Jodi Bell and her daughter Tia Fitzpatrick, 13, attended the Community Celebration Breakfast on Friday to talk about the ways that community programs funded by the United Way of Central Alberta have helped their family.

$2 million raised for United Way of Central Alberta

Central Albertans meet the challenge

Central Albertans pulled together during a trying year and raised $2,145,640 during the United Way of Central Alberta’s 2016 fundraising campaign.

The money will help fund about 45 community programs in 2017 in three priority areas — education to help kids, income to move people from poverty, and wellness to build healthy communities.

Campaign co-chair Ken Johnston said Central Albertans should pat themselves on the back.

“It was all about the heart this year. This year the community’s heart was just beating broader and bigger than ever and that’s why we’re so excited to celebrate this today. Just an incredible, incredible year,” Johnston said at the United Way’s Community Celebration Breakfast held at Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites in Gasoline Alley on Friday morning.

Donations fell about $119,000 compared to the 2015 campaign.

But United Way CEO Robert Mitchell said people were still very generous. They realized that during difficult economic times the demand goes up for agencies the United Way supports.

“Our main contributors knew it was going to be a tough year and I think they dug a little deeper. That’s helped the campaign tremendously,” Mitchell said.

Top three fundraisers were NOVA Chemicals with $747,745, DOW/MEGlobal with $141,342, and Alberta Health Services contributed $69,947.

He said the amount raised will allow the United Way to try and maintain support at the same level as last year. Some cutbacks will be necessary, but reserves will help.

“That’s what reserves are for. You dip into them when you need to. This is a year we will need to. Hopefully as the economy picks up, 2017 will be a good year.”

Campaign co-chair Craig Curtis said he knew Central Albertans would raise the money needed to meet the region’s needs.

“New people came in and dropped off cheques, dropped off donations, even when they were smaller ones and that helped bring it up to a total that we were very proud of,” Curtis said.

He said as a result, 1,985 children were supported in after-school programs, 165 people were housed, 384 children had the opportunity to develop skills to be successful, and 8,342 people were assisted to live independently.

“We had over 2,000 provided supports to manage through a crisis, and 994 people were helped to find employment, including 188 immigrants. So there is a broad range of help for every sector of the community,” Curtis said.

Jodi Bell and her daughter Tia Fitzpatrick, 13, spoke at the breakfast about how United Way-funded programs have helped them.

Fitzpatrick said her family is very supportive, but her mentor with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program means a lot to her.

“It’s nice to have someone there for you outside of the house because you know that’s their choice to be there for you,” the teen said.

The Community Celebration Breakfast was presented in partnership with Collins Barrow and Holiday Inn.

Just Posted

At mid-mandate and with extra cash, Liberals to chart fiscal course toward 2019

OTTAWA — The Trudeau government, right at the midpoint of its mandate,… Continue reading

Man killed in collision near Markerville

A 55-year-old man is dead after a collision near Markerville Friday night.… Continue reading

La Loche school shooter carried out plan with ‘stark efficiency:’ Crown

MEADOW LAKE, Sask. — A Saskatchewan judge is weighing whether a teenager… Continue reading

Castor triple-murder trial resumes on Monday

Trial was delayed two weeks for two men accused of killing Castor-area family

Red Deer Royals are sending 1,000 letters to Trudeau

The band must pay for the last 20 per cent of fieldhouse costs

WATCH: A magical Harry Potter weekend in downtown Red Deer

Wizards, witches and muggles are flocking to downtown Red Deer to celebrate… Continue reading

B.C. ice rink where 3 people died remains closed due to safety concerns

FERNIE, B.C. — Residents who were forced from their homes because of… Continue reading

Trudeau condemns appointment of Mugabe as WHO ambassador

EDMONTON — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the appointment of Zimbabwe President… Continue reading

Friday Oct. 21: Winning Lotto Numbers

Friday, October 20, 2017 LOTTO MAX Winning Numbers 1 4 12 27… Continue reading

New northbound Hwy 2 lanes at Gaetz Avenue to open this Sunday

Drivers heading north through Red Deer on Hwy 2 will have a… Continue reading

Sockey Night at Saturday’s Rebels game

United Way Central Alberta is determined to provide warm feet for all… Continue reading

Canadian planet hunter seeking alien life

‘The shifting line of what is crazy’ says Toronto-born astrophysicist

All three victims identified in Fernie arena ammonia leak

Wayne Hornquist and Lloyd Smith were from Fernie and Jason Podloski from Turner Valley, Alta

4 B.C. prisons install body scanners to combat drug smuggling

The scanners are aimed to combat the smuggling of contraband including weapons and drugs

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month