FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

United Way Honours Supporters & Reveals $5.7 Million Raised to Strengthen Greater Victoria Community

 VICTORIA, BC – A crowd of over 250 supporters gathered at United Way’s SpiritFest last night to celebrate the power of community coming together to change lives in Greater Victoria. Along with the announcement of a $5.7 Million achievement from the 2014 community campaign, the event showcased the nominees and finalists from United Way’s annual Spirit Awards.

The award categories highlighted a range of companies, individuals and volunteers that helped make United Way’s campaign such a success. The awards included 11 categories, 61 nominees and 30 finalists. The award winners will be unveiled from among the finalists at the Spirit Awards Luncheon on April 21 at the Fairmont Empress Hotel.

“The citizens of Greater Victoria have stepped up yet again and demonstrated their commitment to building a strong, caring and inclusive community,” says Patricia Jelinski, CEO at United Way. “There is a significant need for a strong and stable network of social services in our community. At United Way we are committed to meeting the needs of our most vulnerable citizens today while working to address the root causes of social issues and create sustainable change for the future. It is a privilege to come together with so many community leaders and supporters from business, labour, government and the non-profit sector to take on this challenge.”

Every year thousands join United Way’s campaign to create positive change within their community. This year’s campaign included over 8,000 donors, 500 worksites and hundreds of dedicated volunteers.

 United Way’s 2014 campaign highlights include:

1.     Utilizing new technology – United Way piloted e-pledge in select workplaces and will continue to expand this option to businesses and individuals donors in 2015.

2.     New challenge cup – BMO, RBC, CIBC, TD Canada Trust and Island Savings participated in the first annual Financial Challenge. This friendly competition was based on employee participation and engagement opportunities with United Way.

3.     Engineering sector participation expands – New companies from the engineering sector came on board to compete in the first annual Popsicle Stick Playground Challenge to raise funds for kids and families in Greater Victoria.

4.     Labour works hard for United Way – When it comes to labour participation the total revenue raised by unionized workplaces is an impressive $1.968 Million which is 53% of the total revenue raised by workplaces.

5.     $62,000 was offered by two generous donors for a matching incentive to motivate Individual Giving donors (outside of workplace) to increase their leadership donations.

“I’d like to thank our donors, Campaign Cabinet and staff for their enthusiasm and hard work in support of the United Way and our community. They should feel very proud of raising $5.7 Million as this contribution will make a difference in the lives of our neighbors, friends, colleagues, and those most in need in Greater Victoria,” says Rebecca Grant, 2014 Campaign Cabinet Chair.

The 2014 community campaign officially wraps up on March 31, 2015, however the final celebrations and recognition will take place at United Way’s Spirit Awards Luncheon on April 21 from 11:30am-1pm at the Fairmont Empress Hotel. Tickets can be purchased at uwspiritawards.eventbrite.ca

View Nominees & Finalists

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For more information, please contact:

Heather Skydt
Director, Marketing and Communications
United Way
Work: (250) 984-2269
Email: heather@uwgv.ca

Patricia Jelinski, CEO
United Way
Work: (250) 220-7364
Cell: (250) 217-8698
Email: patricia.jelinski@uwgv.ca

BACKGROUND: United Way is a year-round fundraiser and community funder working to address the immediate needs of our most vulnerable citizens, while also creating long-term strategies to target the root causes of social issues. We have a strong history in Greater Victoria – over 78 years and $149 million dollars raised. As the region’s largest non-government funder, we are one of the few organizations to provide multi-year funding to ensure we support a strong and stable network of services. We work collaboratively, in a “united way” bringing business, labour, government, the non-profit sector and donors together to build a strong and caring community.