A very "intimate" celebration took place in the Miner Institute dairy barn on February 19. After successfully surpassing the stated goal of $5000 for the United Way, targeted specifically for homelessness prevention in our region, a team of cow kissers -- United Way of the Adirondack Region President and CEO John Bernardi, Assemblyman D. Billy Jones (D, Chateaugay), University of Vermont Health Network Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital President and COO Michelle LeBeau, Chazy Central Rural School Superintendent and Jr./Sr. High School Principal Scott Osborne, and Northern Insuring Agency, Inc. President and CEO Deena Giltz-McCullough -- held up their end of the bargain and puckered up to 4-year-old Miner Institute Holstein, Alice.
Alice, also known as 3103, is an apt name representing both Alice Miner and the Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE) families that the United Way and its partner agencies in the North Country serve. Alice stood relatively calmly while she was kissed first by Bernardi, who still has fond memories of a cow kissing event with Pepsi the cow in 2015. She seemed mostly unfazed by her admirers until Deena Giltz-McCullough stepped up. Alice actually stepped toward Deena, seeming to willingly accept the incoming smooch!
“United Way’s funding supports programs designed to help those in need in our local community, and the cow kissing event was a fun time for a great cause," said Miner Institute President Rick Grant.
The event drew plenty of public attention as it was covered well in the media, and livestreamed over Facebook. Bernardi coupled the event with a press conference closing out the 2021 campaign season with the positive news that they raised $675,000 surpassing the 2020 fundraising total by $25,000 and solidifying the notion that the North Country is incredibly generous and knows how to pull together, especially during the toughest of times.
The $6,700 raised as part of the Kiss the Cow campaign combined with the $3,946 in employee contributions and funds raised through our annual charity auction at Christmas brings Miner Institute's 2021 campaign total to $10,646.