United Way announces co-chairs of annual fundraiser heading into 80th year

  • Lauri Olson-Porter of South Deerfield signs her bidder’s number to a bidding slip at the United Way of Franklin County’s 17th annual auction at Greenfield Community College. RECORDER FILE PHOTO/SHELBY ASHLINE

Recorder Staff
Published: 8/21/2017 5:43:26 PM

GREENFIELD — A newspaper publisher and marketing expert are the new leaders of the United Way of Franklin County’s annual fundraiser to kick off Sept. 22 at the local Chamber of Commerce breakfast.

The year of its 80th anniversary, the United Way looks to raise $800,000 under its new co-chairs, Michael Rifanburg, the publisher of the Greenfield Recorder, and Turners Falls resident Maeve Shaughnessy, a marketing and communications specialist at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital.

Rifanburg has been the Recorder’s publisher since March 2016 and has served on the local United Way’s board of directors since July 2016. He was an active member in his chapter in his previous hometown of Minneapolis, Minn.

A Franklin County native and Turners Falls resident, Shaughnessy is a member of the planning committee for the United Way Franklin County Young Professionals Group. She is also a board member of the Friends of the Greenfield Public Library. She has previously worked for ServiceNet and Baystate Franklin Medical Center.

“What’s nice is we have a younger person and an experienced person working together and she’s incredibly organized and willing to step right in,” United Way Executive Director Sandy Sayers said.

This past year, the United Way raised about $750,000. The money is distributed to partner organizations, helping with various causes such as poverty and hunger.

“We are pushing the envelope to raise more money for our partners to give away to them,” Sayers said. “So that’s the ultimate goal.”

United Way is hoping to see new donors this year and for loyal donors to consider increasing their gifts by 8 percent or by $80, in honor of the 80th anniversary.

You can reach Joshua Solomon at:


413-772-0261, ext. 264


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