United Way announces 2016 target

From left are Andrew Williams of the United Way, Brittany O'Brien of the Centre for Employment and Learning in Exeter, South Huron Mayor Maureen Cole, Fred Godbolt of Godbolt, Ciufo Insurance and Financial Services in Exeter, Jeanine Clarke of the United Way, Steve Ollson of Sun Life, Mary Ellen Zielman and Janet Boot of the distribution centre, Kurtis Finkbeiner, Hanna Uyl and Carolynne Champagne, vice-president resource development and communications for the United Way.

CENTRALIA — The Perth-Huron United Way has set their fundraising target for 2016.  At their annual campaign kickoff luncheon in Stratford, it was announced the goal for 2016 will be $1.337 million, an increase of eight per cent over 2015.

After that start, the Perth-Huron United Way decided to take the message to eight communities throughout Perth and Huron counties. The seventh stop on the inaugural tour was the Huron County Food Bank Distribution Centre on Sept. 19.

Sun Life sponsored the luncheon, as they do every year, and it was a fit for them to sponsor the tour of the different communities. Sun Life’s Steve Ollson told those gathered at the food bank that Sun Life has donated $1.8 million nationally to the United Way. He said he is happy to support this first tour to see where the United Way give to the communities. He looks forward to seeing the United Way achieve their goals and expects Sun Life will continue to support the tour in future.

Mary Ellen Zielman,  executive director of the Huron County Food Bank Distribution Centre, said it would be difficult to operate without the support of the United Way.  

“We are proud of what the United Way has done. They are helping make communities in South Huron better.”  

Zielman said it is heartwarming to help less fortunate families in her community and she is happy food banks are able to help and thankful for the United Way.

Carolynne Champagne, vice-president of resource development and communications, said the Perth-Huron United Way will continue to support the John Howard Society at the Stratford Jail. She said the society helps prepare inmates to acquire skills needed to find employment when they are released. She said they will also continue to support the Centre for Employment and Learning’s English as a Second Language Program  so people can learn English to give them a better opportunity to gain employment.  

They will also support food banks and other worthwhile causes throughout Huron and Perth.  

The United Way will announce who will receive support as they develop a better understanding of the needs of the communities they serve.