Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

United Way campaign aims to top $20 million this year

This year's chairman confident generous Manitobans will respond

  • Print
Shon Haynes strains to lead team Magellan Aerospace across the tarmac with a jetliner in tow at the United Way kickoff.

PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Shon Haynes strains to lead team Magellan Aerospace across the tarmac with a jetliner in tow at the United Way kickoff. Photo Store

Winnipeg's biggest charity is looking for a few good donors.

Nineteen hundred of them, to be precise.

The United Way kicked off its annual fundraising drive Friday morning at the Stevenson campus of Red River College with a pair of aggressive goals.

First, it wants to crack the $20-million mark for the first time, and second, it wants to add 1,900 new donors. (Last year, it had 36,000.)

The challenge for local and national charities' fundraising drives are increasingly done on the backs of a declining number of philanthropists. The fact organizations such as the United Way continually set new records is testament to increasing generosity year after year, said Steve Chipman, the year's campaign chairman, who is president and CEO of the Birchwood Automotive Group.

"We have to get the message out. Winnipeggers are generous people and they want to make sure the money is used properly," he said.

Chipman wanted to dispel the myth the United Way is an "administrative sinkhole." He said the province pays all administrative costs, rent, supplies and staff salaries.

"The money raised goes right to the agencies," he said.

Chipman said he is confident this year's goal would not only be met but surpassed because Manitobans give more of their salary to charity, on a percentage basis, than people in any other province.

Birchwood practises what Chipman preaches. Last year, the company's employees donated $256,000, including 80 who contributed a minimum of $1,200.

"We averaged $300 per employee donated to the United Way," he said.

Chipman isn't the only member of his family to take on this key role. His late father, Robert M. Chipman, was campaign chairman in 1975, the first year the $4-million mark was passed.

The campaign officially took flight Friday morning when 1,500 Winnipeggers on 56 teams participated in the 10th annual plane pull. (The team from the Winnipeg Free Press not only didn't sustain any crippling injuries but it pulled the plane across the line in less than eight seconds to win the event.)

The poster child of this year's campaign is Cassandra Gagne, a 29-year-old woman who hit rock-bottom a decade ago but turned her life around through United Way-sponsored agencies. After finding she was pregnant at age 18, she curbed her party lifestyle, repaired relationships with family and friends, finished high school and graduated with a nursing degree, all while bringing up her son, Miguel, 9.

"Through the United Way, I was able to change my life and learn how to be a parent," she said.

She attributes much of her turnaround to the people at Villa Rosa, who helped her through school and taught her how to cope with the real world.

Today, she is a registered nurse at Women's Hospital, working with women in labour.

The United Way is the only private organization to provide multi-year core funding to more than 100 independent programs and agencies across Winnipeg. About 250,000 people, roughly one in three Winnipeggers, will avail themselves of United Way programs and services this year.

geoff.kirbyson@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 21, 2013 A13

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

  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS 060711 Chris Pedersen breeds Monarch butterflies in his back yard in East Selkirk watching as it transforms from the Larva or caterpillar through the Chrysalis stage to an adult Monarch. Here an adult Monarch within an hour of it emerging from the Chrysalis which can be seen underneath it.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Will higher pork prices change your grocery-shopping habits?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google