UTICA, N.Y. - The United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area celebrated the start of a new fundraising campaign Tuesday evening.
The organization held a kickoff party at DoubleTree by Hilton in Utica.
Supporters, volunteers, board members, and community members were in attendance to mark the start of the local branch’s 97th fundraising cycle.
A United Way representative said the local branch helps one in four families in Oneida and Herkimer counties.
"Friends, family, your neighbors, someone you know inevitably has been touched by or helped by a program that United Way funds," Erin Gutierez Matt, United Way Executive Director/CEO said.
Nearly 120 people attended the event. Gutierez Matt said it is easy to give back to the community you live in – and it doesn’t have to be monetarily.
"It takes everyone, whether it’s giving a dollar a week or are you are committing to something above and beyond that,” she said. “Everyone can give something - and that’s really what it takes. It takes all of us coming together to raise money to put back into this community to help us overcome the challenges that poverty creates.”
The United Way hosts several volunteer events throughout the year. The agency also accepts monetary donations.