“Thank you for your big hearts,” said Floyd Perrier to the United Way champions gathered at the Keyano Recital Theatre for the Community Building Awards held on June 9th, an annual event that celebrates individual, corporate and workplace campaigns who contributed to the Community Campaign.
Perrier, featured in the Seeing Is Believing video about The Salvation Army Community Services Centre that was released last year, shared his story and his gratitude.
“I was down at the bottom,” he said. “If God was on earth, it would be the Salvation Army.”
With resources dwindled down to nothing and with only a grade five education, Perrier reached out for help at the United Way funded Salvation Army Community Centre. He has since turned his life around and recently graduated from Keyano College with his grade 12 equivalency. Floyd began the process of giving back last summer when he volunteered his time and expertise to paint the Mat Program space in the basement of the Salvation Army’s downtown location. He continues to give back.
“I feel a deep calling to do as much as I can to help this community that helped me,” he said.
Perrier received a sustained standing ovation and was referenced a number of times in the conversations that followed with the recipients of the individual awards.
Alyssa Umperville from Enbridge was announced as the winner of the Pillar Award. A United Way volunteer since 2007, she has inspired giving through perseverance and passion.
“My family has been in this region for over a hundred years,” she said. “I want to pass along to my children that giving back is just the right thing to do. Being involved with the United Way is a great way to do that.”
The Cornerstone Award went to Annie Lawley from Syncrude who shared an incredible story of transformation with a group of leaders who did a Day of Caring at the Salvation Army. “At first, they weren’t very happy about having to be there,” she shared. “But when a patron with a hard hat and coveralls asked if he could help, everything changed.”
The Blueprint Award for taking a strategic approach to their United Way campaign was Alex Stark from Shell Albian Sands. He was the executive sponsor of a workplace campaign that aimed to reach 100-percent of their employees.
“I’m proud of the extra effort of our entire team,” he said. “They stepped up to the challenge and initiated changes with enthusiasm and commitment.”
Kara Flynn, Vice President, Government and Public Affairs for Syncrude Canada presented the Maryanne Foundation Award to ATB Financial. She shared the story of how, in 1978, Maryanne went to the bank to secure a personal loan to get the United Way started.
“This was a time when women didn’t get loans,” she said. “The manager of the ATB branch at the time co-signed the loan himself. In that sense, ATB Financial has been with The United Way of Fort McMurray since the very beginning.”
Traci Borer and Joelle Wolverton were also honoured with the first annual Groundbreaker Award for their enthusiasm and commitment to starting a United Way campaign in 2014 within the realty sector.
The President’s Award for the corporation with over one thousand employees that achieved the highest employee participation went to Suncor Energy. Over 50-percent of their employees contributed to the United Way Community Campaign.