United Way celebrates fundraising efforts to help create pathways out of poverty

United Way honours achievements of 2015 Campaign and crowns winner of My United Way Voice contest

EDMONTON, AB – On Thursday, February 25, close to 700 people gathered at the Edmonton Expo Centre for United Way’s annual Red Tie Gala, 2015 Awards of Distinction.  The awards celebrated many outstanding contributions from organizations, individuals and volunteers to this year’s campaign; but most importantly, called attention to the impact these contributions have in our community 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 for providing a generous $1.5 million grant to fund a Matched Leadership Donation Program.  This program is the first of its kind between United Way and the Edmonton Community Foundation and it was brought forward to grow support for Creating Pathways Out of Poverty in our region.

“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.”

The gala featured 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 was announced live at the Red Tie Gala.  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, recognizing campaigns that raised more than $1 million.  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).

About United Way
United Way brings community members together to create pathways out of poverty and make the greatest impact possible on the most pressing social challenges in our community.

To learn more about United Way and its work with more than 50 community partners, please visit myunitedway.ca.

Nancy Critchley, Director, Communications, United Way of the Alberta Capital Region     
Mobile: 780-222-7690
 Email: ncritchley@myunitedway.ca