From August 2017 through January 2018, United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area’s Great Community Challenge (GCC) ran in conjunction with its annual campaign. The GCC is a “step up” incentive designed to encourage increased participation in United Way’s annual campaign.
"United Way staff, volunteers, and partners work hard every year raising as much as possible to invest in effective local programs and initiatives. Often United Way receives funding requests far in excess of the funds available from the annual campaign. The Great Community Challenge helps us connect with new members of our community and raise new dollars from existing donors,” said Tim Reed, United Way Interim Executive Director. “We'd like to thank this year's GCC sponsors, Retro Fitness, Chanatry's Hometown Market, Cliff’s Local Market, and Joe Tahan’s Furniture, for their contribution to United Way and to our community."
This year’s GCC top sponsor was Retro Fitness.
“Retro Fitness decided to partner up with United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area for a second time because it’s the perfect opportunity to help our neighbors and friends in our community,” said Kayla Leisner, co-owner of Retro Fitness. “We're born and raised in Utica and believe it's important to support the organizations and people from where we call home!”
For the GCC’s fifth year, United Way awarded monthly prizes valued at over $300 in October, November, and December 2017. The monthly prizes included a 3-month Retro Fitness membership, $100 Chanatry’s gift card, and $50 Cliff’s Local Market gift card.
October winner, Hailey Hutchinson gives through her workplace Tops Friendly Markets in Boonville. November winner James Collins gives through his workplace Indium Corporation. December winner, Rachele Roth gives through her workplace Utica National Insurance Group.
On Friday, February 16 at Retro Fitness, this year’s GCC top sponsor, United Way awarded its grand prize valued at over $1,500 for the month of January 2018. The grand prize included a 1-year Retro Fitness VIP membership, Fitbit wristband, $500 Joe Tahan’s gift card, $350 Cliff’s Local Market gift card, and $200 Chanatry’s gift card. Grand prize winner, Quin LaReaux gives through his workplace Kids Oneida Inc.
In a statement, LaReaux said, “Having worked in human services for over 30 years I have seen the positive response from our community to those in need. Positive feedback in the community speaks to the integrity and collaborative efforts of United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area. I think United Way's holistic and comprehensive approach is exactly what is needed and if I can be a small part of that then I am more than happy.”
United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area fights for the health, education, financial stability, and basic needs of every person in our community. The Great Community Challenge is one component of its annual fundraising campaign, which funds the most effective local nonprofit programs and initiatives, and mobilizes hundreds of volunteers every year to help people in need in the Valley and Greater Utica Area.
With your donation you can provide young people with academic and social supports; train adults for jobs that pay a family-sustaining income; and connect people in need to medical care, housing, and other basic needs support. Help United Way create a thriving community where every adult and child is healthy, educated, and financially secure. Donate today, online by clicking here, by phone at 315–733–4691, or by mail to United Way, 201 Lafayette Street, Suite 201, Utica, NY 13502.
Pictured from left: Kristyn Buccerio-Beckwith, United Way Director of Development and Marketing, Bernadette Quenneville, Joe Tahan’s Furniture, Al Tahan, Joe Tahan’s Furniture, Quin LaReaux, Kids Oneida and this year's GCC Grand Prize Winner, Jim Clifford, Cliff’s Local Market, John Scarano, Retro Fitness Yorkville, and Carli Sterling, United Way Campaign Coordinator.