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The ACS Wig Room

January 31, 2018

Attending the ribbon cutting on Friday, January 19th, pictured left to right: Stan Kocyba, First Source FCU Facilities Manager; Mike Parsons, First Source FCU Chief Executive Officer; Pamela Way, First Source FCU Community Relations Specialist; Ciara Parrish, American Cancer Society Coordinator of Community Support; Melanie Francis, Community Development Manager; Robert Elinskas, American Cancer Society Senior Community Manager.
 

Creating a Welcoming Space

As part of our community outreach and giving, we look to make a direct local impact. Recently we helped renovate a room at our local American Cancer Society. The Cancer Society has an area for those who have begun cancer treatment and are losing their hair, to try on wigs. We were pleased to be able to donate funds and volunteer our time and labor to give this room the attention it needed.

“The ‘wig room’, was in great need of a facelift,” said Ciara Parrish, Coordinator of Community Support for the American Cancer Society. “It’s really tough when reality sets in and you start losing your hair, and the area we had for wigs was not very inviting. This is a time that compassion and comfort is really needed. We are grateful to First Source Federal Credit Union for helping us make this a much warmer and inviting area.”

“Many are not aware of all of our services at the Cancer Society,” Parrish continued. “When patients come in for a wig appointment, we are able to give them one wig free of charge. This can not only be a big savings, it can also make the patient feel a little more like themselves again. Patients can call 1-800-227-2345 to schedule an appointment.”

“We’ve been involved with the American Cancer Society for many years,” said Pamela Way, First Source Community Relations Specialist. “We’ve had teams participate in their Relay for Life and Breast Cancer Walk fundraisers, but we wanted to change things up a bit, and really put our money and time into helping them right here at home, at the source. This renovation directly helps our community member diagnosed with cancer, at one of their most vulnerable times.”

Way added, “We’re fortunate to have a fantastic Facilities Manager at First Source who loves helping out on these kinds of projects. He has a great eye for renovations. We were really happy to be able to help them.”

Giving Smarter

Want to know more about how First Source gives back to our community? 

 

Helping Stevens-Swan Humane Society

October 20, 2017

First Source FCU staff members present a check to Stevens-Swan Humane Society employees.

Community Service 

We have donated more than $5,000 this year to the Stevens-Swan Humane Society (SSHS), through credit union employee and Member fundraising, and corporate sponsorship of the SSHS annual telethon. Along with many generous Members, our employees have donated physical items, such as pet food and blankets, volunteered for the Society’s annual telethon, and participated in the Wiggle-Waggle Walk-a-thon.

First Source has long supported the Stevens-Swan Humane Society and their many services. In addition to sheltering animals in need, they spay/neuter animals, nurse them back to health when needed, and help with pet adoption and burial services.

“We’ve been very involved with the Humane Society for well over a decade,” said Lynn Riley, First Source Member Care Center Manager. “Our staff really gets into fundraising and being a part of the costume contest for the Wiggle Waggle Walk-a-thon. We’re proud to help animals in need, and raise awareness for the shelter.”

Blanche, a dog at Stevens-Swan Humane Society, is shown with her new canine wheelchair.“The support we receive from the community and individuals is what sustains us,” said Nicole Curley, Shelter Services Coordinator for Stevens-Swan Humane Society. “We are not a government funded organization, so businesses like First Source are very important to us and the animals. On top of what they had already done this year, Lynn Riley from First Source was our top fundraiser, so she received a gift card as a thank you. She chose to donate that card back to us, and we were able to help offset costs for a much-needed dog wheelchair for our girl Blanche.”

Blanche is a great example of the many services SSHS provides that community members rarely hear about. She recently came to the shelter with a slipped disk in her back. She had very little feeling in her back legs, but was not in any pain. With no pain and her good spirits, she was a great candidate for a wheelchair. “We are happy to report that Blanche took well to her wheelchair,” added Curley, “and is ready for her forever home.”

Please consider supporting this organization’s efforts to provide comfort, care, and homes for area animals. 

Photo 1: First Source FCU staff members present a check to Stevens-Swan Humane Society.
Photo 2: Humane Society resident Blanche with her new wheelchair.

 

Posted in: animals, community, pets, service, SSHS

Big Changes at the Utica Zoo

June 1, 2017

For many years, the Utica Zoo has been building on their long and rewarding tradition of bringing education and entertainment to the Mohawk Valley and Central New York. Now, they are digging into even bigger plans.

Back in September of 2016, we sponsored the Zoo’s Dream Big Master Plan Unveiling Initiative, where we announced a $60,000 contribution to the Utica Zoo Sinnott Education Center, a facility dedicated to giving attendees a glimpse behind the scenes of their ambassador and education animals. These animals are usually only visible when they travel to school classrooms, fairs, and other events to help people learn about the zoo’s important conservation work, and about the natural world. The Sinnott Center will give us a chance to see these wonderful animals during their training, both before and during their time visiting people outside of the facility.

Preparation for the new center has begun, as demolition of the old structure is completed. Renovations to the new space are beginning, and First Source CEO Mike Parsons joined other community leaders in celebrating the start of work with a ceremonial “shovel-ready” event on the site.

From left to right: Utica Zoo Executive Director Andria Heath, Joan M. Sinnott, PhD, Mayor Robert M. Palmieri, Senator Joe Griffo, First Source Federal Credit Union CEO Mike Parsons

We look forward to seeing the new Sinnott Education Center take shape, along with the other exciting new initiatives at the Utica Zoo in the months and years ahead!

JD’s Story: Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!)

May 8, 2017

First Source had the pleasure of once again participating on the panel of judges for MVCC’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) Investors Presentations.

It was the first time that JD Arrante, a Financial Services Rep at First Source, participated. He enjoyed his experience very much.

JD Shares his story:

It was great to see so many young entrepreneurs speak with passion about business ideas that they had. It was also great that we as a panel were able to help some of these young people start their dreams of business ownership.

The winner of the competition moved on to represent our area in a regional competition, while another competitor was given a scholarship to MVCC. This was one of the largest groups that the program has ever had, and we are hoping for even more participation in next year’s group.

I became involved this year when one of our long-time judges was unable to participate, and I filled their slot. What an awesome experience! I hope to be asked to come back for future competitions.

The team chosen to move on to the regional competition named their presentation, “Blended Feast”. Their idea was to have a bicycle with a blender attached to the back of it. The blender was powered by peddling the bike in place. Everyone in this group is a member of the Utica Community Garden, and that is where they came up with the idea. They’d like to take their bicycle blender to events for interactive activities, e.g. people, called “spinners”, can power their own smoothies. They believe it would be great for Farmer’s Markets and similar events.

Blended Feast is a social-enterprise, youth-established business with the mission to return 100% of profits back into their urban garden program, to continue the cycle of empowering future “spinners”. Blended Feast wants to change the story of food “apartheids”, to enhance nutritional, physical, and mental health in an organic way: gardening. The Blended Feast “spin team” builds awareness while providing a unique, locally sourced product.

Though I am not currently involved in any other community initiatives, I am a proud alumnus of MVCC, and I am very pleased with all that the college does in our community—at both the collegiate level as well as with local middle and high schools—to promote the value of education. 

My favorite part of the whole experience in giving back as a panelist was being able to give a prospective student a scholarship to the college. It really felt great!

 

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.
 

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