United Way surpassed $2.6M fundraising goal


By Sean Barron

news@vindy.com

POLAND

Ed Muransky was humbled and overwhelmed during the unveiling of a framed collage capturing his accomplishments as a star football player — and of how he looks today.

“I was told that the secret to life is unselfish giving,” the 55-year-old former Cardinal Mooney High School, Michigan State University and Los Angeles Raiders offensive tackle said during the United Way of Youngstown and Mahoning County’s annual dinner and meeting Tuesday at The Lake Club, 1140 Paulin Road.

The gesture also was a symbol of gratitude for the contributions Muransky and his wife, Chris, made to the campaign last year.

The 2014 campaign brought in $2,640,800 for the agency’s 75 programs. That amount exceeded the goal of $2.6 million and was about $140,000 more than in 2013, noted Bob Hannon, United Way’s president.

In 2014, the agency assisted nearly 200,000 Mahoning Valley residents, in part by establishing the Imagination Library program that brought nearly 21,000 books to children from birth to age 5, Hannon said.

Barbara Sykes, Ohio United Way’s president and chief executive officer, delivered the keynote address.

“Education is the great equalizer when we talk about how we can deal with our communities,” she said.

Sykes also praised the Success After 6 initiative, an effort the local UW plans to launch next fall at the Youngstown Community School. Its two main aims are to increase parental roles in children’s education and help students in kindergarten through grade three improve reading comprehension via tutoring, supplemental programs and after-school support.

Sykes also told the audience her parents stressed the value of a good education, even though her father had only a third-grade education.

Additional remarks were from Mark Wenick, regional president of Talmer Bank and Trust, another United Way partner.

Wenick recalled a UW effort last year in which nearly 6,000 soup cans were collected and donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley. As a result, close to 4,000 area residents benefited, he said.

Also recognized was the UW’s Young Women’s Mentorship program, which provides mentors and role models for sixth-grade girls in Boardman, Liberty Township and Struthers schools.

The top campaign awards went to Altronic LLC, AT&T, Dearing Compressor & Pump Co., Hynes Industries Inc. and General Motors Corp./United Auto Workers Locals 1112 and 1714.

Dave Coy, president and general manager for WKBN, WYFX and WYTV, was named the agency’s 2015 campaign chairman.

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