EXCITING - From left

EXCITING - From left

United Way raises more than $2 million for local agencies

  • Jan. 27, 2016 3:34 p.m.

United Way of Central Alberta hosted their annual Touchdown Breakfast last week to celebrate their 50th year in the community and recognize all of the help from their partners.

In 2015, United Way and its contributors managed to raise a total of $2,264,934 for Central Alberta. Local businesses of Central Alberta were recognized for their high achieving workplace campaigns, and influential community ambassadors were thanked during the event.

“It took a fair bit more work on our part to get to this point, but really it’s the workplace campaigns that got us here,” said CEO Robert Mitchell.

“These campaigns are the backbone of our annual campaigns. We have about 80 per cent of our money coming from those campaigns, so they have done a lot of work. Some of those workplace campaigns have had to reduce employees, and the employees left behind really stepped up.”

The businesses who were addressed at the breakfast included the top three workplace contributors, NOVA Chemicals, DOW/ ME Global and Alberta Health Services.

“We know that DOW/ME Global, NOVA and even Alberta Health Services had losses of employees but really rallied around and raised more money than ever before to make up their shortfall. We’re absolutely thrilled about it, we really are,” Mitchell said.

Other noted businesses included Scotiabank and the Canada Revenue Agency in the category of Community Builder Awards for Sustained Growth and Farm Credit Canada and GE Oil and Gas for the Community Builder Awards in Significant Growth. Stantec received this year’s Welcome Aboard Award.

Mitchell gave his thanks to all the volunteers and donors who had contributed to making the 50th Anniversary Campaign a large success.

“It’s been a bit of a tough year but this achievement really is quite amazing, considering the economy. Obviously we were very nervous about that in trying to raise this much money,” Mitchell said.

“The total is more than we raised in 2013, and we’re going to be able to continue supporting the agencies we currently support. We have committed to three year funding, and we will continue that.”

He acknowledged that 2016 may present some challenges in fundraising due to the poor economic status, however he was confident and hopeful that Central Alberta would come through.

“We have a very community minded population here in Central Alberta who seems to be very focused on helping. We hope that they realize as the economy dips, the needs often go up. Hopefully we can ask people to step up again this coming year and help the community. As we’ve seen today, I think they will,” he said.

“I would say we wanted our 50th year to blow us out of the water but the economy didn’t help us there. However, I think this achievement is really quite significant when you consider the economic impact that we’ve had. It’s been 50 years, and we’ve managed to grow a lot in the last ten years. I just hope the next 10 years can see even more growth.”