House of Concern Names Interim Director

Rose Rathbone
Rose Rathbone

The Seneca County House of Concern has named Rose Rathbone as Interim Executive Director. Diane Draheim, who has served as Director of the organization since 2007, has been out on disability and is currently awaiting a heart transplant at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester. Draheim has been named Director Emeritus and will continue to offer her expertise to the organization.

Rathbone retired last December as Executive Director of the Cayuga/Seneca Community Action Program. She has considerable experience with administration of that agency and has worked directly with both Foodlink, the major food source for the House of Concern, in addition to working collaboratively with the House of Concern on many mutual projects. She will be working part-time to help the agency through this transitional period. She has also been an active partner with United Way of Seneca County and has served on the local FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) Board. She has also been active on the VITA (Volunteers Income Tax Assistance) committee and has partnered with many other civic organizations.

“Rose has the ability to see gaps and design programs and initiatives to fill those gaps due to her passionate desire to work with others,” says United Way Executive Director Karen Beals.

A search committee is being formed to recruit a new Executive Director.

At their June Annual meeting, the House of Concern Board also named two new Board members and said farewell to Board member Rev. Eleanor Collinsworth. Collinsworth, pastor of the Seneca Falls United Methodist Church served as the organization’s Treasurer. She will be leaving for a new church post in Bath, NY.

Larry Driscoll, a retired BOCES administrator has joined the Board and will serve on the Buildings and Grounds Committee. Seneca County Chamber of Commerce Membership Development manager Cassandra Harrington will serve on the Board’s Development Committee. Board Member Emily Quill has been named Board Treasurer to replace Collinsworth. Board President Stephen Beals, Vice President Gregg Sarra and Secretary Rev. Leah Ntuala were elected to serve another term in their respective posts.

The House of Concern is a partner agency of United Way of Seneca County. The office is located at 33 State Street in Seneca Falls and operates a food pantry and New Beginnings Thrift Store at 35 State St.. HOC also owns and operated the New Beginnings Boutique at 103 Fall St., Seneca Falls. Proceeds from all House of Concern retail stores go to fund the food pantry. In May, the HOC provided more than 29,000 meals to hungry people in Seneca County.


Challenge Stretches Donations Further

The Seneca County House of Concern will stretch their funds further with support from the 2012 Feinstein Challenge. The fund matches a percentage of all donations up to 1 million dollars on a national basis.

The Seneca County House of Concern will be participating in this challenge again this year, and is hoping to beat their 2011 donation totals.  Last year during the challenge period, the HOC received 3,208 food items and $19,282.25 in donations. Executive Director Diane Draheim is hoping with the help of a supportive community, even more can be raised this year.

The House of Concern has seen a sharp increase in the number of people who need food assistance over the last few months and is currently serving more than 300 families most months. It is difficult to keep the shelves stocked.

To be part of the challenge all you have to do is to indicate that you want your donation to be counted in the Feinstein Challenge total.

This is the 15th consecutive year that Alan Feinstein will divide $1 million among hunger fighting agencies nationwide using it to help them raise funds during March and April.