The United Way of Thunder Bay shared its local love and appreciation with a crowd of over 200 local donors and volunteers at the organization’s Volunteer Appreciation Campaign Celebration & Awards, which was sponsored by Bell and the Victoria Inn Hotel and Convention Centre.
The local charity recognized various groups of volunteers and the nearly 250 Workplace Campaigns while sharing examples of how contributions are making our community united, vibrant, and strong. A new special recognition award was presented to Workplace Ambassadors who demonstrated true leadership in their workplace for their United Way Campaigns, as chosen by the 2018 Sponsored Employees. The recipients were: Jason Beck – Union Gas; Jamie Sebesta and Mallory Hyatt – Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, Office of the Registrar General; Penny Belluz – Teleco; Carly Hardick and Kaley Simeoni – Ontario Power Generation; and Rhonda Leach – City of Thunder Bay Employees.
New Chief Executive Officer, Martin Wyant, was pleased to have his first United Way event be one that’s purpose is to recognize the dedication and compassion shown by local supporters to help thousands of vulnerable people in our community move forward with hope and dignity. Wyant announced that the 2018 campaign raised $2,042,662 and that since 1988, almost $54,000,000 has been invested in our community through the United Way’s work. “Imagine the lives that have been changed as a result of the hard work of our volunteers and the generosity of donors in our community,” he said.
Wyant, who moved home to Northwestern Ontario and has been in the role of CEO since December 2018, brings with him 30 years of experience in the field of social services and the charitable sector. He has spent his first two months with UWTB connecting with local community leaders and gaining perspective on the unique challenges and opportunities in our city, where he observed that while there are some notable examples of local collaborative work, there are also opportunities to improve. He shared with the attendees that the United Way is sharpening its focus on investing in ways that will maximize the impact of the resources raised and provide supporters with clear, reasonable community goals, and progress that can be measured, reported and understood.
“For some, the scope and depth of the challenges in front of us in Thunder Bay can be overwhelming. People want to help, but don’t always know how.” noted Wyant. “As we move forward, we hope that others will join with us, to work more closely together so that our message is clear and is heard by all.”
On behalf of the United Way and the people it serves, Wyant expressed his thanks to all who have, and continue to, support the United Way. “You are architects of a brighter future for everyone in our community. You know we can get things done better together and you have led by example.”