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Events

United Way works with a variety of community partners to host community events, fundraisers, and celebrations throughout the year. We invite donors, businesses, nonprofits, and community leaders to get involved in support for our work. For information regarding events, email volunteer@unitedwayvgu.org or call 315–733–4691.

View our Events Calendar.

JANUARY

ANNUAL TAILGATE PARTY
Hosted by Assemblyman Marc Butler and Rocky and Barb Fiato, owners of the Waterfront Grille, this annual event brings sports fans, families and United Way fans together for an indoor tailgate party during the last NFL playoff games. In 2019, this event celebrated its 16th year! With your traditional tailgate food, football, and great raffle prizes, this event is one you won’t want to miss! Check out photos from 2019 here! Raffle donations and volunteers needed.

FEBRUARY

ELU LUNCH AND LEARN: TASTE OF SUCCESS
Emerging Leaders United hosts a professional development training workshop & luncheon for young professionals to further develop their skill sets in the workplace. Check out photos from this event here!

LIVE UNITED HOCKEY NIGHT WITH UTICA COLLEGE
United Way partners with Utica College Hockey to create a Live United themed Hockey Night at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. Volunteers assist with setup/breakdown, donation collection, t-shirt dispersal, and general promotion throughout the event. This event takes place in February. The event's committee meets October through March. Check out photos from the 2019 game here! Sponsorships available and volunteers needed. 

MARCH

100 WOMEN WHO CARE
Hosted by our Women United affinity group, this event is in March around International Women's Day! With only 100 tickets sold, you don’t want to miss the chance to connect with women like you who want to enact real change here in our community! Check out some photos from the 2019 event here. 2020 Sponsorships available. 

ST. PATRICKS DAYS PARADE
March United in the Utica St. Patrick's Day Parade. United Way staff and volunteers walk in the City of Utica’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade with Saranac Brewery’s float. This event is a fun way to promote United Way in the community and count down the days to Saranac Thursdays! A family and dog-friendly event! Check out phots from 2019 here! Volunteers needed. 

APRIL

ELU HEAD SHOT HAPPY HOUR
Emerging Leaders United hosts a fun and affordable headshot experience: Headshot Happy Hour!  Network with other local professionals like you and get your very own one-on-one portrait session. Limited spots available! Reserve your spot here!
 

MAY

ELU LUNCH AND LEARN: TASTE OF SUCCESS
Emerging Leaders United hosts a professional development training workshop & luncheon for young professionals to further develop their skill sets in the workplace. Save the date for May 15, 2019, 8:00am-10:00am. Registration coming soon!
Check out photos from the Feb. 2019 event here!

ELU SPRING CLEAN-UP
Emerging Leaders United partners with the City of Utica for "Keep the Mohawk Valley Beautiful" clean up effort on May 4, 2019. Volunteers needed. Register to volunteer here!

STAMP OUT HUNGER FOOD DRIVE 
United Way supports the National Association of Letter Carriers annual effort to collect food for local pantries. Volunteers help spread the word within their respective workplaces, neighborhoods and on social media outlets. Volunteers needed.

JUNE

“CLIFF’S PUMPS UNITED – PUMP IT FORWARD” 
United Way and Clifford Fuel are partnering for the third year on June 14, 2019, to allow volunteer groups to pump gas for customers at several locations of gas stations owned and operated by Clifford Fuel. Volunteers will earn tips which will be donations to United Way. Volunteer groups will compete for the most tips collected to win a trophy and bragging rights! Check out some photos from this event in 2018 here! Sponsorships available and volunteer groups needed.

DAY OF ACTION
This annual day of service in our community brings people together to help make an impact in our local neighborhoods. Set during the work week, many companies allow employees to utilize work time to volunteer for this one day. This event changes each year. In the past, we have painted over graffiti in our local community, painted murals, and placed “activity trails” in city parks and most recently packed more than 50,000 meals for our local food pantries!
On June 25, 2019 we will need you to help us pack even more meals to stock our local food pantries. Volunteer registration coming soon! Check out some photos from last year here! Sponsorships available and volunteers needed.

JULY

BOILERMAKER PASTA BUFFET
Boilermaker volunteers organize a pasta buffet fundraiser for United Way at the Boilermaker Road Race Expo. The event offers runners, and their families, pasta dinners with proceeds from the night’s event going to our local United Way. Join our Emerging Leaders United volunteers to help promote the event throughout the day on Friday and Saturday at MVCC leading up to the Pasta Buffet. Volunteers needed.

AUGUST

COMMUNITY DAY

A big part of our mission is to connect our community members and bring them together to "Live United." This event is a celebration of our community's support as we kicks-off our annual fundraising campaign. This will be a family friendly event with something for everyone to enjoy! Stay tuned for more details coming soon! Sponsorships available.

SEPTEMBER

9/11 DAY OF SERVICE
United Way volunteers partner with Mohawk Valley Regional Volunteer Center to collect, sort and disseminate food to local veterans and food pantries. In most recent years, volunteers assisted with placing and then removing more than 400 flags on the Memorial Parkway in Utica to remember first responders who lost their lives on 9/11. Volunteers needed.

OCTOBER

UNITED WAY 1/2K
Don't miss out on a fun way to give back to our community through what is sure to be an annual event for United Way of the Valley & Greater Utica Area.  This event is a short run that begins in the back parking lot of the Saranac Brewery and ends at the Celtic Harp. Take a look at some of the fun we had last year at this event! Sponsorships available.

ELU HYGIENE DRIVE
Collection of personal care items to help improve the health, dignity and self-esteem of local individuals. Sponsorships available.

NOVEMBER

ELU CHANNEL YOUR FLANNEL
A fundraising event organized by Emerging Leaders United. Put on your best or worst flannel and enjoy food, drinks, and games like “Stein Hoisting” as we get ready for a Thursday Night NFL game. Check out photos from last year's event here! 2019 Sponsorships available.

GIVING TUESDAY  |  NY GIVES DAY
Giving Tuesday is a nationwide day of giving that occurs on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday & Cyber Monday each year and is a celebration of America's greatest traditions: generosity, entrepreneurialism, and community care. Sponsorships available.

MULTIPLE MONTHS

SARANAC THURSDAYS AND CONCERT SERIES
A unique partnership formed in 1998 between United Way and its long-standing supportive community partner F.X. Matt Brewery, which hosts a weekly happy hour fundraiser and concert event throughout the summer. United Way coordinates groups of volunteers from local companies to assist with serving refreshments at Saranac Thursdays and Concert Series Events. This volunteer opportunity requires groups to complete an application and selection processes due to the high volume of interested groups/individuals and limited volunteer slots. Volunteer groups needed. The deadline to apply is April 4, 2019. Apply here!

YOUTH COOKING CHALLENGE presented by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield
For the second year, United Way has partnered with some great local businesses and chefs for a cooking competition to engage our communiy's youth in learning to cook and eat healthy! Thsis year, seven local youths have been selected to compete, each being paired with a local chef! You can view each team's video of them creating thier signature dish and vote for your favorite through April 7, 2019. The top two teams will comepete head to head on April 15, 2019 and you''ll be able to watch LIVE on our Facebook page.

DAYS OF CARING
Days of Caring take place throughout the year and include the distribution of supplies collected from the drives mentioned below. Volunteer Days of Caring can also be set up for local companies and/or organizations to do volunteer work throughout the community. If a group would like to volunteer but does not know what to do or where to go, United Way can help! We will work with you and our community partners to create or match you with a volunteer activity. Sponsorships available and volunteers needed.

 

For information regarding events, email volunteer@unitedwayvgu.org,  or call 315–733–4691.