Niagara Gazette

October 29, 2012

United Way gears up for the holidays

Staff reports
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — United Way of Greater Niagara officials are in full-blown holiday mode with two special holiday-themed events set to take place in the coming weeks.

At 7 p.m. Saturday, United Way will celebrate the sixth annual United Way Gala, a fundraiser to support the organization’s efforts. The gala will take place at the Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel. Entertainment will be provided by Penelope and a silent auction featuring hundreds of baskets and other premier items will be up for bid. Tickets for the gala are still available.

In addition, the annual Sugarplum Fairy Breakfast will be held at 10 a.m. Nov. 10 at the  Culinary Institute of Niagara Falls, 28 Old Falls St. Children in attendance will receive a Barbie doll, breakfast, and an opportunity to dance with members of the Greater Niagara Ballet Company, as well as a chance to win a special Holiday Barbie doll.

Tickets for the breakfast are $15 per child and $20 per adult, or $45 for two children and one adult. Proceeds from the event will benefit United Way of Greater Niagara and the Greater Niagara Ballet Company.

“We know what a special time of year the holidays are and we want to help make them more special for the people and families of Niagara County,” said Carol Houwaart-Diez, president of the United Way of Greater Niagara. “Loved ones and time-honored traditions help make the holidays memorable. We hope that events like the gala, the Sugarplum Fairy breakfast, the annual Holiday Lights of Niagara Trail and others will continue to be part of family traditions for years to come.”

The organization’s annual Community Care Campaign has just under three weeks remaining and Houwaart-Diez reports that United Way of Greater Niagara has achieved approximately one-third of its $1.3 million goal for 2012.

“Obviously, the next few weeks will be critically important,” she said. “Many of the corporate campaigns are still taking place throughout the area. The people of Niagara County have been tremendously supportive of United Way for many years, and we are confident they will once again support our efforts to help those friends and neighbors who need somewhere to turn.”

Information on the Community Care Campaign and various United Way events can be found online at or by calling United Way of Greater Niagara at  216-4582.

A volunteer-driven agency, United Way of Greater Niagara provides and supports numerous programs throughout Niagara County that focus on making the community healthier and stronger. Each year, more than 80,000 people benefit from nearly 75 programs which United Way supports across the county.