United Way launces campaign 20

United Way of Clarion County campaign ambassadors Gene Burns (front) Alexis and Scott Burns (back from left) gathered to celebrate 50 years of supporting the United Way, a great local cause and plan on continuing this tradition for generations to come.

United Way launches campaign

CLARION United way of Clarion County is celebrating 50 years of serving the community and needs your help to be able to serve Clarion County for many more years to come.

The organization is always looking for people to assist with their mission. They offer several ways that someone can give, advocate, or volunteer.

For more information, contact them by phone at (814) 226-8760 or by email at info@uwclarionco.org.

As United Way of Clarion County approaches a half-century of service, the organization is grateful for the contributions made by so many that helped shape United Way into what it is today.

"Generations of Giving" is not just a catchy slogan; it is a reality. The organization is honored and thankful that United Way is truly a tradition for so many local families.

Burns and Burns Associates, Inc. of Clarion is one such business that contributes to the United Way every year. This tradition has been handed down through the generations from grandparents to parents to children.

Gene Burns was born and raised in Clarion County and spent his entire life here except for 4 years at the University of Pittsburgh and Fort Knox, Kentucky for the Army.

Professionally, he has been working in the insurance and real estate business at Burns and Burns Associates Inc. for over 59 years.

When starting his career, his father told him, "You need to be involved and contribute back to our local community." Gene took this to heart and became active in Jaycee, Chamber of Commerce, Housing Authority, Clarion University Foundation, First Presbyterian Church of Clarion, Industrial Development Authority, and United Way.

Exactly 50 years ago, Gene and others who were active community leaders decided to investigate how they could all become more effective for all the non-profit organizations; thus, United Way of Clarion County was started.

Gene adds that "the organizers' approach was like Harry Truman's quote; It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit."

Growing up in the Clarion area and spending the majority of his adult life working in Clarion, it has been and always will be a special place for Scott Burns.

He has worked for Burns and Burns Associates Inc. for over 30 years. To him, donating to United Way provides a way to help multiple organizations in our local community meet their fundraising needs.

Throughout the year the United Way meets with the local agencies and determines where and how their gifts can be used most effectively. Scott is very proud of what the United Way can do for everyone throughout our community.

He recognizes United Way's unique role in the community and says, "Simply put, as an individual or as an owner of a business, we just don't have the time or resources to understand all the needs and requests that come our way. Donating through the United Way allows us to do that."

For Alexis, growing up in Clarion gave her a strong sense of community. She learned an early lesson from her parents and grandparents about the importance of giving back.

She went to college at the University of Pittsburgh and worked in downtown Pittsburgh for some time before returning to join the family business.

Her time away gave her such a great appreciation for small towns and a sense of community it instills. Alexis hopes to have a family one day and have them grow up in this great community, continuing the Burns' family commitment to philanthropy.

Alexis says that Live United is ingrained in her DNA. It had been instilled in her at a young age that it is much more rewarding to give rather than receive.

To her, United Way represents giving back to individuals and organizations in our community that need it the most.

"United Way is important to our family because my grandpa was a member of the original board. He was instrumental during a time when the community needed him the most. Although nearly five decades have passed, United Way is still a very important part of the community and will always hold a special place in the Burns' family history."

United Way of Clarion County's goal through the years has been to ensure that the organization is strong, healthy, and able to serve people when they need it most.

No matter what Clarion County has been faced with; economic hardships, natural disasters, pandemic; United Way has risen to the occasion, accepted the challenge, and remained steadfast in their duty and commitment to support the health, education, and financial stability needs of each of our neighbors.

United Way of Clarion County is an autonomous, local, non-profit 501(c)3 organization working to create lasting positive changes in people's lives.

Your gift is tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

For more information or if you'd like to make a donation, please visit their website at uwclarionco.org or mail to P.O. Box 207, Clarion, Pa. 16214. Also, you can follow them at facebook.com/UWClarionCo.