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Jamestown Board of Public Utilities (BPU) major donors and employeees met Wednesday to celebrate a record total raised by the community for the 2016 BPU “Cents for St. Susan’s” campaign.
The BPU fund drive this year reached a new amount of $18,016 raised to benefit St. Susan Center, surpassing the 2015 record total of $17,410.
The amount of money contributed in 2016 brings the cumulative amount raised, in seventeen years of BPU campaigns, to $178,134.55.
Major campaign sponsors, many of whom were on hand for the announcement, included: KeyBank at the $2,000 level; Alfie’s Restaurant, Asplundh, Boyle Motor Sales, Century 21/Turner Brokers, Chautauqua Chemicals Company/Miraclean, DFT Communications, Falconer Printing and Design, Inc., FreedMaxick Accountants, The Legend Group with Lou Deppas, National Fuel, Northwest Savings Bank, Shults Auto Group, Slone-Melhuish Insurance, TJ’s Plumbing & Heating, Valu Hearing Services, Weinberg Financial Group and Wright, Wright & Hampton Attorneys, all at the $500 level. The Jamestown Post-Journal, the Media One Stations and the Jamestown Gazette provided generous media coverage. KeyBank and BPU employee volunteers also held hot dog sales for the drive. Sam’s Club and the Jamestown Cycle Shop allowed the campaign to sell wristbands and collect redeemable cans and bottles at their locations.
“We want to thank our major sponsors as well as all the people in the Greater Jamestown community who contributed funds, provided placement for coin canisters or otherwise volunteered during the campaign,” said Jamestown BPU General manager David L. Leathers. “We are gratified and pleased by the total amount raised.”
“Our campaign resulted from another great team effort,” stated BPU Communications Coordinator Becky Robbins who operated the drive. “We were fortunate to involve generous major sponsors. We had the loyal support of residents and businesses who contributed through the mail, added gifts to BPU bill payments, dropped coins in canisters around the community and even brought in hundreds of redeemable cans and bottles.”
The campaign this year raised $945.65 through contributed redeemable bottles and cans. Canister contributions totaled $2,453.90.
St. Susan Center Executive Director Jeffrey Smith expressed appreciation to the BPU for implementing the annual campaign.
“Each year, St. Susan Center is challenged by hundreds of new visitors to the soup kitchen,” explained Smith. “If it were not for the continued work of the BPU Cents for St. Susan’s campaign and for the many people who assist us all year long in raising funds and contributing food, we would not be able to keep up with the demands we face each day.”
Smith added that 119,831 meals were served at St. Susan Center in 2015 compared to the 125,000 meals anticipated to be served in 2016. In 2009, total meals served were 80,000. Annually, the number of meals steadily rises about 5,000 a meal each year.
The BPU has organized seventeen annual “Cents for St. Susan’s” campaigns which take place from late-April to early July. The soup kitchen is located at 31 Water Street in the Gateway Center Building.