Utica, NY (WIBX) - The United Way of the Valley and the Greater Utica Area are taking time to thank their supporters for donating to their 2011 Annual Campaign.

United Way Executive Director, Brenda Episcopo, says although the group normally thanks their donors, this time, they wanted to do something special.

"We do send out 'thank you' notes, we call people when gifts come in to let them know that we've received it and we appreciated it," Episcopo said. "But, we really wanted to have the opportunity to set all business aside and just show our appreciation."

She says volunteers blew up balloons, attaching them to mugs and jars filled with candy, for companies supporting the United Way, including Remington Arms and Merrill Lynch.

"Companies we're visiting are truly randomly selected," Episcopo said. "They are small and large, they are for-profit, not-for-profit, colleges as you've heard. So, it's really a good mix of our supporters."

Other volunteers and board members will call 500 of the more than 10,000 contributors to last year's campaign.

Episcopo hopes to continue the event next year, eventually expanding to thanking every donor to the fund.

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