Jamestown BPU Announces Start of 22nd Annual Cents for St. Susan’s Campaign

Sponsors and volunteers of the 22nd annual BPU Cents for St. Susan's Fund Drive met on Zoom to announce the start of the 22nd annual campaign. Pictured, left to right, top to bottom: Becky Robbins, BPU; Max Eimiller, Slone-Melhuish Insurance; Kelly Johnson and Dale Robbins, Robbins & Johnson Attorneys; Trenton Lutes, BPU; Jim Roach, Falconer Printing and Design, Inc.; Joelle Washer, Northwest; Bonny Scott-Sleight, St. Susan Center; Stan Puffer & Greg Goodlis, Asplundh; Dave Leathers, BPU; Julie Giaimo, KeyBank; and Cindy McFadden, BPU.

The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities (BPU) announced its twenty-second year of the utility’s annual “Cents for St. Susan’s” campaign, raising funds from the community for St. Susan Center.

The familiar yellow “Cents for St. Susan’s” coin canisters have been placed around the area for individuals to drop in their extra cents, dollars and checks to help the local soup kitchen.

St. Susan Center, 31 Water Street, Jamestown, provides daily meals to guests on the basis of one meal per person per day. Due to Covid Pandemic restrictions last year, the organization began distributing carry-out meals as dining room seating was not permitted.

Despite the Pandemic, St. Susan Center staff overcame numerous challenges and served a record number of 121,004 meals in 2020. This figure compares to 118,370 meals provided in 2019 and 111,851 meals served in 2018.

“The BPU fund drive has helped St. Susan Center for 21 years and we are happy again to assist the organization,” said BPU General Manager Dave Leathers. “We admire and appreciate the work of the soup kitchen, its small staff and its many volunteers. We hope that others in the community recognize the Center’s important work through gifts to this campaign.”

The BPU Cents for St. Susan’s drive has raised $253,335 since 2000 through the big-heartedness of residents and sponsors.

Yellow coin canisters appear throughout the Greater Jamestown Area where local residents can donate to the campaign. Donations also may be mailed to Cents for St. Susan’s, Jamestown BPU, P.O. Box 700, Jamestown, NY. Checks may be written to St. Susan Center indicating that gifts are for “Cents for St. Susan’s”. Redeemable bottles and cans also may be donated at the Southside Redemption Center, Don’s Car Wash and in the BPU Customer Service Office.

“We are fortunate and deeply grateful to the wonderful group of fund sponsors who have committed to help through “Cents for St. Susan’s” already this year,” noted BPU Communications Coordinator Becky Robbins who organizes the drive. “Our list of major donors for 2021 begins with Judy and Steve McAllaster, KeyBank, Chautauqua Chemicals Co. Inc. and Kwik Fill.”

Donors at the $500 level include: Asplundh; Boyles Motor Sales; Century 21/Turner Brokers; Dan and Connie Evans; Falconer Printing & Design, Inc.; Freed Maxick, Accountants; The Jamestown Islamic Society, The Legend Group with Lou Deppas, National Fuel, Northwest, Robbins and Johnson Attorneys, Shults Auto Group, Slone-Melhuish Insurance, Weinberg Financial Group and Wright, Wright and Hampton Attorneys. The Media One Radio Group and the Post Journal are media sponsors.

“For each dollar donated,” continued Robbins, “St. Susan Center can purchase $6 worth of food at Feed More NY, formerly known as the Western New York Food Bank. Think of how much food each dollar donation is worth in food purchases for the soup kitchen!”

“Our utility began “Cents for St. Susan’s” as one way in which we can assist our community,” stated Leathers. “We are proud of the contributions raised over 21 years and we hope that local residents will again come through to support this drive and St. Susan Center.”

“Last year St. Susan Center responded to COVID-19 by changing our service design to serving a meal through the front window of our building to meet hunger head-on,” says Bonny Scott-Sleight, executive director at St. Susan Center. “It is now a year later, and we are still serving the hungry in this manner.”

“With these changes come added expenses of meal prepping and packaging that one can never truly plan for in a budget,” continued Ms. Scott-Sleight. “It is because of the Jamestown BPU Cents for St. Susan, the mentioned fund sponsors and our generous community members, that we have been able to fulfill our mission for over 36 years.”

“Gifts of any size to Cents for St. Susan’s are important and gratefully appreciated,” added Robbins. “Smaller donations placed in coin canisters have an amazing way of adding up into large totals each year.”

Questions about the campaign may be directed to Robbins at 661-1680 or at brobbins@jamestownbpu.com.