The time is now

Colin Hartigan carries his love for the community everywhere he goes. He is a respected and successful business leader who has called Fort McMurray home since 1986.

“We came up the highway with everything we owned in the car,” he recalled.

His father, Paul, managed the Zellers store in town, and later the Plaza II Mall.

“We were always taught that in order to receive, you must give first.”

His desire to give back to the community has always been present, particularly in his support of youth sport, both as a sponsor and a coach. This year, his give back includes taking on the role of 2016 United Way Community Campaign Chair. It is a tall order, leading a drive to meet $8 million in need, but Colin has risen to the challenge, and is encouraging others to do the same.

Colin has taken a hands-on, personal approach to the Community Campaign, attending as many workplace campaign events as he possibly can. He’s also become a champion for the incredible workplace campaign chairs.

“These men and women are amazing” he said. “They are rock stars – the heart and soul of this campaign.”

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As a longtime resident of Fort McMurray, Colin is using his deep community connections to share the story of United Way, the work of our many member agencies, and The Redpoll Centre.

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“This is such a positive story,” he said. “I want to focus on the wins that these donated dollars create in our community every single day. There is a lot to celebrate.”


Author: Russell Thomas

​Russell is a marketing and communications professional who has spent 20 years in Wood Buffalo working with the OK Radio Group, Keyano College, Arts Council Wood Buffalo, and now with The United Way of Fort McMurray. A regular blogger, Russell's writing can be seen online ( and in multiple publications. His paintings can be seen in homes and businesses throughout the community. Married to Heather and "Papa" to Dylan and Ben, Russell is a passionate spokesperson for United Way.