On February 25, 2016 at the Edmonton Expo Centre, close to 700 people attended our annual Red Tie Gala and Awards of Distinction.
The evening was filled with awards and entertainment, hosted by CTV’s Stacey Brotzel and Rob Williams. The awards celebrated many outstanding contributions from organizations, individuals and volunteers; but most importantly, called attention to the impact these contributions have toward helping individuals and families living in poverty.
Before announcing the campaign achievement, Campaign Chair, Ruth Kelly, President and CEO of Venture Publishing, paid special tribute to Edmonton Community Foundation(ECF) for providing a generous $1.5 million grant to fund a Matched Leadership Donation Program.
“We wouldn’t have been able to achieve what we did without their generous support and the matching grant,” said Ruth Kelly. “There is no doubt that this program will make an incredible impact for the people of the Capital Region.” She also noted, that even in tough economic times, this grant, which was meant to run over a two-year period, was fully leveraged within four months.
“There is an overwhelming feeling of pride when I think about the response to this call for support – a call that was answered immediately,” said Ted Kouri, Board Chair of the Edmonton Community Foundation. “Your concern and generosity as a community is outstanding.”
Throughout the gala there were musical performances from the top three finalists in the second-ever My United Way Voice contest. For the first time, voting for the contest was open during the event and the winner, GennyP, was announced live. The contest, which launched this past fall, received over 50 entries from local artists who submitted an original track on the topic of poverty.
The evening ended with a bang as outgoing Campaign Chair, Ruth Kelly, announced the 2015 campaign achievement. “As I’m sure you’re aware, in challenging economic times, more families and individuals risk falling into poverty,” Ruth Kelly said. “But I’m honoured to be able to tell you, together, we have raised an incredible $25.3 million!”
United Way was also proud to honour three organizations with the Award of Excellence. Sharing in this prestigious spotlight were: the Provincial Employees’ United Way Campaign ($1.3 million), Enbridge Pipelines ($1.75 million), and PCL Construction ($3 million).