Businesses embracing United Way’s mission of ‘neighbors helping neighbors’

Pictured from left include Lisa Christiaansen from Mark’s Pizzeria, Jim Nowaczewski of HeBrews 5:9, Susan Fuller from Della’s Chocolates and Jeremy Van Ameron of Van’s Pit Stop in Clarendon. They are all supporting fundraising efforts of the United Way of Orleans County.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 6 September 2021 at 8:37 am

Nyla Gaylord has a strategy going forward in her new job as director of development and fundraising for United Way of Orleans County.

“Neighbors helping neighbors is what the United Way is all about,” Gaylord said.

Her strategy is to work with small business in the community and ask them to help United Way by selling tickets to their Sept. 25 chicken barbecue.

Nyla Gaylord

Although United Way of Orleans County was responsible for bringing more than a million dollars from grants into the county last year, the agency is still actively pursuing other fundraisers, including the chicken barbecue and the first major fundraising event on Nov. 19 featuring Atlantic City entertainer Jimmy Mazz.

Gaylord also thought asking small businesses to sell chicken barbecue tickets was a good way to introduce herself and get to know them.

United Way is especially excited about a promotion Mark’s Pizzeria in Medina and Albion has agreed to do to support United Way. During the week of Sept. 6 to 12, Mark’s will donate $2 for every pizza sold.

While United Way director Dean Bellack thinks this could result in a substantial donation to United Way, what he said is really important is that everyone in the county will see another partner for United Way.

“We are very happy to support the good work of United Way in helping the community,” said owner Brian Christiaansen.

Jeremy Van Ameron from Van’s Pit Stop in Clarendon echoed Christiaansen’s comment.

“United Way helps out people and families in our community, and I’m happy to help them by selling tickets,” he said. “That’s what we do in Orleans County.”

“I see the way United Way helps everybody, and for me that’s awesome,” said Lynn Burgess, owner of Lynn’s Salon in Albion, who is also selling chicken barbecue tickets.

Other small businesses supporting United Way by selling tickets are Della’s Chocolates in Medina and HeBrews in Albion, whose owner Jim Nowaczewski is planning to open a second location at the former Meggie Moos ice cream parlor on East Center Street by Sept. 15.

Gaylord said it’s important to “be American, buy local and support small businesses.”

“That’s a win-win situation,” she said.

United Way’s first gala featuring Jimmy Mazz was made possible by a donor to United Way. “Blast from the Past” will take place Nov. 19 at Maison Albion, with an elegant dinner catered by Zambistro’s. The evening will also feature silent and live auctions and raffles. Information and tickets are available by visiting

“When our community unites to support United Way, we are ensuring that help is there for us and our neighbors in times of need,” Gaylord said. “The funds we raise will help residents of the county when they need assistance that no government agency can provide.”