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Ed, Chris Muransky are 2014 United Way Campaign Chairmen - The Vindicator


The United Way of Youngstown and Mahoning Valley’s 2014 financial-campaign chairmen, Ed and Chris Muransky, introduced as “people you can always count on,” are counting on the people of the Valley to raise $2.6 million this fall for UW-sponsored programs.

The $2.6 million 2014 campaign goal, announced by local United Way President Robert Hannon on Friday at the agency’s 17th annual Day of Caring, is $100,000 higher than the 2013 $2.5 million goal.

The Day of Caring, dedicated to hands-on volunteer experiences throughout the community, also is the official kickoff of the financial campaign.

“I believe in the United Way,” said Chris Muransky.

As a member of the United Way board, she said she knows where the money goes.

“You can be assured when you donate to United Way that it is going to worthwhile programs,” she said, speaking to the nearly 600 volunteers participating in the Day of Caring, who would spend the day cleaning up blight on the city’s North Side or performing tasks for some 21 nonprofit agencies affiliated with United Way.

“I’m so proud of the people here and proud to live in the Mahoning Valley. This place [the Valley] is turning,” said her husband, Ed Muransky, who grew up on Youngstown’s South Side. A successful businessman, he was an all-state tackle at Cardinal Mooney High School, an All-American at the University of Michigan and played three years in the National Football League with the Los Angeles Raiders.

“This is an inspiring morning, to see all of you here to help other people and give them a little faith and hope,” said Jim Tressel, Youngstown State University president.

“So many of you make a difference, and that’s what makes the Mahoning Valley special. Its people are special,” Tressel said.

“Ed and Chris [Muransky] could live anyplace in the world, but they choose to live here. As Ed said, ‘This place is turning.’ There are some things on the horizon,” Tressel said.

As part of the sports-oriented panel of speakers, Eric Wolford, YSU’s head football coach, told the Day of Caring volunteers they have a chance to make a difference in people’s lives.

“That’s what the Mahoning Valley is about ... putting some muscle behind our words,” Wolford said.

Some of the people lending their muscle power to the Day of Caring were about 20 volunteers from Lowe’s stores in Niles and Boardman and students from YSU’s Williamson College of Business Administration.

“It’s not about getting the day off; it’s about helping people,” said Richard Upshire of Niles, a department manager at Lowe’s in Niles and a first-time participant in Day of Caring.

Tom Lyden of Boardman, pursuing a master’s degree in business administration and an employee at the Mahoning County Auditor’s Office, was one of the Williamson group.

Betty Jo Licata , the dean of the business college, explained why the college fielded a Day of Caring team: “Part of being a good business leader is being a good community leader and giving back to make it a better place to live.”

In addition to announcing the $2.6 million goal, Hannon reported that the Pace Setter campaign, made up of 54 companies and partner agencies, through donations and special fund-raising events brought in $730,549.73, or 28 percent the campaign goal.

The 17th annual Day of Caring was one of the largest for the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley, with nearly 600 volunteers from 52 businesses and organizations signed up.

For this year, the United Way teamed up with the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp. and Green Youngstown to revitalize a North Side Youngstown neighborhood. About 275 of the volunteers spent the day in a three-block area between Fifth and Ohio avenues, focusing their efforts on 21 blighted homes on Fairgreen, Lora and Norwood avenues.

The Day of Caring is cosponsored by NYO Property Group and Lowe’s. Other sponsors are State Farm, AIM NationaLease, Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley, Dearing Compressor and Pump, Huntington Bank, Marucci and Gaffney Excavating, Park Vista, Sam’s Club and Simon Roofing.

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