United Way’s campaign exceeds expectations

Organizers behind last year’s United Way fundraising campaign are thrilled with the final tally.

Last week, staff unveiled the dollar amount raised – $2,115,067 – which surpassed the goal of $1.99 million.

“This achievement will allow us to invest more money into Central Alberta, which will change more lives and further support our community needs,” said Robert Mitchell, CEO of the United Way of Central Alberta.

The money raised during the campaign goes directly back into the community and provides consistent funding to over 30 programs and services in Central Alberta.

Over the past 45+ years, United Way of Central Alberta has raised and invested more than $22 million into the community.

“This is a very exciting finale for all the volunteers that have spent the past several months promoting United Way and the work that is already being done in the community.”

Prior to announcing the amount raised, volunteers, donors and businesses were on hand to accept employee participation and campaign achievement awards centered on this year’s campaign as well.

“Without the hundreds of people who are so dedicated to the work United Way does in our community, this achievement would not have been possible. We acknowledge the hard work of everyone involved in this process and thank them for it,” said Buck Buchanan, the campaign’s co-chair.

“Together we are making positive change happen in their community as these funds are invested into the social service sector in Central Alberta, making this a wonderful place to live.”

Councillor Lynne Mulder was presented with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal during the morning announcement at the Golden Circle.

Mulder has been active in the volunteer community since the mid-1990s when she moved here and served as both the vice president of education and president at Red Deer College.

She served on the United Way of Central Alberta’s board of directors from 2000 to 2005 and also served as campaign chair in 1999.

She was also selected to sit on the National Board of United Way of Canada where she represented Alberta for six years.

“I’m extremely honoured. This will certainly go down as one of my proudest moments. To be recognized for your volunteer work is outstanding – I love being a volunteer, so I feel very honoured to day to receive this medal.”

She explained how her father influenced her to be a citizen that knows the importance of giving back to one’s community. “He told me ‘Lynne, if we are able to help – we must’.”

Currently, Mulder sits on the United Way Advisory Committee with a number of other past chairs and community leaders.

For Mulder, volunteering in general has been a literal life-changer.

“I mean that sincerely. It changed my life in terms of looking at the people in our community who give, and who participate and all these volunteers who come forward.

“If there is one thing in my life that I have always wanted to do, it’s to make a difference. I believe that’s what it’s all about,” she said. “I think it really enhances one’s life.”