To the powerful beat of two drums and two soaring voices, the 2017 Community Campaign officially kicked off earlier this morning. Nicholas Giant and Jimmy Noskiye were on hand to perform the traditional “Welcome Song”, setting the perfect tone to a short program that was hosted at the Golden Years Society, one of 31 United Way partner agencies.
Community leaders, workplace campaign chairs, partner agencies and United Way board members were well represented as Steve Yatauro, Campaign Chair, announced the goal.
“This campaign truly is about all of us,” said Steve. “It is about a collective determination to meet community needs. This morning, I officially announce that our need goal for the 2017 Community Campaign is $7.1 million.”
Tony Mankowski, President of The United Way of Fort McMurray board of directors, shared his confidence in his opening remarks.
“The generosity that has been demonstrated by the community has been unprecedented,” said Tony. “When you think about what people have given in this community and you compare that to other communities across Canada, we are a shining beacon for what people are capable of and what is possible. That’s an amazing story. I have no doubt that will continue as we go forward.”
Set against the backdrop of 100 Faces of United Way, the annual fundraising campaign features a number of workplace campaigns, at companies and organizations, large and small, throughout the region. According to the campaign chair, several initiatives are going to get the message about meeting community needs to more people than ever before.
“The Red Menu campaign is another new offering this year, aimed at expanding our knowledge about these needs,” said Yatauro. “It will also help in meeting the needs by contributing 10 percent of the purchase prices of all items ordered off these menus to the United Way.”
Yatauro acknowledged the leadership of Stu Wigle, as the honourary chair of the Red Menu campaign, and thanked participating outlets including Earls, Boston Pizza, Blue Mountain Bistro and Chocolates and Candlelight.
Another new initiative announced during this morning’s press conference was the first annual United Way Family Day. Slated for September 30th at MacDonald Island, this event will include an agency showcase and a youth talent search.
“It will bring all 31 agencies along with our entire community together to celebrate, inform and give back,” said Yatauro. “There will be family activities including a youth talent show where the top three will get a personal prize and be able to make a donation, provided by sponsors, to our community campaign.”
The United Way Community Campaign runs for a total of 10 weeks. Information and regular updates will be shared on our social media channels and on digital billboards throughout the community.