its annual campaign to raise funds for the United Way of Tompkins County Oct. 12 with door prizes, music, an appearance by the Big Red Bear and stories of community members in need who were helped by organizations supported by United Way.

“The ongoing pandemic has shown us that it takes all of us working together to help those in need,” said Pat Wynn, chair of the Cornell campaign. “It’s more important than ever that those of us who are able to help do our part to improve the lives of our colleagues, friends and neighbors. I am honored to be working with the United Way again, as both the chair of the Cornell campaign for the fourth year and the chairperson for the United Way of Tompkins County as we celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the United Way.”

James Brown, president and CEO of United Way of Tompkins County, at the Oct. 12 Cornell United Way campaign kickoff event.

Credit: Ryan Young/Cornell University

James Brown, president and CEO of United Way of Tompkins County, at the Oct. 12 Cornell United Way campaign kickoff event.

The kickoff was held in the Willard Straight Hall Memorial Room; the theme of this year’s campaign is “New Possibilities.”

The Cornell campaign provides about 40% of the support for the United Way of Tompkins County, which aims to help people meet their basic needs while creating lasting change through improvements in education, health and financial stability.

Every gift by a Cornell student, faculty or staff member goes directly to support agencies and programs locally, and in the communities of the donor’s choice.

Last year’s Cornell campaign raised $576,350, representing 815 total gifts. It fell short of its goal of $700,000, but helped the Tompkins County campaign raise more than $1.68 million, exceeding its goal of $1.5 million.

Downtown Ithaca’s Week of Caring is Sept 27-30, with its official Day of Caring set for Oct. 1, on which it will launch its community campaign and announce its pacesetter donations. As an extension to the Week of Caring, there will be 10 drop-off locations on the Cornell campus during the week of Oct. 4-8 for staff and faculty to donate personal and hygiene items. Large bins for collection will be located in A Lot, B Lot, RPCC Lot, Forest Home Garage, Humphreys Service Building, Morrison South Parking lot, East Hill Office Building, Willard Straight Hall, Hoy Road Parking Garage and University Avenue parking lot.

The Tompkins County United Way is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2021.

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