United Way York Region reaches 53% of $30M goal
Jan. 22, 2015
By Chris Traber
United Way York Region’s annual shindig, an opportunity to honour donors, applaud volunteers and reveal all-important fundraising tallies, was perfectly themed this year.
Dubbed Happy Hour Celebration, the event took place Thursday at a jam-packed Bellagio in Vaughan.
CEO Daniele Zanotti announced United Way was 53 per cent toward its three-year goal to raise $30 million.
At the midpoint of the ambitious In Every Neighbourhood campaign, 209,907 people have received a helping hand, Zanotti, in the theatrical persona of DJ DZ, told the house.
Adding a fun dose of hip hop to the happy hour, Zanotti praised attendees for their efforts in supporting 100 programs through 41 regional social service agencies that collectively make a meaningful difference for one in three York citizens.
“Today sees us halfway through our In Every Neighbourhood campaign, and, while we are not there yet, we continue to make good, steady progress thanks to our corporate and community partners, government agencies, volunteers, and donors,” United Way campaign chairperson and MMM Group CEO Hugo Blasutta said. “We have 18 months to go and many more people still reaching out to United Way-funded agencies for help. Together, we will succeed.”
United Way board chairperson Heather Mason-Wood said the past year has been more challenging than ever before.
“The fundraising landscape is more competitive and we’ve collaborated on a number of fronts to pool resources, with more workplaces and volunteers, all so we could sustain and grow our investment in the community,” she said.
“Our No. 1 priority is and will always be about improving neighbourhoods and the quality of life of York Region residents.”
As part of the festivities, United Way presented a total of 28 Spirit Awards to organizations and individuals who went above and beyond in their support of United Way.