Celebrating volunteers, a generous community, and community efforts was the focus of the United Way of Seneca County’s 57th Annual Meeting on Tuesday, February 24th at the Holiday InnWaterloo/Seneca Falls. The evening was an opportunity to recognize the Herb Wurstner Volunteers of the Year. The volunteers encompass all sorts of responsibilities across the county. From organizing food drives to assisting those learning to read, these dedicated individuals donated more than 4,200 hours of service to others.Each volunteer was nominated by a funded United Way partner agency. Honored were:o Tom Brown – Seneca County House of Concerno Sandra Gerlach – Safe Harbors of the Finger Lakeso Herb Holden – Seneca Falls Historical Societyo Thomas House – Cayuga/Seneca Community Action Agencyo Bill Judd – Literacy Volunteers of Seneca Countyo Karen McNamara – Seneca Falls Libraryo Chris Sweet – Creative Choices Child Care Centero Anne Turkett – American Red Cross of the Finger LakesTwo special groups of volunteers were lauded for their efforts in building community. Through the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program), tax assistance is provided by IRS trained and certified volunteers free of charge for eligible tax payers. The following VITA volunteers were thanked for their time and talents:o Dana Allen, Melissa Black, Chuck Bosman, Alta Bullivant, Beverly Feindt, Tracey Kent, Bob Kernan, Dick Laude, the late Fred Mellini, Pat Novak, Steve Patsos, Paul Richardson, Sarah Rowe, George Strally, and Linda VanCurenThe Seneca County Literacy Partnership recognized members of the Seneca County Retired Teachers and their support of early literacy and school readiness. With a combined experience of more than 300 years, the retired teachers distributed age-appropriate books and literacy information to Seneca County children and families on an individual basis. They are:o Kay Anderson, Norma Cayward, Marilynn Frank, Kathy Gotham, Carol Lord, Marlene LoTurco, Jane Morehouse, Patty Reed, Barb Rosecrans, and Mary Beth WrightThe Building Bridges Award was given to retiring board member Phyllis Motill. This award pays tribute to the complex work of the United Way and to those unique individuals who help “bridge” the way between partners, people, and the community. Motill has served for 8 years on the board and in her words, “In the South County, I’m considered to be the United Way cheerleader and in the north, I’m the South County cheerleader…so I’m just a cheerleader!”Sue and Menzo Case, the 2015 campaign chairs received thanks for all their efforts in shaping this year’s fall fund drive. The campaign is wrapping up at the end of the month and has garnered more than $340,000. Members of the campaign cabinet were acknowledged for their planning and campaign coordination work. The agency’s new executive director, Karen A. Macier, had an opportunity to greet the organizations’ many supporters and well-wishers. In her remarks, Macier noted that the United Way strives to advance the common good, not just for a few but for the entire community. As the United Way focuses on education, income, and health, she stated that, “The United Way of Seneca County is local, progressive, collaborative, and works to optimize the reach and impact of its partners.”The United Way of Seneca County, a non-profit organization, has been mobilizing communitymembers to become more caring, making Seneca County a better place to live and work. For moreinformation, contact United Way at 315.539.1135 or email email@example.com.