Laughing children, smiling parents, and engaged agencies were plentiful as the first United Way Family Day took place on Saturday, September 30th on the Nexen Activity Field House at MacDonald Island. Over twelve hundred visitors took in the free family activities that included bouncy castles, face painters, a balloon artist, agency showcase and scavenger hunt, and talent search.
“It was an enormous success,” said Steve Yatauro, 2017 Community Campaign Chair and the person who had the original vision for the event. “Not only did we get a lot of families attending, they were able to learn about our 31 agencies and why meeting our community need goal is so important.”
Visitors were able to go on the Agency Impact Scavenger hunt where they had to match a series of impact facts with the agencies who generated them. This required them to go from booth to booth, asking questions and meeting many of the amazing people who work and volunteer with these organizations. All of those who answered the questions correctly went into a draw for a $500 Red Menu Prize Pack courtesy of Advantage Learning Solutions.
“We would like to make an additional donation to this campaign of one thousand dollars,” said Ron Finch, owner of Advantage Learning Solutions. “We challenge all small businesses to step up and help meet this community need goal.”
“Lots of people participated, including many of the young people who came out,” said Cecilia Mutch, Executive Director. “Our agencies did a marvellous job of talking about how the work that they do is so important to the health and wellbeing of our community.”
Fifteen young people ranging in age from 6 to 17 competed in the Gift in the Giving Talent Search. Their performances ranged from playing a multitude of instruments to singing and dancing.
“We enjoyed a lot of amazing talent today,” said Russell Thomas, Director of Communications and Community Impact. “It must have been an incredibly tough decision for our panel of judges to pick the top three.”
Hip hop dancer Tyrese Gilbert won first place and was able to present a $5,000 donation to the campaign provided by Don Scott McMurray Law Office. Teeba Kourani performed a beautiful acapella song to earn second place and the chance to present a $2,500 donation to the campaign provided by Coldwell Banker Fort McMurray. Samantha Brignall brought a touch of bluegrass to the talent search playing her banjo earning third place and the opportunity to present a donation of $1,250 to the community campaign provided by Birdsong Connections Inc.