Pictured (L-R) are Robert Drover, president, Kinsmen Club of Cornwall; Max Keeping, guest speaker; and Ken Heagle, president, Royal Canadian Legion Branch 297.
CORNWALL, Ontario - With a goal of $700,001, the United Way of SD&G kicked off its annual fundraising campaign with a breakfast, on Tuesday morning, at the Royal Canadian Legion.
In attendance were local dignitaries, agency partners, supporters and members of the community. A member of the United Way for the past 20 years, former CJOH news anchor and philanthropist, Max Keeping was the guest speaker.
“United Way is making a difference and you’re a part of that,” said Keeping who commended community for its generosity in the past, even in difficult financial times. “For some reason you always seemed to make that goal. That was a generosity of community that I took to other parts of eastern Ontario to say: ‘Look at what’s happening in Cornwall.’”
A long time champion for children’s causes, Keeping, quoting one of the three pillars on which the campaign is based, “All that kids can be,” spoke about the importance of access to recreation, sport and art in childhood.
“I remind you that poor kids dream too.”
Statistically, across the province, he explained, four out of ten children entering junior kindergarten are not ready to learn, don’t have computers in their homes, and are already far behind the others.
“We need to do something about that. We do that with United Way’s priority on ‘everything a kid can be’.”
Locally, the United Way of SDG supports Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Club, North Glengarry Youth Centre, Counselling and Support Services, Tri-County Literacy, Equipe Psycho-sociale, Meals on Wheels, SDG Developmental Services, Ontario March of Dimes, Canadian Red Cross, Bereaved Families, Canadian Mental Health, Baldwin House, CNIB, Success by Six, and new this year, Beyond 21.
“We fund programs that help kids be all they can be, that help people move from poverty to possibility and then insure healthy people and strong communities,” said last-year’s campaign chair, Peggy Haramis in a message from the board president, Michael Paquette. “As our motto shows ‘Change starts here.’”
During the breakfast, which was sponsored by the Kinsmen Club of Cornwall, Frank Rochett was introduced as the agency’s new executive director, as well as this year’s campaign chair, Nolan Quinn and co-chair, Luc Lacelle.
By the end of the breakfast, $50,000 had already been raised through corporate donations.
Coming up for The United Way is the inaugural Holiday Wine and Cheese fundraiser, on Saturday, November 16, at the Cornwall Civic Complex. For more information, please contact Holly Wilson, at Holly.Wilson@corusent.com.