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Giving Back to Our Community

January 3, 2019

2018 A Year in Review  

At First Source we make it part of our mission to give back. In 2018, we helped support our community by giving approximately $300,000, and countless volunteer hours, to help a number of local organizations and thousands of individuals.

Our charitable work does more than simply give a handout; it gives a hand up. In addition to helping many local businesses grow, it provides for basic human needs, a better future, and education. It helps people live smarter, healthier, more independent lives.

It is important to give where we can, get involved, and make a difference to those who need it most. Thank you for helping to support community causes along with us throughout the year. You have truly made an impact.

 Some 2018 highlights include:

  • Started Financial Friday events at the Utica Children’s Museum, and provided financial education for 6,300 students in 77 schools

  • Participated in #GivingTuesday providing an additional $7,000 in funding to local, employee choice charities

  • Matched employee funding to the United Way of Greater Utica, giving over $6,000 to support vital community needs

  • Raised funds for and awareness of The American Cancer Society’s Road to Recovery Program and the American Red Cross’s Sound the Alarm event fueling needed participation

  • Helped Kids Oneida provide Thanksgiving meals for 1,000 families and holiday needs for 10 families, including 30 children

  • Joined the NYS Mentoring program

  • Supported economic development in the greater Utica, Rome, Herkimer and surrounding areas

  • Fundraised and participated in multiple charitable walks

  • Supported our Veterans through Flags for Heroes

  • Worked with the Fibonacci Foundation to support STEAM learning for area youth

  • Supported multiple local humane societies

  • Purchased gym equipment for several local schools to help get and keep our kids healthy, in cooperation with the American Heart Association’s Get Moving campaign

  • Supported the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s educational outreach and prevention initiatives

  • Purchased iPads for the Tilton School at the House of the Good Shepherd, and donated blankets to children in need

  • Helped to finance and sponsor the Compassion Coalition’s new Bargain Grocery facility

  • Helped to send visually impaired children to a special ability summer camp

  • Supported many student and semi-professional athletic training programs

  • Aided in youth scholarship programs
     

Tom Neumann and the Ride for Missing Children

May 30, 2018

Thanks to Riders and Volunteers

Please join us in thanking our community for their involvement in, and support of, The Ride For Missing Children. Tomorrow, Friday, June 1st, is the 2018 Ride For Missing Children. Approximately 500 Riders and 150 Volunteers will hit the road starting early in the morning in Oneida, NY, and arrive in New Hartford that evening, reaching hundreds of school students along the way with a message of safety.

First Source President and CEO Tom Neumann shares why he rides and volunteers to support the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. He helps their work to educate people, support the families of missing children, and raise awareness and funds.



We are proud to be a part of this tremendous cause, and encourage you to support the Ride, and cheer the Riders along on their all-day journey.

See the Ride Route

Posted in: bike, charity, children, NCMEC, ride

A DJ Takes the Dance Floor

February 8, 2017

Dance_Feb2017.jpgEvery year, the Good News Center in Utica holds a fundraiser called “Dance the Night Away”. Our “celebrity” entrant in this year’s 11th annual event is Ryan Misencik, a Program Analyst at First Source, as well as a husband and dad. In addition to being a three-time participant in the event, Ryan has also been a radio and private DJ for 25 years under different pseudonyms, so he knows a little something about music and dancing!

RyanMisencik_crop_HR.jpgThe Good News Center caught Ryan’s attention four years ago when he was approached to participate as a DJ in the annual dance event. Ryan is very committed to helping our community when he can, so he happily said yes. He enjoyed the event so much that last year, he offered to dance if two other dancers could dance with him. They agreed.

So this year, he’s in, and is the only novice/celebrity dancer who will have two pros dancing along with him. They will be performing the salsa at this year’s event on February 11th at Hart’s Hill Inn. 

Ryan is honest about his skills on the dance floor. “I couldn’t dance at all! I had two left feet.” From when he first started in October until now, he has seen significant improvement in his dancing, and gained quite a bit of confidence. He adds with a laugh, “Now, I got some rhythm.”  

While he also participates in other charitable activities in the community—like the Ride for Missing Children—Ryan enjoys the mix of fun and fundraising for a great cause that the “Dance the Night Away” event provides. 

In addition to staff involvement, First Source also contributes to the Good News Center as part of its Community Giving program. 

Ryan’s “Dance the Night Away” training has afforded him the opportunity to meet new people, have new experiences, and learn more about what the Good News Center does in our community by providing marriage and family services.

“If I’m approached about a good cause and a need, I always try to help,” adds Ryan. “It’s important to me to give back to the community.” 

His philosophy fits perfectly with ours.
 

My Ride for Missing Children

May 24, 2016

Child signs Tom Neumann's Ride jersey

First Source is privileged to have the ability to support many worthy organizations and causes in our area. One that we support and participate in year after year is The Ride For Missing Children, and I am honored to be personally involved.

It is a cause that is near and dear to so many, due to its beginnings right here in our community. A tragedy, turned into a positive and empowering movement. The Ride touches on many issues that are important to First Source, including education, prevention, positive action, and support. It also touches many diverse groups, including children, educators, parents, and law enforcement.

Once it was decided that First Source was going to be involved in 2008, I knew I wanted to play a bigger role personally. Starting as a Rider, I was thrilled to join a truly amazing group of dedicated and caring people. I was proud to get to know them and call them family. As the years progressed and I became more engaged year after year, I felt a stronger connection, and the ride took on a deeper and more personal meaning. I got to know family members of missing children, the teachers and kids at the schools, our local law enforcement, NCMEC Staff members and volunteers…countless people giving of themselves, dedicated to a common cause.

An opportunity came for me to volunteer and share my expertise and skills on the Ride’s Steering Committee. It felt good to provide additional assistance in a different capacity. I still Ride and volunteer, and I am really looking forward to this year’s milestone 20th Anniversary Ride on Friday, June 3rd. This will be my 7th year. As they say, may the wind be at our backs and the sun on our face, as we all do our part to make our children safer…one child at a time.

– Tom Neumann, Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer

Posted in: Blog, Posts

A Diamond Opportunity

February 25, 2016

Ride for Missing Children Bike riders

This is First Source’s 7th year of involvement with the Ride For Missing Children, and we’re making a bigger commitment than ever before.

This year, the Ride For Missing Children-CNY (“The Ride”) celebrates 20 years of raising awareness, hope, and bringing missing children home to safety. From a few dedicated riders 20 years ago to an event with hundreds of riders, thousands of schoolchildren, countless family and friends cheering along the route, and thousands of financial supporters, The Ride has become a seminal event in our community.

Recent abductions in the news make the mission of the Ride even more poignant: we can’t rest in our efforts to keep our children safe. To that end, this year, First Source is the Corporate Diamond Sponsor of The Ride. In addition to financial support, we currently have 11 Riders and 9 Volunteers participating, and encourage volunteerism and donations in all our branches. Our employees are generous with their time; they also helped staff the donation processing committee, implemented a new registration database, headed all marketing and public relations, helped with food/provisions and gear bag loading/unloading, and chaired the finance and bulletin committees.

So much of our mission is built around education, and The Ride’s educational programs year round affect children, teens, students, educators, parents, law enforcement, and first responders. Along with its messages about abduction prevention, recovery, hope, and healing, the organization teaches people in the community about personal and bike safety. We’re proud to support all these efforts.

If you support their mission, please help in any way you can. Ride, pledge, volunteer, cheer, add your voice. Anything you can do helps the cause, and makes our community stronger.

To learn more or register to ride or volunteer, please visit TheRideForMissingChildren.com.

 

Posted in: Blog, Posts

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