United Fund of the Corry Area receives local service award

Members of the United Fund of the Corry Area and the board of directors of the Corry Community Foundation got together last week when Foundation members Phyllis Marchitelli and Mamie Smith presented the United Fund with the A. Bruce and Arlene H. Smith Community Service Award. Journal photo by Maryann Mook

Funds raised from the United Fund of the Corry Area’s annual campaign go right back into the community.

The United Fund, which has served local nonprofit agencies for more than 60 years, uses the funds to support 16 member agencies.

During a recent awarding of grants by the Corry Community Foundation, the United Fund was presented with the A. Bruce and Arlene H. Smith Community Service Award.

The United Fund was selected for the honor because of its committed and strategic efforts to support Corry-area service agencies, especially during the current challenging economic times.

Bill Nichols, vice chairman of the Foundation, announced the award during a recent reception held at the Corry Chapter of the American Red Cross, East Main Street.

“This award normally recognizes an individual who has given a great deal to the community or an organization,” Nichols said. “It was an easy transition from recognizing an individual to recognizing an organization.”

Phyllis Marchitelli, treasurer of the Foundation, and Mamie Smith, chairwoman of grant making, presented the award to Jane Roche, president of the United Fund.

“The United Fund was started 62 years ago by a group of citizens who wanted to benefit the service agencies of Corry,” Roche said.

Each year, the United Fund sets a goal — an amount of donations that will be used to financially help the 16 local service agencies. Due to the economic downturn, this year’s goal of $145,000 is lower than last year’s goal. Nichols said, though, the community still comes through when times are tough.

“Even though the goal is down, the United Fund has developed a plan to meet most of the needs of the agencies,” Nichols said.

Nichols said he is always amazed at the generosity of the Corry community and what the United Fund does for those agencies who benefit from it.

“The impact on the community and the variety of programs it supports is beyond my imagination for a small community,” Nichols said.

This year’s United Fund campaign drive by volunteers is coming to a close.

Steve Bishop, executive director of the Corry Higher Education Council, serves as the chairman of this year’s United Fund campaign. It is the second time Bishop has served in that position. He says the United Fund works because of volunteers.

“It’s really an acknowledgment of the volunteers who put so much hard work into the United Fund every year,” Bishop said. “They are the ones who are responsible for making the United Fund work.”

Monies raised by the United Fund stay in the area, with 10 percent set aside for administrative costs.

Nonprofit member agencies that benefit from United Fund dollars are: Corry Chapter of the American Red Cross, Barber Resources for the Corry Area, Corry Area Boy Scouts, Corry Area Food Pantry, Corry Concerned for Youth Inc., Corry Counseling Services, Corry Higher Education Council, Corry Public Library, Corry Regional Hospice, Crime Victim Center of Erie County, Girls Scouts of Western PA, Life Care Pregnancy and Family Resource Center, Mead Park Association, Safe Horizons, Salvation Army of Corry, and the YMCA of Corry.

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