United Way hosts centennial celebration

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UTICA — The United Way of the Mohawk Valley hosted a celebration that was 100 years in the making.

The local United Way chapter has been impacting the community for over a century by funding organizations that assist in improving the quality of lives in the Mohawk Valley. To commemorate 100 years of service to the community, the chapter hosted a fundraising event to celebrate their achievement.

The chapter originally began as the Utica Community Chest back in November 1921. The organization was founded by Fredrick T. Proctor, Warnick J. Kernan and Frank X. Matt, who were all prominent members of the community at the time.

Erin Gutierrez Matt, executive director of the United Way of the Mohawk Valley, said that a century is a remarkable milestone that not many organizations are able to achieve.

“Forbes tells me that less than half of a percent of companies in the United States make it to 100 years, so we’re pretty proud of this milestone,” Matt said.

Patrons at the birthday celebration were able to enjoy the best of what the Mohawk Valley has to offer, with a variety of food from local restaurants, drinks from Saranac Brewery and entertainment by magician Shaun Robison, Opus Black String Quartet, Ladies of Soul and their Gentlemen and Showtime. Big Poppa from Mix 102.5 was on hand to emcee the event.

Patrons were also able to enjoy lawn games, visit the photo stations, as well as purchasing exclusive 100th birthday souvenirs, raffle tickets to win local themed prizes and chances to dunk people in the dunk tank.

The event raised a total of $85,000, with all of the proceeds going toward the United Way of the Mohawk Valley and their mission to serving the local community.

“For 100 years, we have brought people and resources together to build a stronger Mohawk Valley,” Matt said.

“We will continue to be a leader in innovation, focusing on system-wide solutions and tackle root-causes to address crucial challenges facing our community,” the executive director added.

For information on the United Way of the Mohawk Valley, visit: unitedwaymv.org

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