United Way shines a spotlight on local community champions

Red Tie Gala Awards of Distinction honour 2017 Campaign volunteers and donors

EDMONTON, AB On Thursday, February 22, more than 700 community members gathered at the Edmonton EXPO Centre for United Way’s annual Red Tie Gala Awards of Distinction, proudly presented by TD. The awards celebrated the many outstanding contributions made by organizations and individuals to United Way’s 2017 fundraising campaign. Please see a list of this year’s award winners below.

Campaign Co-Chairs Carman McNary and Sarah Chan thanked those in attendance for their commitment toward building a poverty-free region.

“You are here tonight because, like us, you care deeply about the people in our community and want to build a better future where no one is held back from their full potential because of poverty,” said McNary. “But you don’t just wish for this to happen – you are making it happen through the action you take as volunteers, fundraisers and advocates. We salute you for your efforts!” 

Special thanks was given to Edmonton Community Foundation which, in celebration of Canada 150, generously provided a matching grant of up to $1.5 million to support United Way’s mission of Creating Pathways Out of Poverty. “I am told that many donors were inspired to give for the first time or give just a little bit more this year because the match allowed them to help even more people,” said Chandra Clarke, Board Chair of Edmonton Community Foundation. “This match literally allowed hundreds of donors to double their impact.”

The gala featured musical performances by the top ten My United Way Voice contest finalists and the announcement of the contest winner. Learn more at www.myunitedwayvoice.ca.

The evening came to a close with the announcement of the 2017 campaign achievement of $26.6 million raised.

“Our campaign total this year was made possible because our entire community came together to make it happen, with contributions from people in all walks of life and every sector of our economy,” said Sarah Chan. “United Way looks like you and it looks like me. And it takes all of us together!” 

United Way was proud to honour three organizations with the Award of Excellence, recognizing workplace campaigns that raised more than $1 million each. Sharing this prestigious spotlight were: The Provincial Employees’ United Way Campaign ($1.29 million), Enbridge ($1.6 million), and PCL Construction ($2.5 million).

It was announced that Andre Corbould, Deputy Minister of Alberta Environment and Parks, will join Sarah Chan as Co-Chair for the 2018 campaign.                     

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.


Awards of Distinction 2017 - List of Winners

Award of Excellence

Provincial Employees’ United Way Campaign


PCL Construction


George Letki Outstanding Volunteer

Lisa Colangelo – TD


Best Leaders of the Way Campaign



Small Business Award

RGO Office Products Edmonton Ltd.


Community Innovation Award

Westmount Junior High School


New Business Award

MK Group of Companies


Rising Star

University of Alberta


Education and Awareness

ATB Financial


Labour Award of Distinction

Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 3550

Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 474

Health Sciences Association of Alberta


Outstanding Canvasser of the Year

Andrew Wheaton - Don Wheaton Chevrolet Buick GMC Cadillac       


Outstanding Committee Member of the Year

Ash Chandra - General Bank of Canada


Employee Campaign Chair of the Year, Public Sector

Patrick Humeniuk - Alberta Culture and Tourism

Jessica Monk – City of Edmonton


Employee Campaign Chair of the Year, Private Sector

Chris Pullen - PCL Construction

Donna Wood - Brock Canada


Campaign Committee of the Year

Alberta Agriculture and Forestry