Changing Lives through the United Way

Nick Seebruch
Changing Lives through the United Way
Representatives from different United Way supported organizations reveal the goal of the United Way's 2017 campaign (Nick Seebruch/ TC Media).

CORNWALL, Ontario – The United Way breakfast kicked off their 2017 campaign season on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017.

Typically, near the end of the breakfast, the United Way reveals a goal for the campaign season. Typically, that number is a dollar amount, this year however, this year, the goal revealed was to change lives.

“Our focus this year isn’t on a target,” said Bill Makinson, who is returning as chair for this year’s campaign. “Our focus is on making a change and changing lives.”

United Way of SD&G Executive Director Lori Greer gave some examples of ways that the United Way has been changing lives in the area.

“All funds raised by the United Way in Cornwall and SD&G, stay in Cornwall and SD&G” she said.

She pointed to how the funding raised by the United Way goes to keep local organizations like Meals on Wheels and mental health programs going.

“This is our why, making lives better,” she said.

Several guests at the United Way breakfast were representatives of organizations that the United Way supports and some of them were invited up to speak to the crowd and explain how their lives had been changed for the better thanks to money raised by the United Way.

One person was Savanah Lapensee, who is a grade 11 high schools student and a participant at the Boys and Girls Club of Cornwall (BGC).

Lapensee explained that before BGC, she was involved in many extra curricular activities, but not many that she was passionate about.

“Boys and Girls Club has taught me to do things that fuel my drive,” she said.

Gerry, a participant at the Hub for Beyond 21 also got up to speak and explained that his life too had been changed for the better thanks to the United Way.

“I wake up looking forward to the day ahead and to meeting a lot of new friends,” said Gerry, who is active with Beyond 21 five days a week.

Some events that will be held in support of the United Way this season include the LCBO water bottle drive. Water bottles can be purchased at the LCBO with the idea of filling the empties with change and donating them to the United Way.

Greer explained that one such bottle donated contained $58 worth of nickels and dimes. The goal for the LCBO this year is to raise over $29, 000 and they have already raised $13, 000 so far. The fundraiser continues until December.

Other upcoming events include Shania Twin at La Maison  on Sept. 30 at the Civic Complex, A spin relay being organized for November by Erika Bryant and the annual and always hotly anticipated United Way Wine & Cheese.

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