Central Albertans raised $2,040,126 to help agencies and programs funded by United Way Central Alberta.
United Way invests in programs that help get to the root causes of complex social issues in an effort to change people’s lives. The annual fundraising campaign encourages workplaces to develop campaigns to raise money.
2017 campaign co-chair Ken Johnston said 2017 was a challenging economic year locally and he couldn’t say enough about the efforts of people in Red Deer and Central Alberta.
“So many companies dug deeper. We asked people to stretch themselves. The bottom line was people realized the need in the community and they stepped forward. It’s just an incredible accomplishment,” said Johnston at Community Celebration Breakfast held at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites in Gasoline Alley on Friday morning.
He said while companies in the energy sector were impacted by the economy, other companies exceeded their fundraising goals, and new contributors like McDonald’s came on board.
The annual campaign raised less money than it has in previous years. In 2016 the campaign raised $2,145,640 and in 2015 $2,264,934 was donated. The most money ever raised was in 2014 when $2,304,062 came in.
Johnston said donate to the United Way to get the biggest bang for their buck.
“That’s the benefit of the United Way, one central place where you can contribute and then know there is a responsible vetting of each agency, each program, and then the money goes forward to solve the problems. It was a tremendous concept and it’s certainly working in Central Alberta.”
Awards were given out at the breakfast to the top three fundraising contributors: NOVA Chemicals, DOW/MEGlobal and Alberta Health Services. The Rising Star award went to Servus Credit Union and INEOS for continued growth in fundraising and participation. The Innovation Award went to McDonald’s for their new collaborative campaign initiatives.