The United Way of Thunder Bay campaign team unveils its 2012 annual target Friday morning at the Valhalla Inn.
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Year after year the United Way of Thunder Bay sets a more ambitious campaign goal.
And year after year they manage to vault past it, no matter how high they set the bar. Campaign chairwoman Carol Busch says 2012 should be no different.
Busch and her campaign team on Friday unveiled this year’s lofty target, $2,602,012, which as always will take hard work to meet, she said. But, she’s confident they will.
“As you can tell by the enthusiasm in the room today, we are going out running to top off $2.6 million in 2012,” she said, after the charitable organization’s annual campaign launch breakfast.
“We’re ready to go.”
The target, about $77,000 more than last year’s goal is needed to fund 28 agencies and 67 programs, Busch went on to say, without which many would no longer be able to function.
“What we have to weigh out is what the need is in our community. It’s an ever-growing need,” Busch said.
“We have to keep that in mind when we set our goal that is indeed a stretch.”
Those dollars are being stretched even thinner this year, with the Thunder Bay and Area Disaster Relief Committee attempting to raise $5 million for victims of the May 28 flood disaster that hit the city, but neither Busch nor campaign vice-chairman Walter Flasza believe they’re competing for the same dollars.
“We have a very caring community and I think members of our community look at the fact our agencies are there to assist those who were affected by the flooding disaster and that they will be needing support on a go-forward basis,” she said.
“I think everybody will dig a little bit deeper this year.”
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Flasza said the people of the city have shown time and time again they’re willing to step up to the plate to help those in need.
And each year the United Way is not alone on the charity in the three months leading up to Christmas.
“This year we had a terrible incident back in May with the rain and the flooding. Other years we’ve had other similar types of disasters, maybe not so close to home,” Flasza said.
“We don’t look at it being competition. I think we look at it as an opportunity to work together. Let’s talk about the flood. The United Way agencies, there’s a long list of them that were ready to respond to the crisis, virtually a minute after it happened, simply because they had the funding and support from the community that allowed them to respond,” said Flasza, pointing out both the Red Cross and St. John Ambulance.
That’s precisely the thought process of Harold Wilson, the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce president.
“Thunder bay really pulls together in a time of crisis. And when people are willing to come together, anything is possible,” he said, encouraging the early morning breakfast crowd to continue to donate to the United Way.
“Change starts here,” said Mayor Keith Hobbs, echoing the campaign slogan.
“It is the responsibility of all of us to make a difference. By working together we can make Thunder Bay a better place through the United Way.”
To donate online, visit www.unitedway-tbay.on.ca.
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