United Way tops goal with $569,269
By Gordon Dritschilo
Staff Writer | January 25,2013
Vyto Starinskas / Staff Photo
Wendy Daley, left, of the Rutland Area Visiting Nurses Association and Hospice, accepts the Patricia M. Wener Memorial Award from Carl Wener and Marcia Chioffi, right, at the annual meeting of the United Way of Rutland County.
The United Way of Rutland County elected new officers, honored deceased members and celebrated a successful year Thursday.
The organization’s 2012 fundraising campaign brought in $569,269, just surpassing the $565,000 goal. Last year, the United Way helped fund 31 local organizations that provided services to 26,000 area residents.
At its annual meeting Thursday at the Holiday Inn, the United Way honored Patricia Wener, a longtime volunteer who died last year, by naming an award after her. Her husband, Carl Wener, presented the first Patricia M. Wener Memorial Award, which comes with a $1,000 contribution to a member organization.
Wener said the word “choice” came to mind repeatedly as he thought about what he should say for the presentation.
“Every one of us sitting here has made a definitive choice in our lives to be part of this organization,” he said. “So, it is really with great pride, great thanks and humility I thank the United Way board for establishing this award for Pat. I know she’d be thrilled.”
Wener became choked up as he announced the Rutland Area Visiting Nurses Association and Hospice as the winner.
“I can’t imagine Rutland County existing without this group of people,” he said. “They make it fun. They take their job very, very seriously.”
Chris Halnon succeeded Marcia Chioffi as United Way county president, and Chioffi then received the Volunteer of the Year Award. Halnon thanked Chioffi for her leadership.
“Marcia’s term was anything but boring,” he said, noting that she had to oversee the hiring of a new executive director and deal with the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene. “Marcia calmly led the United Way while also helping with the allocations process and, this year, The Really Big Show.”