A Community Celebration Breakfast was held Jan. 25th to announce the results of the United Way’s ‘Show Your Local Love’ campaign. To date, more than $2 million has been brought in. Mark Weber/Red Deer Express

United Way brings in $2 million to date

Annual campaign ‘celebrates the love’ shown in Central Alberta

Local residents and supporters helped the annual United Way shore up more than $2 million in its annual campaign.

The results of the ‘Show Your Local Love’ campaign were announced during the Community Celebration Breakfast held Jan. 25th at the Radisson Hotel.

“You know, we are very happy with it,” said Brett Speight, CEO for the United Way Central Alberta of the campaign’s success. “At this point, we’ve hit the $2 million mark but we still have a handful of campaigns to go so we are hoping to see that number go up,” he added.

“Given the amount of high profile events and things happening in the community, the community really came together and supported us really strongly this year,” he explained.

“It also gave us a good opportunity to look at where we need to evolve and we are really excited because in the coming months we will be announcing our new strategic plan and how we are going to evolve as an organization to make sure we are growing going forward,” he said.

“I’ve been really trying to get out and talk to our partner agencies about what they need from us outside of money. What can we do outside of funding to better support (them)?”

Meanwhile, Speight said this campaign marks the 53rd one held locally.

“We’ve been here for a long time, and because we have those connections with so many different corporate partners and workplaces that run annual campaigns, we have a connection to all of those employees and I think it’s a good way to get the message across of what we do and how we support the community.

“And to also provide an opportunity to learn not only about the United Way but also about the agencies we fund and the different social issues at hand in the community,” he said.

Among those awarded at the breakfast were the top three fundraising contributors – NOVA Chemicals, MEGlobal and Alberta Health Services.

The Rising Star Award also went to Costco for continued growth in fundraising and participation, and the Innovation Award went to Scott Builders for their creative campaign initiatives.

“Because of you, United Way Central Alberta is able to make a positive impact throughout Central Alberta,” said Speight.

“Now it’s time for us to review applications and make the difficult decisions about where to invest the dollars raised during the campaign.”

Community investments for 2019 will be announced in April.

“Thank you all for putting so much heart into making our 2018 campaign a success,” added Ron Sauve, volunteer campaign co-chair.

“We have acknowledged a few of our outstanding workplaces here today, but ultimately the success rests on the local love demonstrated by each and every one of you.”

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