Centennial celebration: Lycoming County United Way turns 100 | News, Sports, Jobs

KAREN VIBERT-KENNEDY/Sun-Gazette Jennifer Wilson, president of the FCFP of Pennsylvania, and Ron Frick, president of the Lycoming County United Way, right, smile during the Centennial Anniversary press conference on Thursday, complete with a cake and the book containing the minutes of the meetings from 100 years ago.

Relevant. Essential. Gratefully. Excited.


Community leaders countywide shared these adjectives and more Thursday as they celebrated the Lycoming County United Way’s centennial with a host of proclamations, thank-yous and cake.

Ron Frick, LCUW president and CEO, and Michael Pawlick, LCUW board chairman, kicked off the birthday bash with some of the organization’s highlights in history.

The Williamsport Board of Trade — now the chamber — began discussing the idea for a “Federation of Charities” on Nov. 2, 1920.

The committee working on the project called the federation a Community Chest.

The model was based on examples around the country after the formation of a community chest in Denver, Colorado, in 1887, which later became the United Way.

Establishment of the Williamsport Welfare Corp. was unanimously approved on April 14, 1922.

“The nonprofit community is just as relevant and essential today as it was 100 years ago — Families continue to put pressure on organizations with their own limited resources, and increasing demand for services. We are grateful for the first 100 years of this organization, and even more excited about what the next 100 years have to offer,” Frick said.

The United Way and supporters of the United Way also shared their excitement in looking forward to the future.

“Ron and I have been talking about honoring this milestone for quite some time,” Jennifer Wilson, president of the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania said. “We are proud to hold the United Way’s endowment. It is something that we have done for many years.”

“The Board of Trade at that time felt it was necessary to be able to establish something that would provide that institutional support, to be able to make sure that services were provided not only to those organizations, but more importantly, to the individuals that they serve. We all are very supportive in terms of being able to provide not only the resources to make sure that those funds get to the necessary people and the organizations that really Institute and really put into play the necessary services for the community,” said Jason Fink, chamber president.

The City of Williamsport, state Senate and state House of Representatives had representatives present to give thanks and recognize the organization’s landmark.

Mayor Derek Slaughter gave thanks to the past and current members of the organization for their contributions.

“On behalf of the City of Williamsport, I would simply like to say thank you. Thank you to Ron, the organization and all of the folks over these past 100 years for all the jobs done for the betterment of our city, and for our region, and the positive impacts you have made and continue to make on a daily basis, ” said Slaughter.

Joe Hamm also gave thanks while presenting a citation to the organization.

“I’m honored to be here today to celebrate 100 years of The United Way giving back to our community. I look forward to the future and I look forward to the United Way continuing to be a leader. Thank you so much,” state Rep. Joe Hamm, R-Hepburn Township, said.

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