United We're Strong

Dave Mowat is President and CEO, ATB Financial and 2012 United Way Campaign Chair

September always has that feeling of new beginnings.  Even though the leaves are changing and falling, there’s so much that starts again – starts fresh, in September.

For me, this past Tuesday had just that feel to it – new – fresh – exciting and full of hope.  It was the official United Way Campaign Kick Off and was the first time I stood before the crowd of supporters, on my own in front of more than 800 guests, as the official volunteer Campaign Chair for 2012.  

So, here it is - a new campaign season, now underway but more than that, it’s the symbolic action of a new start for so many people in our community.  The event itself was packed with video elements, dignitary greetings and a special musical performance from Dan Davidson, lead vocalist for local band, Tupelo Honey.  Davidson is one of the featured artists in the brand new 2012 campaign video – another inspiring and well produced music video from the crew at United Way and PlanIt Sound.  Dan sings a song that is part of the video mash-up and it’s called, Just Believe.  If you haven’t yet seen the video, I would encourage you to have a look - it entertains, inspires and tells a story of despair, hope and success – all in less than five minutes.

However, there was one particular person taking part in the event who left me feeling inspired, and I will say again, hopeful.  Pamela Spurvey, keynote speaker is a woman with a success story – success that became hers after a heck of a fight.  She is a woman who faces the obstacles in life head-on.   

A recovered drug addict, Pam endured a childhood of mental and physical abuse, neglect and poverty.   Like a phoenix, she rose from her challenges and not only overcame them, but has now gone on to give back to the community who, as she puts it, “so freely gave to me when I needed it most.”  Pam also went on to point out that together we are stronger, and together, we can make change happen – just like the name of the 2012 video, United We’re Strong.  

I hope you will join me and support the annual United Way campaign – together, we will aim to exceed the $23 million goal we announced at the kick off.  If I know this community, and I think I do – we will do just that.  

Indeed, Pamela, we are stronger together and change does start with us.  

United We’re Strong – 2012 Campaign Video

Check out Pam’s story here.