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United Way meets $20 million fundraising goal

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The United Way wraps up its 2013 campaign this week, celebrating the generosity of Winnipeggers and their involvement in our community. This year's campaign chairman Steve Chipman, far right, set an ambitious goal of $20 million at the official campaign kick-off in September and reached it.

BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

The United Way wraps up its 2013 campaign this week, celebrating the generosity of Winnipeggers and their involvement in our community. This year's campaign chairman Steve Chipman, far right, set an ambitious goal of $20 million at the official campaign kick-off in September and reached it. Photo Store

WINNIPEG — The United Way matched its target for 2013, raising $20 million in a fall campaign that will fund programs and services for the rest of the year, the agency said Thursday night.

Campaign chair Steve Chipman made the announcement at a gala that drew more than 600 of the province’s business leaders and politicians to the Victoria Inn on Wellington Avenue.

"Back in September we launched the campaign. . .We promised this community we would raise $20 million. We had some good early results but you never know what obstacles (lie ahead)," Chipman said in the build-up to the big announcement.

Red and white balloons fell from the ballroom ceiling and a splashy sign in red glitter letters that read "$20 million" punctuated the celebration as Chipman confirmed the donations matched this year’s goal.

As a band struck up an upbeat tune, Chipman shared the stage with more than a half dozen people, all recipients of United Way-funded services and programs. Each of the people on the stage had been invited to the announcement because they’d contributed to the success of the campaign by sharing their personal stories of how the charity has helped them.

Chipman told the audience that while it is true the goal was reached, the campaign is still at work, collecting donations that were pledged as part of the three-month campaign.

This is the second year the agency set a $20 million target. Last year, it fell short, raising $19.7 million. This year marked a milestone, Chipman told the audience.

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