Campaign passes halfway mark

By KIRAN MALIK-KHAN, Connect Weekly

Community Campaign chair, Marty Giles (left) receives Suncor’s symbolic cheque of over $2.2 million with Doreen Cole, SVP Oil Sands Maintenance and Reliability at Suncor Energy and United Way of Fort McMurray’s Executive Director Diane Shannon on October 30. SUPPLIED PHOTO

Community Campaign chair, Marty Giles (left) receives Suncor’s symbolic cheque of over $2.2 million with Doreen Cole, SVP Oil Sands Maintenance and Reliability at Suncor Energy and United Way of Fort McMurray’s Executive Director Diane Shannon on October 30. SUPPLIED PHOTO

When the United Way of Fort McMurray invited the community to imagine “That Could be Me,” the group hoped the message would hit home. And, it has. Fewer than two months later following the 2015 campaign kick-off, the United Way has announced a 68 per cent completion of their $8M goal.

The announcement came at the heels of Suncor Energy, Syncrude Canada, and Nexen ULC’s campaign wrap-ups, which collectively garnered over $5.5 million. The group is seeing support from several community groups, social profits, and businesses fundraising to add to the total.

“That Could Be Me,” was a leitmotif in United Way’s official campaign video for this year, created by Wood Buffalo productions. The insightful work asked the community to imagine what everyone had in common, and not just focus on differences, as well as to remember no matter what, “That Could Be Me.”

Russell Thomas, Director of Communications and Community Impact, United Way of Fort McMurray shared the community’s “great generosity” is evident despite the economic downturn.

“Each workplace campaign has been effective in bringing discussions back to the fact that our goal is to meet community needs. Based on the number of organizations asking for United Way funding, the need is greater than ever,” he explained.

“As various campaigns wrap up, and as our official campaign window comes to a close, donations will continue to pour in right to the end of the year. Our campaign team is going to keep working, building awareness and support. The member agencies of the United Way are counting on all of us,” he added.

“With weeks to go in the campaign, we can’t rest easy,” said Diane Shannon, Executive Director, United Way of Fort McMurray in a news release.

“The agencies are counting on us to continue rallying support. We are so grateful to every single person and organization that has stepped up to help us meet community needs. Our reputation as being the most generous community in the world is more than intact; it is stronger than ever.”

Syncrude Canada was the first major oil sands company to announce a campaign total of $2,127,572 on October 29. Suncor followed the next day with a total of $2,269,971. Nexen ULC wrapped up with $117,000.

“Syncrude kicked off this year’s United Way Employee Campaign with a corporate donation of $400,000 to the Fort McMurray United Way campaign on September 10. The campaign raised more than $2.1 million through various employee-driven initiatives including personal contributions, food and merchandise sales, a slo-pitch tournament and fitness challenge. Syncrude is a company comprised of caring and giving people and that was evident again this year as employees donated their time, talent and funds to support this great cause,” said Steve Yatauro, Syncrude’s Vice President, Upgrading and the campaign’s executive sponsor.

“We have a long-standing history of supporting the United Way and I’m proud of how our employees came together in a time when demand for community services is growing.”

Similar sentiments were echoed by Cathy Glover, Director, Community Investment, Suncor.

 

“Once again, our employees in Wood Buffalo raised the bar!” The United Way campaign is an opportunity for employees to impact change and social progress in their communities. Whether it’s through volunteering time, making a financial contribution, or taking part in campaign events, Suncor remains committed to helping to make a difference in the communities where we operate.”

With 26 social profit agencies, and 70 programs to support, the United Way has a goal to “improve lives through education, social innovation, and by engaging our community, giving our agencies the tools to succeed,” as per the official website.

This year’s community campaign officially ends on November 13.

– Connect Weekly –