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Annual campaign to benefit CAPC’s food pantry

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People who would like to contribute to the Community Action Planning Council of Jefferson County’s annual Jo Oddi Memorial Just a Buck fundraiser but have only a few dollars to spare need not worry: their contribution may be automatically doubled.

That is because Watertown Savings Bank has stepped up again as corporate sponsor of the event and has agreed to match the first $3,500 received through the campaign.

“Automatically, your gift is doubled,” said Dawn M. Cole, agency deputy director. “We have about 300 regulars that we’ve sent out letters to. We’re constantly building our mailing list.”

She said 1,200 additional people will receive campaign support letters within the next week, but the campaign is open to anyone who wishes to contribute. All funds raised go toward the purchase of food for the agency’s food pantry. Some food may be purchased through the Food Bank of Central New York, Syracuse, which is able to purchase food at wholesale cost.

Mrs. Cole said the support from Watertown Savings Bank the past few years has helped the agency provide food for thousands of meals. Last year, the bank provided a match of $2,500.

The annual campaign, which kicked off this week, was named after founder and former CAPC board member Josephine Irene Oddi, who died in November 2008. Since Mrs. Oddi always said it would take just one dollar to make changes, the campaign was named Just a Buck.

Mrs. Cole said all contributions will help the agency receive its $3,500 match and go beyond the minimum $7,000 that could be raised. Last year, the campaign collected more than $8,500.

Mark R. Lavarnway, Watertown Savings Bank CEO and president, said the success of the matching grant for last year’s Just a Buck campaign was proof CAPC is aggressive in recruiting donors.

“These guys try hard and work hard at it,” he said. “The bank has a long history of supporting community events and groups.”

New to the campaign this year are cash donation boxes, which are at White’s Lumber locations at 231 N. Rutland St., Watertown, and 945 James St., Clayton. Mrs. Cole said this is the first time for such a partnership with White’s Lumber for the Just a Buck campaign, but the company has been supportive of the agency in other areas.

From Jan. 1 to May 31, the food pantry distributed five-day supplies of food totaling 53,061 meals for 1,321 households.

To donate, people can drop off cash or a check to CAPC. Checks should be made payable to “CAPC” with “Jo Oddi Memorial Just a Buck fundraiser” in the memo line. Checks also can be mailed to CAPC, 518 Davidson St., Watertown, N.Y. 13601.

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