Belmont and United Way Volunteers Team Up for Community Pride Festival and Charity Donation Collection Drive at Shawnee Landingby dcarpenter
If you needed a photo to put next to the word "synergy" in the dictionary, one taken at the Community Pride Festival and Charity Donation Drive held recently at the Townhomes at Shawnee Landing in Wheatfield would do nicely.
The remarkable success of this first-of-its-kind effort, says apartment complex manager Arthur Alexander, is exactly what synergy - the combining of resources to create something greater - is all about.
According to Alexander, Shawnee Landing was one of many community organizations selected to receive assistance on the United Way's annual Day of Caring. He realized, however, that having a large group of enthusiastic volunteers ready to work for a good cause provided the opportunity to benefit more than just the property he oversees for non-profit Belmont Housing Resources for WNY.
"Powered by the combined energies of Shawnee residents, Belmont staff and the 17 outstanding volunteers who joined us from logistics firm Livingston International," Alexander explains, "we were able to create an event that offered participating families both a day of fun and a chance to help people throughout the community by collecting and donating items to the non-profit Community Missions of the Niagara Frontier."
He says that as a result of the generosity of Shawnee's families and others, contributions ranging from books, toys and housewares to appliances, electronics and furniture, as well as large amounts of clothing and personal items for babies, children and adults, have now been passed on to the organization, which provides area residents with a variety of much-needed counseling, outreach, education and other human service programming.
The more than 100 residents and neighbors who turned out for the event were treated to a day-long schedule of activities ranging from treasure hunts, face painting and a hot dog roast to a sidewalk chalk art competition and a live demonstration of law enforcement techniques employed by the Niagara County Sheriff's Department's K-9 Unit presented by Deputies Craig Beiter and Joseph Tortorella and 18 month-old German Shepherd Rocky.
Other entertainment included live music performed free by HiJacked and a Bounce House donated by Yards of Fun. Refreshments and prizes for the event were provided by numerous area businesses, including Budwey's, Tops and Wegman's Supermarkets, Applebee's and Niko's Restaurants, Fantastic Sams Hair Salon and Massage Therapist Amy Yaple.