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United Way column for July 16, 2022

Campaign activity is picking up for the United Way of Sarnia-Lambton, as the fall campaign inches closer.
“I don’t want to be a stick in the mud, talking about the fall already, just as we are kicking off our summer vacations and barbecues, but the reality is more and more activity is starting to take place in preparation for the September campaign kick off, “said 2022 Campaign Chair Vicky Ducharme.
Ducharme was referring to a number of meetings that have already taken place in the manufacturing sector of our community, as well as the direct mail that has started to land in local mailboxes.
“I am pleased to say that we’ve already raised close to 12% of last year’s total campaign achievement, and we’re hoping that that momentum will carry forward, “said Ducharme.
Special thanks to Refined Fool on London Road in Sarnia, and all the patrons who came out to support our Charity Take-over Night.  We always enjoy being selected the charity of the month at Refined Fool and every year, we have fun while we raise funds for the annual campaign.
“We have a number of events that we are very close to announcing, but we’re just waiting for some final details to come, so I invite the community to not only keep an eye on United Way events in local media, but follow us on Facebook and other social media platforms, and of course visit the United Way website at
Returning this summer, the United Way is partnering with Top Shelf Canada, makers of the very popular hot sauce, Front Street Heat whereby Top Shelf Canada will donate one dollar for every bottle of hot sauce sold throughout Sarnia and Lambton County.
“We are so delighted and appreciative of Top Shelf Canada, for bringing back the Buck a Bottle campaign to support the United Way. The money raised from the hot sauce will be earmarked for United Way of Sarnia-Lambton and its homelessness initiatives, as we tackle poverty in our community, “said Ducharme.
In 2019, Top Shelf Canada teamed up with the United Way movement all across Canada and raised over $10,000 for United Way’s from coast to coast. More than $2000 of which was raised in Sarnia-Lambton.  This summer the United Way will receive, one dollar from every bottle of hot sauce sold which includes both the original Front Street Heat and new Front Street Fire, for those who prefer a hotter, even more spicy flavour.
Bottles of the hot sauce, that was developed by Sarnia entrepreneur, Joshua Lines, are available at most grocery stores in Sarnia-Lambton, plus special other locations this summer to support the United Way. “I personally love using Front Street Heat in my homemade burgers, it’s amazing the difference in taste after just a few drops in my burgers,” Ducharme said.
Some retailers will also participate by not only selling the bottles all summer but will match or make additional donations to support the United Way.  Imperial City Brew House has already committed to going over and above, and will will also donate $1 from every bottle sold at their location 1330 Exmouth Street in Sarnia, and an additional dollar for every Front Street Heat Caesar sold during Caesar Sundays at the brewpub.
Joshua and partner in fundraising, Adina Melanson have expressed gratitude for an outpouring of support from other local Sarnia businesses and wanted to have them all recognized for rallying with Top Shelf Canada to help Sarnians in need this summer. Donations will not only be collected from the sales at all of the major grocery chains (Metro/Superstore/No Frills/Food Basic/Foodland ect), but also at some wonderful and supportive shops, restaurants and even some non-traditional businesses that are buying bottles as corporate gifts for clients and/or employees. Local supporters include Dockside, Cravins, Midtown, Ups N Downs, The Cheese Wedge, Davy Jones, Pure Local Organics, Navellis, John’s Restaurant, Alfies Deli, Coffee Lodge, DeGroot’s, Sarnia Produce, Boston Pizza, Norton Hairstyling, Dog Eat Dog, Needham Family Chiropractic, The We Store, Jason Brown – Re/Max Realty, The Downtown Market, Chill Cannabis, Freshii, Mr. Chip, Home Depot and Eastside Marios.
As a result of a number of donors who have donated early this year including representatives from the Sarnia Construction sector, Ducharme indicated that almost $200,000 has been raised already for this year’s campaign, which will officially kick off in mid-September.
Pembina will once again hold their annual Golf Tournament in support of the United Way.  The golf tournament is open to the public and will be held on Thursday, September 8, 2022.  For more information, please email Heidi Vanderburgt at [email protected]. All funds raised at the tournament will be matched by Pembina and donated to United Way of Sarnia-Lambton.
Enbridge Pipelines also announced a return of their classic car show and while more information is expected soon, mark off your calendar for  Saturday, September 10, 2022.
Ducharme said the Volunteer Board of Directors have set its 2022 fundraising target but will announce it closer to the the campaign kickoff in August.
Photo caption:

Adina Melanson of Top Shelf Canada, Rina Barker of Imperial City Brew House, Alan Blahey from the United Way and Joshua Lines of Top Shelf Canada finalize plans to sell Front Street Heat, as Top Shelf Canada, will donate $1 from every bottle sold locally to the United Way of Sarnia-Lambton for its homelessness initiatives.  The popular hot sauce is available at most grocery stores in Sarnia-Lambton as well as many participating partners such as Imperial City Brew House who will make additional contributions supporting the United Way initiative.  Imperial City will match the $1 a bottle and will donate $1 from every Caesar sold to the United Way as well.