About 300 people followed the scent of scrambled eggs an into the Vancouver Island Conference Centre Thursday for United Way’s 2012 Campaign kick off breakfast Thursday morning.
The United Way Central and Northern Vancouver Island launched its annual fundraising campaign with the theme, Change Starts Here.
This year’s campaign goal is set at $700,000 to fund 22 local organizations that help children, youth and seniors on central Vancouver Island.
CTV’s Bruce Williams emceed the event which featured some of the people who were helped by United Way funded organizations as special guest speakers.
Mark Willott told his personal story of the challenges he faced dealing with severe depression and mental illness and how he was helped through those challenges by programs provided by the Columbian Centre Society.
“They were there to give you a hand up, not a hand out,” Willott said.
Willott’s recovery lead him to become a board director of the Columbia Centre Society and he is also a student at Vancouver Island University.
Ralph Nilson, president and vice-chancellor of VIU announced that the university and the Vancouver Island Health Authority now provide Loaned Representives for their staff to work exclusively on the campaign for a three-month period.
VIU and VIHA are among the many organizations and businesses that provide campaign volunteers or have workplace employee campaign teams to raise the cash needed to keep United Way funded programs and services running through the year.
Donations aren’t always come as cash and cheques. Woodgrove Chrysler has provided the use of a new Dodge Calibre to provide transportation for United Way staff through the campaign and Mid-Island Co-Op will once again provide fuel for the car.
Local businesses, labour organizations and employee campaigns stepped up to the stage to announce $133,800 in donations and pledges during the breakfast. Costco lead, committing to raise $56,000 for this year’s campaign.
To donate to this year’s United Way Campaign or learn more about the United Way in Nanaimo, please call 250-729-7400 or visit the United Way website at www.uwcnvi.ca.