Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Representatives from the United Way of Greater Niagara had several reasons to celebrate on Friday.
During their annual meeting, United Way officials announced that the organization met the $1.3 million fundraising goal established as part of the annual Community Care Campaign.
In addition, several of the organization's key volunteers were honored for their hard work throughout the year as part of the United Way's annual meeting at Antonio's Antonio's Banquet and Conference Center in Niagara Falls.
Carol Houwaart-Diez, the president of United Way of Greater Niagara credited the great people of Niagara County with helping her organization to enjoy continued success. She said it is important to take time at least once a year to recognize members of the community who work to make the community a better place.
"It is impossible to count all of the people and companies who have helped United Way throughout our history of service to this community,” Houwaart-Diez said. “When we have needed a helping hand, many, including those we recognize today, have answered the call.”
Demondi Johnson, the director of player relations for a Philadelphia-based sports agency, spoke about how important the United Way was to him growing up in Niagara Falls. Johnson said he learned many life lessons at community centers in the Falls sponsored by the United Way.
"I'm just inspired by what the United Way does," Johnson said.
"You see so many different influences growing up there," he added.
Dr. James P. Klyczek, president of Niagara County Community College, who served as chair of this year's Community Care Campaign, said the United Way's focus on education made his partnership with the charity a great fit.
"It takes organizations like the United Way to assist the community in creating an environment where families and individuals can thrive and be successful," Klyczek said.
Klyczek said it is charities like United Way that make him proud to live in Niagara County.
"I'm glad the people of our community recognize the important role that the United Way plays," he said.
The United Way of Greater Niagara honored the following individuals and entities during its annual meeting on Friday:
• Christ Sposito, Humanitarian Award
• Therese Quarantillo, Think Positive … Think United Way Award
• Thomas Fisher, NYSUT, Niagara Falls School District, Outstanding Employee Coordinator Award
• Cheryl Larkin, NYSUT, Lockport City School District, Outstanding Employee Coordinator Award
• Earl A. Frampton, CWA, Labor Community Service Award
• Wegman’s, Top Campaign Performance Award
• FMC Corporation/IAM 1180, Caring Cup Award
• American Red Cross Serving Erie and Niagara Counties, Service Cup Award
• Delphi, Most Leadership Givers Award
• Durez/USW and Norampac, Horizon Award
• Peter Robinson, New York State Courts, Shining Star Award
• United Steel Workers, city of Niagara Falls, President’s AwardContact reporter Justin Sondel at 282-2311, ext. 2257