Annual drive starts with Work Day

WARREN – More than 170 people joined United Way of Trumbull County at the Eastwood Field in Niles Wednesday to kick off the 2014 fundraising campaign. The thermometer that keeps track of progress shows that $165,269 already is raised toward the campaign goal of $900,000.

Following the kickoff, nearly 100 volunteers from 11 businesses and organizations fanned out into the community to provide yard maintenance for senior citizens as part of United Way at Work Day.

“Yard maintenance not only provides a needed service to the senior, but also positively impacts the entire neighborhood,” said Ginny Pasha, president of United Way of Trumbull County.

Sites were chosen through United Way member Area Agency on Aging 11.

“United Way funds many programs throughout the community, but partnerships with Area Agency on Aging 11 and others allow seniors to stay in the community they built,” Pasha said.

”United Way at Work is another way that United Way of Trumbull County can give back to our community and we appreciate the volunteers who have given their time to help our senior citizens.”

Mayor Doug Franklin, John Guarnieri, a former United Way board member, and their crew helped a resident on Highland Avenue. Guarnieri said the team weeded and trimming the resident’s flower garden since she was not able to do the work.

”We had volunteers from Trumbull and Mahoning counties,” he said.

Lisa Solley of the Area Agency on Aging 11 said, “We are pleased to work with United Way of Trumbull County to help older adults. The community benefits through partnerships like this.”

Volunteers from the American Red Cross delivered water to the teams at the worksites throughout the morning.

Companies and organizations that provided volunteers for the day included the General Motors Corp. Lordstown Complex, RTI, Trumbull Memorial Hospital, Mercy Health Systems, Emery Financial Group, Seven Seventeen Credit Union, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, the Albert Guarnieri Company, and the City of Warren.

Donald Emerson, United Way of Trumbull County chairman of the board, said the money already in comes from Pacesetters companies and United Way funded partners who completed their campaigns early.

“We are well on our way to a successful campaign that will allow United Way of Trumbull County to help meet the health and human service needs of Trumbull County,” Emerson said.

The United Way of Trumbull County Campaign Leadership Team’s team approach will allow members who have influence within campaign divisions to work together for a successful campaign, Emerson said.

Members of the Campaign Leadership Team are Gary Steinbeck, retired United Steelworkers sub-district director; John Walsh, CEO of Trumbull Memorial Hospital; Julie Vugrinovich with Howard Hanna Real Estate; Sue Datish, a retired educator and community investment volunteer; Jim Whetstone, last year’s campaign chairman and owner of Warren Toyota; and John Taylor of Paige and Byrnes Insurance.

The United Way of Trumbull County, founded in 1923, is a nonprofit organization that serves local human needs with planning, allocation and fundraising activities.