The United Way of Fort McMurray held its Annual General Meeting on March 29 at The Redpoll Centre. As Tony Mankowski, Board President, reflected on 2016, he noted that the sector was facing major challenges months before the wildfire.
“Resiliency became a very important word as we re-entered our community after the fire,” he said. “The fact is that many of us were already in the resiliency frame of mind because of the economy.”
Mankowski shared additional themes that emerged in 2016 of gratitude, collaboration, change and the sense that THIS IS HOME.
2016 began with some tough decisions for the volunteers on the Community Investment Committee, according to John Evans who chairs the group that makes funding allocation recommendations to the board.
“The 2016 funding cycle was made extra challenging by the changes to our local economy,” he said. “Extra meetings and tough deliberations resulted in a scaled back recommendation.”
Evans also reported on the Fire Recovery Fund, which has invested $1.5 million in the community to date, with an additional $3 million to be invested in the next few years.
“We have also just completed our 2017 funding allocation process,” he said. “I am happy to report that we have 30 returning agencies and one new agency.”
Approximately $3.1 million will be invested in agencies in our “Healthy People, Strong Communities” pillar, $1.1 million in agencies that help people move “From Poverty to Possibility”, and $1.2 million in agencies funded under our “All that Kids Can Be” pillar.
Steve Yatauro, Vice Chair of the 2016 Community Campaign lauded the efforts of the workplace campaign teams, agencies and countless volunteers. He also acknowledged the extraordinary result in what could only be described as a tumultuous year.
“We really can’t express enough gratitude for how this community and region stepped up to help us meet the need,” he said.
In her Executive Director’s report, Cecilia Mutch expressed appreciation to the member agencies for their amazing work in the face of incredible adversity.
“As we look to the future, there is so much unknown,” she said. “For each and every one of us in the community, we have experienced a life altering event. We will go forward in 2017 with gratitude, courage, and hope as we rebuild our community.”
The United Way of Fort McMurray Board of Directors for 2017 include Tony Mankowski (President), John Evans (Vice President and Chair, Community Investment Committee), Steve Yatauro (2017 Community Campaign Chair), Colin Hartigan (Past Community Campaign Chair), Krista Balsom (Chair, Communication Committee), Don Scott (Chair, Community Impact Committee), Caitlin Hanly, Lisa Hilsenteger, Andrea Hine, Bryce Kumka (on leave), Paul Phelan, and Mike Teshima.
The 2016 Annual Report that was released at the AGM can be downloaded by clicking here.