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Local News -

November 29, 2007

On the Bright Side: Local nonprofits recognized for services

By Mark Boshnack

Staff Writer

Holiday festivities will include recognizing the achievements of area nonprofits and small businesses by the Executive Service Corps Otsego-Delaware, an official said.

The volunteer nonprofit group will give out its Celebration of Service Awards from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta. The event is free and open to the public.

This is the first year the awards are being presented. They are named for the organization’s founders, Joann Rasmussen, a Walton resident who founded the Executive Service Corps of Chicago in 1978, and Erna Morgan-McReynolds, a Franklin resident who is the head of the Morgan-McReynolds Group at Smith Barney in Oneonta. Neither woman returned a phone call Wednesday.

"We wanted to honor our clients who used our services in the past year," said Executive Director Lori Solensten on Wednesday. The Oneonta-based organization, serving central New York, has about 80 volunteer professionals who use their expertise to help nonprofits and small businesses for a nominal fee, she said.

Hanford Mills Museum in East Meredith will be receiving the Rasmussen Award, which goes to a nonprofit. Hanford Mills Executive Director Elizabeth Callahan said she was honored to have her organization receive the recognition given the valuable service Executive Service Corps offers.

"It provides the mentoring needed to help an organization deal with its problems," she said.

In the case of Hanford Mills, this included working with people who provided assistance in board development, marketing and promotion, and customer service.

The Morgan-McReynolds Award for a small business is being given to August Lodge in Hartwick Seminary. Steve Stegman owns and operates the business with his wife, Jamie. It opened last summer.

"It would have been very difficult without them," he said.

Staff provided help by working with the couple in preparing the business plan and assisted in the loan process.

"They were always there for us," he said.

State Sen. James Seward, R-Milford, is scheduled to present the awards at 7 p.m.

For more information, call the Corps at 433-1700.

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