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LaBella in the Community (LINC) – Winter 2023 Roundup


LaBella in the Community (LINC) is our employee-led, grassroots, committee-based service program that organizes volunteer opportunities to build and advance community partnerships. LINC was very busy this winter and we’d like to take a moment to highlight some of the activities the group planned and coordinated throughout the local communities where we live and work.

More details about the organizations that LINC partnered with can be found by clicking the links below. To learn more about what LINC has been up to, keep scrolling!


Share the Joy (formerly Angel Tree)

Organization: Catholic Charities Family and Community Services
Event Date: November 17-December 4, 2023
Event Location: Rochester, NY

Event Description: A group of LaBellans donated 120 gifts to the Share the Joy gift drive, a program run by the Catholic Charities Family and Community Services organization that serves as a vital resource for struggling families during the holidays. This past year, the Share the Joy program helped make the holiday season brighter for over 1,800 individuals!

Eastern Region Holiday Gift-Giving Drives

Organizations: Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Southern Adirondacks, Albany County Adopt-A-Family, and The Chamber Foundation Adopt-A-Family
Event Date: December 2023
Event Location: Glens Falls, Albany, Ballston Spa, and Poughkeepsie, NY

Event Description: Programs like Big Brothers Big Sisters and Adopt-A-Family help make the holidays a special time for local children and families. This past holiday season, LINC representatives from our Glens Falls, Albany, Ballston Spa, and Poughkeepsie offices coordinated holiday gift-giving drives and gift-wrapping parties where LaBellans donated gifts, funds, or their time to bring joy to local families and children. Together, the office holiday gift-giving drives collected over 120 donations!

Toys for Tots

Organization: Marine Corps Reserves
Event Date: December 2023
Event Location: Buffalo, NY

Event Description: The Toys for Tots gift drive collects toy donations for the US Marine Corps Reserve to distribute to underprivileged children in Buffalo, NY, and local surrounding areas. In total, our Buffalo office was able to donate around 50 toys, including board games, dolls, trucks, and arts and crafts materials, to this year’s Toys for Tots program!

Hope for the Holidays

Organization: Cuyahoga County Division of Children and Family Services
Event Date: December 1, 2023
Event Location: Cleveland, OH

Event Description: Hope for the Holidays is the Cuyahoga County Division of Children and Family Services’ annual gift program for children and teens in foster care. This past holiday season, over 120 companies, groups, families, and individuals generously provided gifts for the holidays to over 2,000 kids and teens through the Division’s Hope for the Holidays and Adopt-A-Family programs. In addition to those who gave gifts, the Division of Children and Family Services had over 140 staff and volunteers donate their time, creativity, and caring touch to preparing gift bags, writing cards, and organizing the toy room – no small task!

A team of LaBellans (Kaitlyn Kough, Mackenzie Puskar, Ed Odziemski, Ron Garsteck, Ben Barry, Tareq Masri, Pauline Drake, Deana Sritalapat, and Carl Frey) volunteered to help sort donated toys and create gift bags for foster children and teens through the Hope for the Holidays program this past December. Additionally, employees from our Cleveland office also purchased gifts for donation.

Rochester Polar Plunge

Organization: Special Olympics New York
Event Date: February 4, 2024
Event Location: Rochester, NY

Event Description: The Rochester Polar Plunge is a fundraising event that supports the programs and services of Special Olympics New York, an organization that provides year-round training and competition to over 66,000 athletes and unified partners with intellectual disabilities across over 23 Olympic-style sports. The greater Rochester area supports over 3,500 athletes and hosts over 40 local Special Olympics competitions annually.

Tony Sanganetti, LaBella’s Program Manager for Transmission and Distribution, participated in this year’s Rochester Polar Plunge, which was held at Charlotte Beach in Ontario Beach Park. Overall, the event raised a total of $327,362.

Valentine’s Day at Golisano Children’s Hospital

Organization: Golisano Children’s Hospital
Event Date: February 6, 2024
Event Location: Rochester, NY

Event Description: A group of LaBellans at our Rochester, NY office donated their time and crafting skills to create Valentine’s Day cards for children at the Golisano Children’s Hospital. In total, we made 111 Valentine’s Day cards for the children!

SMPS NEO Rock N’ Bowl

Organization: Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS)
Event Date: February 16, 2024
Event Location: Cleveland, OH

Event Description: LaBella sponsored two teams for this long-running bowling competition/fundraiser benefiting the ACE Mentor Program of Cleveland as well as the Cleveland Food Bank. The event was attended by Matt Metyk, Ed Odziemski, Deana Sritalapat, Kaitlyn Kough, Tareq Masri, Pauline Drake, Ben Barry, and Ron Garsteck.

Engineers Week 2024

Organizations: ASCE Mid-Hudson Branch,  University at Buffalo School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Dutchess Community College, Rochester Museum & Science Center, and Buffalo Museum of Science
Event Date: February 18-24, 2024
Event Location:Wappingers Falls, Buffalo, Rochester, and Poughkeepsie, NY

Event Description:

This year, in support of Engineers week 2024, our engineers used their expertise to inspire and teach the next generation of engineers. Throughout New York, we stepped out into the community to share our knowledge with aspiring engineers of all ages. Listed below are the exciting initiatives we participated in this year!

  • American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Mid-Hudson Branch Engineers Week Dinner Banquet – Wappingers Falls, NY
  • University at Buffalo School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Panel Discussion – Buffalo, NY
  • Buffalo Museum of Science Engineers Week Event – Buffalo, NY
  • Rochester Museum & Science Center Engineers Week Camp – Rochester, NY
  • Dutchess Community College STEM Panel and Networking Event – Poughkeepsie, NY
Click here to learn more about these events

JBX Volleyball Tournament

Organization: Rochester Junior Builders Exchange (in support of Al Sigl Community of Agencies)
Event Date: February 24, 2024
Event Location: Rochester, NY

Event Description: In February 2024, Junior Builders Exchange held its 12th annual JBX Volleyball Tournament at Hot Shots in Rochester, NY. Each year, the volleyball tournament is held to support a different organization selected by Junior Builders Exchange. This year’s event was held in support of the Al Sigl Community of Agencies, a collaborative community network that provides high-quality, cost-effective real estate and business services to a wide range of nonprofit organizations that serve children and adults with special needs.

A total of 26 teams representing 19 different companies competed in this year’s JBX Volleyball Tournament, including two teams comprised of the following LaBellans: Dave Wong, Laura Denlinger, Deshawn Henry, Seth Warren, Mark Potter, Tybarius Harter, Lori Jimenez, Eleni Wechsler, Benjamin Schmidt, Dan Brocht, Katie Burns, Bob Steehler, and Maria Nieto Villamandos.

Check out a short video of event highlights on JBX’s Facebook page by clicking below!

View Video Here

Black History Month Career Day

Organization: New Scotland Elementary School
Event Date: February 27, 2024
Event Location: Albany, NY

Event Description: Sr. Civil Engineer Nicholas Vamvas spent a morning at New Scotland Elementary School in Albany, NY, to speak alongside other parents, family members, and community members at the school’s Black History Month Career Day. Nicholas and the other speakers offered words of wisdom, encouragement, and professional advice to the students.