Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

United Way hits $18.2-M target

Last-minute 'outpouring' means needs can be met

  • Print

It was a close call, but the United Way of Winnipeg has reached its fundraising goal for 2009 after a year of economic uncertainty.Donors saved the day with pledges for the year reaching $18.2 million -- a new record.

"I personally had my doubts -- 'Are we going to make it?,' " said 2009 campaign chairman Jeff Zabudsky at a press conference Thursday morning.

Just before Christmas, it looked like they were going to be about $200,000 short, said the Red River College president and chief executive officer.

The bar was set high at $18.2 million -- $300,000 more than the previous year's target.

A recession and nervousness about the economy meant the United Way needed to raise its goal, not lower it, said Zabudsky.

The need for services funded by the umbrella organization would be on the rise with layoffs and all the fallout connected to an economic downturn, he said.

In December, they put out a call for more donations. Winnipeggers responded by digging deep, said Zabudsky.

"There was an outpouring of generosity."

The clock was ticking for Zabudsky, with his job as head of Red River College winding down in January and a move to southern Ontario in the works.

Zabudsky, who wanted to be nearer to family and his aging parents, accepted a job that starts Feb. 1 at the Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning.

He had no plans to move when he first took on the position of United Way chairman in fall 2008, and kept it quiet till near the end of his term. The big life changes came at the same time as the fundraising challenges.

"It added to the stress of the situation," he laughed.

"I'll remember this forever. It was remarkable and stressful."

Setting the United Way campaign target figure is based on real, calculated needs, not wishful thinking, said Zabudsky.

"It's not an arbitrary number. It's based on contracts that are signed with agencies." The United Way of Winnipeg funds more than 100 agencies and programs in the city.

Kids from Wi Wabigooni School, affiliated with Rossbrook House, which is one of those agencies, unveiled the $18.2-million ahievement Thursday at Portage Place.

Wi Wabigooni, which means young flower that is beginning to open, is for aboriginal students in Grades 3 to 6 who thrive in a small environment. It's run as a classroom in Victoria Albert School in the inner city.

"If we don't make it, those needs aren't met," said Zabudsky.

carol.sanders@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 15, 2010 B1

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Keri Latimer looks for beauty in the dark and the spaces between the notes

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • MIKE APORIUS/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS BUSINESS - cow on farm owned by cattle farmer Lloyd Buchanan near Argyle Wednesday afternoon -see Larry Kusch's story  January 04/2006
  • A goose cools off Thursday in water at Omands Creek Park-See Bryksa 30 day goose challenge- Day 25– June 21, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should political leaders be highly visible on the frontlines of flood fights and other natural disasters?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google