United Way celebrates surpassing campaign goal

Celebration was in the air at last week’s United Way Community Spirit Awards in Penticton. 

Nikita Afonso performs one of her original songs for the crowd at last week’s United Way Spirit Awards breakfast at the Ramada Inn and Suites. This year’s total exceeded the campaign goal.

Nikita Afonso performs one of her original songs for the crowd at last week’s United Way Spirit Awards breakfast at the Ramada Inn and Suites. This year’s total exceeded the campaign goal.

Celebration was in the air at last week’s United Way Community Spirit Awards in Penticton. 

The United Way team set a goal of $140,000 for the fall fundraising campaign. That goal was shattered, as the campaign brought in $157,528 — a 21 per cent increase over last year.

“I knew that we had assembled a strong team coming into this campaign.” said 2010 campaign chair Dan Albas.  “The team consensus was that we wanted to have a greater impact this year, so we set a goal of $10,000 higher than last year.  We were absolutely thrilled with how our community responded.

“I can’t stress enough what a difference this makes in individual lives in our community. These funds help the most vulnerable children, adults and seniors in the South Okanagan Similkameen.”

Albas was full of praise for the business community. 

“A record number of workplaces ran workplace campaigns where their employees had the option of contributing a small amount from each paycheque to United Way.  We had eight new workplaces this year, with BMO raising over $6,000 in their first-ever campaign.”

Other award workplace winners were Canada Revenue Agency, RBC Summerland, Veteran Affairs Canada, Scotiabank Penticton, ICBC and Penticton & District Community Resources Society.

United Way also recognized businesses and individuals that gave products, services and time to the campaign.

“Let’s take a moment and think how much support is required in a community-driven campaign like ours,” said Albas.  “Take the media for example, local news organizations donate ad space, write updates on the campaign and celebrate our successes with us.  They are wonderful corporate citizens.” 

Other local businesses that were recognized for their support are Marketplace IGA, Vintage & Vogue, Berry & Smith Trucking, Cannery Trade Centre, Greyback Construction, Maximum Exposure Photography, Morpheus Graphics & Printing, Penticton Ramada, South Okanagan Events Centre and TD Canada Trust.  Dragonfly Pond Family Society vice-chair Katie Bowling was thanked for telling her story to many workplaces.

United Way raises funds for local charities that provide social services in the South Okanagan Similkameen.

To learn more about United Way visit www.unitedwaycso.com or contact Tracy St. Claire at 250-492-2842.