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United Way column for Saturday, September 10, 2022

As the United Way of Sarnia-Lambton campaign kick off is still a week and a half away, the United Way thermometer is near 15% of its $1.65 million needs target.

United Way Campaign Chair Vicky Ducharme said many pre-pandemic United Way events are planned again for this year including today’s Enbridge United Way Classic Car Show taking place at the Western Ontario Research Park at 1086 Modleland Road.

Enbridge organizers are hoping for hundreds of cars to be displayed on the lawn at the Western Ontario Research Park. The car show will run until 2 PM.  There a barbecue, and various draws and other activities for the whole family. Attendance is only a donation, and car registrations are $10 at the gate.

We are so pleased to see many events return, and the Sarnia Sting Black-and-White game held on September 2, was another great example. We had hundreds of spectators to come out to assess the 2022-2023 Sarnia Sting hockey season, and we raised over $3,900 from the event this year,” said Ducharme who was very grateful and thankful to the Sarnia Sting, and their fans.

Overall, Ducharme reported that the United Way has surpassed the quarter million dollar level which is 15% of the need so far. “The direct mail campaign has started strong and we’ve had several online donations through the United Way of Sarnia-Lambton website already, “Ducharme said.

Many of the industrial employee campaigns are also bringing back their own barbeques and other fundraisers.

All summer long, CF industries Inc. have run a number of fundraising barbecues, which has helped provide additional revenue and awareness to the pledge drive which is now on there.

Imperial, the largest employee campaign in the region, had their annual employee kick off barbeque on Thursday, and there were a number events that also took place at it including a dunk tank, and the 50/50 raffle.

The official United Way campaign kick off is on Tuesday, September 20, 2022 with the annual Day of Caring. This year’s Day of Caring is toned down a little from its peek in 2019, but still well over 100 volunteers are expected to help assist seniors living in their own homes who may need general maintenance done, and to assist agencies making their offices more efficient, and more welcoming to clients and families.

The annual fall campaign runs until December 31, 2022.  Currently, more than 30 programs provided by 17 local agencies rely on United Way funding in Sarnia-Lambton including agencies that focus on Youth, Seniors, those will mental health challenges, poverty reduction.

In other United Way news, Jane Anama has agreed to assist the United Way this fall with the many employee campaigns throughout Sarnia-Lambton, not just industrial, but education, government, and retail employee campaigns as well.

Ducharme said she was also pleased to announce Tiziana Ingratta has also agreed to help out with this campaign with the growing importance of the social media campaign. “I’m very excited to have both these ladies join our team on an interim basis to help fill a staff vacancy at the United Way, “Ducharme said.

Photo caption

Brock Yazbeck (summer student), Martin Gale (CF Employee), Jeremy MacMillan (summer student), and Keeley McCarter (summer student) from CF Industries in Courtright gather for their final United Way barbeque fundraiser of the summer.  CF Industries hold several BBQ events during the summer to support the United Way and focus on their employee pledge drive in the fall.