The Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Councils 26th Annual May Day Spring Fling fundraiser will be held this Wednesday, May 6th at the Canfield Casino in Saratoga Springs. This evening with dinner and complimentary drinks provided by Longfellows Restaurant and The Olde Bryan Inn (as well as some fabulous silent and live auctions) is the major fundraising event for the Saratoga County EOC. EOC is a not for profit organization that has helped income eligible residents of Saratoga County since 1973 and this event helps raise funds to keep these programs going.
Today we want to give you a more in depth look at what the EOC does for Saratoga County residents with an interview with someone who has been involved with the EOC for many years, Josie Pasciullo.
Josie: I have been involved with Saratoga County EOC since the Council was formulated in the seventies. Not only did I work with the then Welfare Rights Organization, I was president of the Saratoga Springs League of Women Voters at the time and our organization had been part of a consortium of social agencies working with then Supervisor Bobby D’Andrea to establish the much-needed agency. When the time came to elect the Board representatives for the EOC from among the client population, our local league and what was then the Southern Saratoga League cooperated to hold a special election. One of the outcomes of my involvement was that my husband, Bob Pasciullo (now deceased), a longtime advocate for the disadvantaged population, became the first president of EOC and we maintained involvement with the organization for over 40 years. Bob was president several times during the course of EOC’s history. When he died last year, I was honored to be asked to serve out his remaining term on the Board.
Many people are touched by the services of EOC which are directed toward assuring that basic needs of people are met through our core services or by appropriate referrals to other agencies for specific issues not covered by our mission. It is no secret that families are struggling, and when they turn to EOC, while we do not provide direct financial assistance, our dedicated staff works with them to find solutions. EOC receives funding from government and private grants for specific programs, but there are some needs that are not covered by these dedicated funds, so we undertake some outside fundraising activities to support programs such as Thanksgiving baskets, school supplies, a seven day a week lunch service, a Latino advocacy and dress for success programs.
Aside from the direct impact on our customers, I would like our county residents to know that EOC is also an economic engine. SCEOC has an annual budget of approximately $8.6 million. SCEOC employs a workforce of 150 professionals and staff, the majority of whom reside in Saratoga County and spend their earnings throughout the county. In addition to its payroll, SCEOC purchases supplies and services countywide. Approximately 85% per cent of all the products and services purchased by SCEOC are from Saratoga County businesses and providers. A report prepared by Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at State university of New York at Albany, pointed out that the financial impact of each dollar provided by federal, state and local agencies to a community agency such as SCEOC has a ripple effect of $5 to $10 for every dollar the agency attracts. When applying this financial leverage, even at the minimum of $5 for every $1 provided, SCEOC’s economic impact comes to over $40 million annually.
I would encourage everyone to go to our website to learn about the services offered and why we are so vital to the citizens of our community. The more we can help people to gain the skills to attain greater self sufficiency, the stronger our community becomes!
Many thanks to Josie for giving us this interview. Now that you know how vital the Saratoga County EOC is to our community and it's residents, come out and support them at their 26th Annual May Day Spring Fling fundraiser this Wednesday, May 6th at the Canfield Casino in Saratoga Springs. Click here for more information. Didn't get your tickets yet? Don't worry, they will have tickets available at the door!