Bidleman steps up in new role as United Way president

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 15 February 2020 at 11:22 am

Photo by Ginny Kropf: Local businessman George Bidleman, who has been elected president of United Way of Orleans County, discusses his plans for the organization. He is at Orleans Ford in Medina, one of several car dealerships in which he is involved.

MEDINA – George Bidleman is all business when it comes to his new position as president of the board of United Way of Orleans County.

Bidleman has long been a supporter of the local charity, and was a member of the board about 15 years ago. He sees a bright future for the organization, which funds a dozen agencies, organizations or programs in Orleans County.

These organizations include Hospice, ARC of Genesee/Orleans’ Camp Rainbow, the ARC’s Meals on Wheels, 4-H, Community Action, GLOW YMCA, 2-1-1 WNY, GCASA, Senior Citizens of Western Orleans, Christ Church Community Kitchen, Boy Scouts and Genesee/Orleans Ministry of Concern.

Those funded by United Way of Orleans County represent all walks of life – from youth to senior citizens; from those in end-of-life situations to those suffering from addiction; to those needing help with literacy to those receiving other assistance.

Bidleman gave credit to United Way’s Allocation Committee, which he says makes sure money donated goes to the right agencies to help the right people.

“The main reason I support United Way is because it is local,” Bidleman said. “All your money donated stays in the county, unless the donor specifies otherwise.”

His goal as president of the board is to create better awareness and increase local giving.

Bidleman praised United Way’s new director Dean Bellack.

“He brings a lot to the table,” Bidleman said.

After retiring from his company in the summer of 2019, Bellack was asked to join the board. He stepped right in and volunteered to take on the duties of executive director after Kaitlyn Delamarter announced she was leaving to take another position.

Bidleman is a successful businessman with an interest in several dealerships, including Orleans Ford in Medina, Bidleman Chevrolet in Albion and Molye Chevrolet in Honeoye Falls. He said he believes in giving back.

“I want to try and build on previous United Way campaigns,” he said.

He called the United Way board a “very diligent” one. The board members support local community events and projects; they moved their office to a very reasonable space in CRFS’ building; and Bellack offered to work at a minimal salary to keep costs low.

Bidleman wants the public to start looking for several thermometers which he plans to place at strategic locations around the area to keep people informed of the progress of our campaign.

He also urges local companies to consider holding a workplace campaign, if they haven’t already done so.

“I just want to remind everyone, United Way of Orleans County is the only place you can put your money where it all stays local,” Bidleman said.

He reminds donors it is very easy to donate by clicking on United Way’s website, or by simply sending a check to United Way of Orleans County, 231 East Ave., Albion.

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