There’s two little words that we use on a daily basis (at least I would hope we all do) and often, we don’t even know we say them because it’s second nature. But sometimes, when you hear those two little words, they are so sincere and so heartfelt, you can actually feel them. This was the case the evening of November 2, 2011 at the Art Gallery of Alberta when a group of United Way’s major donors joined us for a special sponsored recognition reception.
When Nimera Kalmbach and her daughter Sierra were invited to the podium by the event co-hosts, the Honourable A. Anne McLellan and Eric Young, Q.C., they looked like any other invited guests; but when Nimera, holding back tears, spoke, you knew she and her family are very thankful recipients of our community’s support.
“I can’t tell you how grateful we are for you and your support to United Way. To think that each and every day, you wake up and make a conscious decision to help someone in your community. To think that you care enough about others that you chose to make a significant contribution to United Way. You care about your community – you care about us – about my family – thank you.”
Just two little words – but when spoken with the amount of emotion and sincerity as Nimera delivered, they pack some power – and there were a few misty eyes after her heartfelt words. That’s exactly what the evening reception was all about – to say thank you and celebrate community spirit.
Generously and proudly sponsored by four very supportive United Way advocates: Deloitte, Capital Power Corporation, Worley Parsons and CoSyn Technology, the event recognized those who have helped build our community through their support to United Way. If it weren’t for these organizations, we could not have held this special event – so to them, we say our most sincere thanks.
In addition to the Honourable A. Anne McLellan and Eric Young, Q.C; the event was also proudly hosted by Mayor Stephen Mandel. In his address, he brought words of appreciation to the long-time, major donors – because, as he pointed out, these kinds of significant contributions, combined with all other contributions, helps to build a great city.
Guests enjoyed a variety of displays and entertainment, including a photo essay titled The Art of Community Building created by local photographer, Constantine Tanasiuk of Genesis Studio. A full look at this beautiful display of photos will be available in the next printed issue of WE Magazine and online at wemagazine.ca, our sincerest thanks to Constantine for his work and support on this project. Be sure to check out the photos I took from the event on the myunitedway photostream.
None of us can do this work alone – but all of us together, well, we are unstoppable. Thank you, to our sponsors and our donors and supporters, for helping so many people and families - people just like Sierra and her family – live their best life. Change starts here.
 Sierra Kalmbach was born with profound deafness. Undetected until she was nearly two years old, the family struggled to understand what was wrong with their little girl. As she got older, her learning was delayed until they discovered United Way Member Agency, Connect Society. Sierra is now a bright and lively ten-year-old who is fully integrated into a regular school classroom where she does very well in her studies. United Way - All That Kids Can Be