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United Way celebrates 100th anniversary with new leader and new campaign

United Way

It’s a big year for the United Way of Greater Rochester. The organization is being led by a new president and CEO, Jaime Saunders, and is celebrating its 100th anniversary. The United Way is also changing how it conducts its campaign, focusing on – what it calls – a year-round cycle of giving and service.

“Our launch is in January this year,” Saunders said. “Not in March, not in April, because we are now making a turning point for a year-round of service.”

This year, the United Way wants to exceed last year’s goal of $25.4 million. Even though there is no specific goal this year, Saunders believes that switching to a year-round campaign can raise more than $30 million for the Greater Rochester community.

Saunders moves to the United Way after serving as President & CEO of Willow Domestic Violence Center, an agency that was funded in part with money from the United Way. Saunders has only been with the United Way since January 10, but is starting to see the reach the organization has in the region.

“I thought I knew our United Way, but on the inside, there is so much to tell,” Saunders said. “There is so many amazing things that this community makes possible through United Way. And we’ll be sharing those successes and those stories throughout the next 12 months.”

United Way will celebrate it’s 100th anniversary with special events throughout the year, including a birthday cake celebration at all Rochester-area Wegmans stores on April 14 and a birthday bash on April 21 at the Kodak Center Theatre. 

Alex Crichton is host of All Things Considered on WXXI-FM 105.9/AM 1370. Alex delivers local news, weather and traffic reports beginning at 4 p.m. each weekday.