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Photo of Hayden, who previously attended the summer autism camp funded by the United Way, but provided by the Sarnia family YMCAUnited Way Column

The annual general meeting of the United Way at Sarnia-Lambton both closed the book on 2021, and set its direction for 2022.

United Way board members were presented with the financial statements of 2021, and despite not reaching the campaign goal, 2021 was a successful year, both in terms of dollars raised, and reducing administration costs maximizing program funding.

“We are fortunate to have raised as much as we did, and we are proud of our cost efficiencies, investing in more than 30 programs and services offered in Sarnia and throughout Lambton County, “said board president Jason Killingsworth, who was acclaimed as President for the next year.  John Girard was acclaimed as first vice president, Terry Doyle as second vice president, and Martin Vrolyk as treasurer.  Vicky Ducharme is the campaign chair and Gerry Whitcombe is the community investment chair, rounding out the 2022-2023 United Way Executive. 


At the annual general meeting, Greg Findlay, was also elected to the 15-member volunteer Board of Directors.


Killingsworth said that the 2022 campaign seems to be off to a good start, and so far, has raised over $100,000. He added that the campaign goal will be determined by the Board of Directors in June, and will be announced sometime this summer, prior to the fall campaign.


“While United Way of Sarnia-Lambton accepts donations year-round, the bulk of fundraising traditionally has taken place during the fall.  In more recent years we have started to see a transition to campaigning throughout the year, “said Killingsworth. “We have some direct mail going out in the late spring, and an email and social media drive planned for summer,” he said.  Killingsworth pointed out that recently, United Way completed a frozen meal takeout event when it partnered with the Dante Club and raised almost $600 in late March. A specialty donut day with Global Donuts is planned for late April.


Killingsworth pointed out that energy stocks are currently high which makes it a great time to donate those to the United Way which in turn is a better tax credit for the donor.  United Way has received several oil companies stocks in recent weeks.  The stock transfer form can be downloaded at to donate stocks traded on North American markets to be transferred to the United Way brokerage account. Donors are eligible for a charitable donation receipt that can be used for tax credit purposes toward 2022 incomes taxes.


More than 30 programs and services are funded by the United Way including the Autism Summer Camp, provided by the YMCA.  The camp is a program designed for children who have autism and can attend up to seven weeks this summer, keeping children focused, in a routine, and ready to learn when they return to school in September.


The camps include a number of theme weeks including cooking, etc., and field trips to several locations including water parks and the fire station.  The past two summers the camps were not held in person but instead, consisted of kits that were specifically related to the children’s age group and particular needs. The Autism Summer Camp will return to regular sessions beginning in July. To register for the camp call the YMCA of Sarnia-Lambton at 519-336-9622 and can select which days or weeks they would like to attend.





Photo caption:


Hayden Burnie looks forward to participating in the YMCA Autism Summer Camp funded by the United Way of Sarnia- Lambton.  Registration is now open by calling the YMCA at 519-336-9622 to select your days or weeks your child would like to participate. The United Way of Sarnia-Lambton funds the Summer Autism Camp $30,000 to help subsidize the cost for families.

Photo of Hayden, who previously attended the summer autism camp funded by the United Way, but provided by the Sarnia family YMCA