I like to start my mornings with great energy and spirit - and sometimes that means with more than 500 of United Way’s closest friends. This morning was one of those mornings as supporters came together to celebrate the mid-campaign successes of this year’s United Way campaign – they are all, in my mind, Champions of Change.
With CTV hosts, Josh Classen and Erin Isfeld, the Westin Hotel Ballroom was the venue for the annual United Way Breakfast of Champions. The morning featured everything from specially decorated tables, costumed characters, piggybank noise-makers and a fun photo booth to foot-tapping and laughter-filled videos, along with some pretty inspiring campaign accomplishments. The event was ushered out by a live performance from the “Change Starts Here” video crew and the crowd was on their feet clapping and singing along. (By the way, we’re close to 10,000 views on this cool video – thanks for that and please keep it going!)
If you asked anyone there, the campaign highlights were all memorable, but there is one in particular that will stand out in our minds forever and, from the standing ovation, it sure seemed to be a crowd favourite, too. No, it wasn’t the announcement by Campaign Chair Dr. Mike Percy that we are at 52.8 per cent of our goal ($11,358,607.00) – although we’re pretty pumped about that because we’re on track to achieve our goal of $21.5 million. The most-talked about highlight of the morning was the announcement that came from Jason Idler, 2011 PCL Employee Campaign Chair, that PCL had achieved their very ambitious goal of $2 million – in fact, they even squeaked by it a little bit.
This news was received by the audience with an overwhelming round of applause, piggy-bank noise makers raised in celebration and, as mentioned, a standing ovation. This is a significant milestone achievement and the first-ever in the 70-year history of United Way of the Alberta Capital Region. It is, quite simply, the largest single donation by a corporation in our region. Ever. Wow.
What is more impressive is this; in addition to the individual donations made by PCLers, the company provides a corporate match - PCL is employee owned. So, not only do PCLers give personally, they stand behind their business contribution. And yes, it is their business. That’s because they believe that a safe, healthy and supportive community is everyone’s business. It’s the culture at PCL and they are great examples of the kind of people we have living here in the Alberta Capital Region.
“This year’s fundraising target was very ambitious, and reaching the $2 million mark in donations demonstrates our can-do attitude and employee commitment to supporting our community through the valuable services offered by the United Way and its partners,” said Paul Douglas, PCL president and CEO.
Jason Idler, PCL Employee Campaign Chair was beaming with pride this morning as his well-organized team of PCL campaign volunteers took the stage to reveal their total. It’s obvious that this outstanding contribution means a lot not only to them, but to the community at large – gotta love PCLers – they Come2ogether for community in a really big way.