United Way raises $2 million despite challenging year

By Troy Gillard (Twitter: @Troy_Gillard)
February 9, 2018 - 10:51am

In perhaps their most challenging year yet, United Way Central Alberta still managed to surpass two million dollars in fundraising last year.

At their Community Celebration Breakfast Friday morning at the Holiday Inn, the United Way announced that their 52nd campaign in 2017 raised $2,040,126.

That’s down about five per cent from the 2016 campaign which brought in $2,145,640. A record amount of over $2.3 million was raised in 2014.

All things considered, United Way officials are thrilled with how last year’s campaign turned out.

“Thank you all for putting so much heart into making our 2017 campaign a success,” said Ken Johnston, volunteer Campaign Co-Chair and Red Deer City Councillor. “Ultimately the success rests -- especially in this difficult time for our community, on the dedication and contribution of each and every one of you – together.”

Johnston feels the amount of trust the United Way has earned over the years helps them thrive even when times are tough.

“That’s the benefit of the United Way. It’s once central place where you can contribute and then know that there’s a responsible vetting of each agency, each program, and then the money goes to support a problem. It’s a tremendous concept and it’s certainly working in Central Alberta,” he said.

A number of awards were handed out Friday morning to some of the top contributors to the 2017 campaign.

NOVA Chemicals was the top fundraising group once again this year ($789,412) followed by DOW/MEGlobal ($160,878) and Alberta Health Services ($64,148).

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 Red Deer for their new collaborative campaign initiatives, including their first United Way Day on Nov. 15, which raised $7,500.

“United Way has helped support agencies offering critical services to your community when the need is so great,” said Linda Wilson, volunteer Campaign Co-Chair. “And it was with your help we were able to go above and beyond this year.”

United Way Central Alberta will announce its community investments for 2018 in April.

Donation made to Red Deer College's new Alternative Energy Lab

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