United Way volunteers were honoured during a VIP (Volunteers Inspiring People) Red Carpet Reception at the Sawridge Inn and Conference Centre on Tuesday evening. A significant legacy gift was also announced which brought the campaign total up to $7,625,084, or 95.3 percent of the $8 million goal.
Workplace campaign chairs and volunteers on the Board of Directors and Community Investment Committees were presented with commemorative plaques featuring the 2014 Community Campaign portrait that was taken at the Kick-Off event at MacDonald Island in September.
“Your energy, enthusiasm and belief in the United Way and our Member Agencies have put us in a strong position to achieve our ambitious target of $8 million,” effused Andy Carter, Chair of the 2014 Community Campaign.
The campaign total went up by $50,000 after a surprise legacy gift from the estate of Barb Jewers, the former President of the United Way of Fort McMurray Board of Directors who passed away in September 2013.
“We are so grateful for Barb, her incredible spirit and commitment to the community,” said Diane Shannon, Executive Director. “Her legacy will be felt for generations to come.”
Several hundred guests attended the VIP Red Carpet Reception and were treated to three compositions of “Change Starts Here”, the theme of the United Way Community Campaign. VIPs voted in a silent ballot to determine which song will be produced in 2015 and made into a video. The winner will also receive an audio recording package from Campbell’s Music and Samson Audio.
The winner of the website/app launch contest was also announced. Thanks to winner Candice Crossley, $1,000 from Servus Credit Union will be donated to Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta, a United Way Member Agency.
Community Campaign contributions are expected to continue rolling in until the end of the year, at which time a final total will be announced. With six weeks to go, and lots of donations yet to be tabulated, everyone is optimistic.
“I can tell you that confidence is high that we’ll reach our target,” said Andy Carter.