The 2017 United Way Campaign at Rensselaer contributed a record $110,000 to the United Way of the Greater Capital Region. United Way works to advance the common good by focusing on basic needs, family support, and financial stability, according to the organization.

Funds were raised through a variety of activities and events, including the first annual Rensselaer 5K—Rensselaer Runs United—which netted over $6,700 for the United Way Dial 2-1-1 help line. Other events included a community fair, 50-50 raffles, Dine to Donate at the Hilton Garden Inn, and holiday poinsettia, wreath, and tree sales.

At the United Way campaign conclusion luncheon January 11, President Jackson thanked the volunteers and shared some statistics about he campaign.

“You have accomplished a great deal this year, including persuading 276 fellow employees to donate an average of nearly $360 each to United Way, so that Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute can contribute, as a family, to the Capital Region as a whole—helping to end hunger in our midst, helping people to weather crises and to find the assistance they need, and making sure that the children around us are off to a good start.”

In addition to President Jackson, the 2017 steering committee chairs included Richie Hunter, vice president for strategic communications and external relations, Jacqueline Farmer of the Division of the Chief Information Officer, and Tanya Rautine of the Office for Research. Carly Brackett of the School of Architecture, JoAnn Drost of the Division of the Chief Information Officer, and Denise Elwell of the Office for Research served as campaign coordinators.

The 2017 United Way Campaign Committee members are: Melissa Anderson, Karyl Contois, Ethan Coppenrath, Nicole Durrick, Erika Falle, Tracey Leibach, Lisa Martin, Cindy Novak, Mae Osman, Sherry Perpetua, Bonnie Skarka, Kellie Sprecher, Grace Vega, Sachi Vines, and Brian Woods.

“We could never have accomplished this without the energy, creativity, and commitment of our volunteers,” said President Jackson at the luncheon. “I thank all of you for your tremendous kindness toward our neighbors in need—and, also, for all you have done to burnish the reputation of Rensselaer as a good neighbor. We are very proud of the way you represent the Rensselaer community.”

Rensselaer groups that donated prizes for the fundraising events included the Department of Athletics, Mueller Center, and the Division of Human Resources. In addition, the following area businesses and organizations donated prizes: Applebee’s, Best Western Plus Franklin Square Inn, Cheesecake Factory, Classy Baskets Gift Basket, Domino’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, Hilton Garden Inn Troy, L.L. Bean, Paolo Lombardi’s, Prime, Starbucks, Surroundings Floral, Regal, T&J Handcrafted Soap, Target, Tastefully Simple Sweet Treats, Whole Foods, and Yankee Trails World Travel.

United Way, a worldwide movement in 41 countries and territories, includes nearly 1,200 local organizations in the United States. It advances the common good by focusing on education, income, and health—“the building blocks for a good quality life.”