A rich past
Significant dates in United Way of Central New York's history.
1917 – Syracuse Mayor Walter R. Stone and local business leaders organize a “War Chest” campaign effort to benefit local charities and efforts of the American Red Cross overseas. The effort is wildly successful: raising more than $1.1 million, with a goal of $600,000.
1918 – The effort, now unofficially known as the Community Chest, raises more than $2 million, becoming an annual event.
1921 – The Syracuse Community Chest is incorporated as a 501(c)3.
1922 – The first official Community Chest campaign kicks off in Hanover Square, with the first dollar donated by the mayor.
1928 – The Community Chest goal is set at $626,321.
1930 – Irene Farnham Conrad is named the first female managing agent of the Community Chest.
1931 – The Syracuse Community Chest merges with the Syracuse Welfare Council, to be known as the Syracuse Community Chest and Council.
1934 – Five Syracusans are personally invited by Franklin Delano Roosevelt to attend the Mobilization for Human Needs Conference, which will launch nearly 400 Community Chest drives throughout the country.
1937 – The Community Chest goal is set at $450,000.
1941 – The Boy Next Door Community Chest documentary film made by Bill Stanmyre of Syracuse premieres as the curtain-raiser for the CC-USO Campaign.
1942 – The Community Chest reunites with the War Chest for WWII support efforts.
1949 – The campaign goal is $1,293,875.
1953 – The campaign goal is $1,746,214.
1958 – The campaign goal is raised to $2,715,635.
1967 – A Community Chest report finds a lack of equal opportunity in education and employment, and an inadequate public welfare system. The report stresses the need for a coordinated planning agency.
1972 – The Community Chest changes its name to United Way of Central New York.
1975 – The campaign goal is raised to $4 million.
1977 – Harry Honan, former executive director of Catholic Charities, is appointed director of United Way.
1981 – United Way reaches its goal of $6,350,000.
1983 – United Way sets its most ambitious goal yet -- $7 million – and raises $6,609,650.
1989 – United Way exceeds its $8.3 million goal by nearly $18,000.
1996 – United Way sets a new record for growth, raising $8.74 million. The organization moves to its present location at 518 James St., Syracuse.
2003 – Frank Lazarski is named president of United Way.
2006 – United Way sets a goal of $9.5 million.