Fulmont Community Action Agency honors employees, volunteers
JOHNSTOWN — The celebrated Community Action Month with its 22nd annual celebration.
“Most agencies around the country take time during the month of May to talk about their accomplishments and recognize their donors and partners, so we like to take that time every year,” Executive Director Denis Wilson said Monday.
The night was a celebration of the work, volunteerism and partnerships in and around Fulton and Montgomery counties that contribute to the agency and its programs.
“This is not a fundraiser at all, it’s what I call a ‘friendraiser,'” Wilson said during the free dinner reception at the Holiday Inn. “It’s just a way of recognizing our friends and making friends in the community.”
The agency provides assistance in a variety of areas, including early childhood services, senior transportation, community services like food pantries, and energy services such as making homes more energy efficient and providing weatherization.
Over the course of the evening, Wilson and the FCAA recognized 21 employees, volunteers, donors and sponsors.
“Without the board, the staff and all the volunteers we wouldn’t be where we are today,” Wilson said.
Montgomery County District 3 Legislator Roy Dimond momentarily reversed the focus back onto the FCAA, reading a proclamation recognizing the agency on behalf of county executive Matt Ossenfort and Legislature Chairman Robert Headwell.
“Community Action has helped advocate for limited-income citizens without a voice, so that they may reach for the American dream, replacing despair with opportunity and also helped build and promote economic stability as an essential aspect of enabling and enhancing stronger communities,” Dimond read.
“The community service kind of embodies the same values that the legislature has and that is to help the poor, the elderly and the disabled,” Dimond added.
Wilson turned things back around giving Dimond certificates of appreciation for both the legislature and Ossenfort before continuing to extend his thanks to the attendees.
“We appreciate the support on both ends,” Wilson said. “They provide us with all the office space, I don’t even know how many square feet there are in Amsterdam, utilities, they take care of parking for us, we wouldn’t even be able to function without their support.”
Those recognized ran the gamut from members of the FCAA’s advisory councils, the Northville Rotary that donated $450 for school supplies, Helping Hands that donated $1,000 for the Fort Plain food pantry, to the Sacandaga Chapter Harley Owners Group who donated $1,750 for toys and other goods for children around the holidays and hosted a toy collection box.
Efforts of all sizes were remembered from Brown Transportation Inc. who donated the use of a bus to transport 20 children to a Christmas celebration in Saratoga to Kathy McNulty of the IRS and Fulton Montgomery Community College professor Larry Zuckerman who helped train and coordinate the agency’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.
Under the VITA program, 13 volunteers processed 604 tax returns for eligible community members in the two counties free of charge for a total of $866,000 in tax refunds.
“It really means a lot to the community, it means a lot to us and the IRS,” McNulty said. “Of course we couldn’t do it without your support Denis and Ann [Black] from Fulmont, so we appreciate that and the great partnership that we have.”
After all of the certificates of appreciation were handed out, Wilson thanked everyone once more, inviting them all back in October for the FCAA’s next celebration.
“I’d like to thank everybody that attended, thank our sponsors again, thank all the donors, the volunteers, everybody that makes us successful, it is not just one person or group or just the employees, it is everybody all together putting their trust in us to do a good job,” Wilson said.