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United Way says thank you

Leominster, Mass. - Nearly a dozen individuals and numerous companies were recognized for their contributions to United Way of North Central Massachusetts at the annual campaign thank-you event at the Four Points Sheraton Thursday evening. 

Dr. Bruce Man, chairman of United Way of North Central Massachusetts, and Marty Connors, president and CEO of Rollstone Bank & Trust and this year's campaign chair, thanked the local financial institutions for supporting its Supplemental Basic Needs Fund. 

"Because of the high unemployment, we created this fund to provide additional food and heating assistance so families wouldn't go hungry or without heat," said Connors.

IC Federal Credit Union, Fidelity Bank, Workers' Credit Union, Rollstone Bank & Trust, Leominster Credit Union, Enterprise Bank & Trust, and United Way's Community Investment Fund contributions were responsible for helping thousands of families.

Ronald M. Ansin of Harvard received United Way's Profiles Award because of his support of their Emergency Shelter Fund, which pays for lodging when shelters are full, to shelter homeless individuals and families during extreme weather events.  Since its inception in 2004, 669 room nights have been provided.

United Way's Community Investment Division presented six Profiles Awards to its committee members who have more than 10 years of service: John Flores of Lunenburg; Rosemary Healey, Fitchburg; Deb LaPointe, Leominster; Ellen Goguen, Leominster; John Doyle, Holden; and Matt Johnson, Westminster. 

Bob Labonte of Gardner was lauded for his years of service on the United Way's Day of Caring, which assist nonprofit agencies with maintenance projects every September.

The Alexis de Tocqueville Society, which recognizes contributors to the annual campaign at the $10, 000 or more level, presented Jim Javaras of Princeton its Profiles Award for his leadership and years of service on the committee.

Connors presented the Extraordinary Effort Chairman's Award for the Nashoba region to Bemis Associates, Inc. of Shirley; the Twin Cities award went to Simonds International of Fitchburg; and Gardner's GFA Federal Credit Union was praised for running an outstanding workplace campaigns.

United Way Youth Venture, a program with more than 1,000 youth who are creating positive change through youth-led initiatives, awarded $1,000 scholarships to three students for outstanding participation in the program:

Lauren Dewey, a senior at Leominster High School and a member of S.M.I.L.E. (SADD Members Involved in Lifestyle Education); Dominic Polcari, a senior from Murdock High School, Winchendon, a member of  Extreme Makeover: Field Edition, Operation Murdock Cares, Wii Care and Sound of Murdock; and Maximin Rocheleau, from Murdock High School, who is also a member of Wii Care.

Man presented the final Profiles Award to Marty Connors of Leominster for serving as this year's campaign chairman.

Before the evening concluded, Man issued a call to action for education volunteers. "As a national movement, United Ways across the country want to recruit one million readers, tutors, and mentors - there is something for everyone with passion and commitment to get things done."

The audience was encouraged to visit United Way Community Builders' website, http://www.uwncm.org/, which has a variety of education volunteer opportunities available.

"As most of you know, we do a lot of work in the area of education through our United Way Youth Venture program. Very simply, volunteers make the difference in schools that succeed," concluded Man.