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SUNY Cortland Launches the 2018-19 SEFA Appeal

SUNY Cortland Launches the 2018-19 SEFA Appeal


SUNY Cortland will kick off its 2018-19 State Employees Federated Appeal (SEFA) campaign with a luncheon on Wednesday, Oct. 17, for more than 40 college volunteers and special guests.  

The guest speaker will be Christella Yonta, executive director for United Way for Cortland County. 

SEFA, which is the only authorized fundraising campaign among state workers, is directed by United Way of Cortland County, and unites fundraising efforts for a group of agencies under a common umbrella.

“Campaign donations last year totaled $3,9785.00 from 274 SUNY Cortland employees,” said Heather Drew, who with Pam Schroeder will co-chair this year’s SEFA campaign on campus. “While the total monetary amount is down from the past few years, the number of employees donating remains on par with other years.” Both Drew and Schroeder have co-chaired the campaign for the past two years.

The College will offer incentives for employees who donate, as follows:

  1. Pledges over $104 are entered to win a reserved parking space in a lot closest to the winner’s building.
  2. Pledges of $25 or more are entered to win one of three $25 Auxiliary Services Corporation (ASC) gift cards.
  3. Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) members who donate $25 or more will be eligible for a $50 gift certificate to a local restaurant.

According to Christella Yonta, executive director for the United Way for Cortland County, last year’s United Way donations were allocated to more than 16 health and human service programs at 11 United Way Community Partner Agencies. Donations helped provide aid to victims of violence, support to parenting or pregnancy risk teens, literacy education for adult learners, quality childcare programs and many other essential services here in Cortland County.

SEFA campaigns are also conducted at the State Department of Labor, the Department of Environmental Conservation, the Department of Transportation, the Office of Court Administration and the State Police. Decisions are made locally about which agencies are included and how funds are distributed. The community-based SEFA committee is composed of representatives from state agencies and managers of human service agencies. Pledging takes place once a year.

Participants can choose to have their gifts shared among different organizations within Cortland County, used in another county of their choice or designated for individual local, state, independent or international organizations. Examples of local agencies include the United Way for Cortland County, American Red Cross Cortland County Chapter, Catholic Charities of Cortland County, Child Development Council, Cortland County Child Development Center, Family Counseling Services, the Salvation Army, YWCA of Cortland, and Seven Valleys Health Coalition. Other participating agencies include Lime Hollow Center for Environment and Culture, Madison-Cortland New York State ARC, Racker Centers, SUNY Cortland Child Care Center and the YMCA.

Local members of the Cortland County SEFA Committee include: Gary Evans, SEFA Chair, SUNY Cortland management/confidential employees (MC); Kathleen Burke, SUNY Cortland United University Professions (UUP) employees; Christella Yonta, local SEFA administrator; Ryan Fiddler, SUNY Cortland, UUP; Laurie Klotz, SUNY Cortland, retired; Lois Marshall, NYSDOT, CSEA employees; Julia Maslin, NYS OPWDD, PEF; Lori Porter SUNY Cortland, MC employees; Donna Raymond, NYSEC, CSEA employees.

For more information about SEFA in New York State, visit the SEFA website.