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February 8, 2017
Every year, the Good News Center in Utica holds a fundraiser called “Dance the Night Away”. Our “celebrity” entrant in this year’s 11th annual event is Ryan Misencik, a Program Analyst at First Source, as well as a husband and dad. In addition to being a three-time participant in the event, Ryan has also been a radio and private DJ for 25 years under different pseudonyms, so he knows a little something about music and dancing!
The Good News Center caught Ryan’s attention four years ago when he was approached to participate as a DJ in the annual dance event. Ryan is very committed to helping our community when he can, so he happily said yes. He enjoyed the event so much that last year, he offered to dance if two other dancers could dance with him. They agreed.
So this year, he’s in, and is the only novice/celebrity dancer who will have two pros dancing along with him. They will be performing the salsa at this year’s event on February 11th at Hart’s Hill Inn.
Ryan is honest about his skills on the dance floor. “I couldn’t dance at all! I had two left feet.” From when he first started in October until now, he has seen significant improvement in his dancing, and gained quite a bit of confidence. He adds with a laugh, “Now, I got some rhythm.”
While he also participates in other charitable activities in the community—like the Ride for Missing Children—Ryan enjoys the mix of fun and fundraising for a great cause that the “Dance the Night Away” event provides.
In addition to staff involvement, First Source also contributes to the Good News Center as part of its Community Giving program.
Ryan’s “Dance the Night Away” training has afforded him the opportunity to meet new people, have new experiences, and learn more about what the Good News Center does in our community by providing marriage and family services.
“If I’m approached about a good cause and a need, I always try to help,” adds Ryan. “It’s important to me to give back to the community.”
His philosophy fits perfectly with ours.
Posted in: charity, community, Dance the Night Away, First Source Federal Credit Union, Good News Center, Herkimer, living smarter, New Hartford, North Utica, Rome, Ryan Misencik, South Utica
February 9, 2016
As part of her support for community causes, our own Amy DeMetri, First Source Vice President of Member Services, has been a big part of “Dancing the Night Away”, an annual fundraiser for The Good News Center in Utica. The photo above is Amy burning up the dance floor as a “celebrity” dancer five years ago. In the fall of 2009, she was invited by Mike Buckley, Executive Director of the Good News Center, to participate in the dance event. After that experience, she joined the board, and has been a board member since, helping promote the event and the Center’s work.
“When I read their mission statement, I saw the First Source mission all over it,” Amy says of her decision to join the board of The Good News Center. “We shared so many of the same values and goals for our community. It was a match!”
The Good News Center focuses on healing and strengthening marriages and families, providing support for those who have lost a loved one, and helping individuals who are separated or going through the pain of divorce.
“Like the Good News Center, at First Source it’s also our mission to improve the quality of life of people in the communities we serve,” Amy adds. “We do that by providing solutions to improve our Members’ financial lives, and the greatest support is often required because of the loss of a loved one, divorce, or similar circumstances.
“I’ve enjoyed my involvement with The Good News Center, the staff and volunteers, and being a part of the impact it has had on our community. It’s a great organization!”
In addition to Amy’s service on the board, First Source has sponsored The Good News Center for the last five years, and purchased tickets for each year’s event.
The 10th annual gala takes place Saturday, February 13th, and includes dinner, dancing, a Sweetheart raffle, and local celebrity dance contest as part of the festivities. All proceeds benefit the Center’s programs for marriage and relationship counseling, in addition to other support programs.
The Good News Center is a non-profit organization, offering their programs at low or no cost to participants. They provide a variety of peer mentoring programs, including a number of programs at no charge, including Grief Survivors, The Third Option, and Separated and Divorce Support. The proceeds from events like Dancing the Night Away allow them to defray the costs of these programs for those who need or want to make use of them. The Center also offers marriage and relationship retreats to strengthen marriages and families.
The Good News Foundation, the funding arm of the organization, was honored as Business of the Year for Non-profits (under 50 employees) by the Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce in 2014. The Foundation was honored for its commitment to the community, longevity, and involvement with the Chamber.
Through her support for the organization, Amy has helped raise the profile of the Center and its activities, and spread the word among the First Source staff and membership families. We join her in wishing good luck to all of this year’s dancers and participants!
Want to support their work? Learn more on their website at thegoodnewscenter.org.
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