United Way sets sights on $13.75 million campaign goal

September 17, 2010

MISSISSAUGA — At an energetic and rousing campaign kick-off this morning at the Hershey Centre SportZone, United Way of Peel Region Campaign Chair Barb Leavitt announced a 2010 fundraising goal of $13.75-million.

“There’s no question that our economy continues to present challenges for many people,” said Leavitt, President of Baxter Corporation. “Yes, there are hopeful signs that improvement is on the way, but there can be a long delay between recovery in the market and recovery in the community.”

Thanks to the generosity of its donors, United Way’s Community Fund provides a vital lifeline of support for the network of social services and programs that last year served more than 420,000 people of all ages in Peel. After government, United Way is the largest funder of social services in our community.

“Our campaign theme this year is, ‘United We Can’,” Carl Oxholm, United Way Board Chair, told the more than 300 people gathered at the kick-off. “By uniting the caring power of our community, we can meet immediate needs and address the underlying causes of social problems. United, we can change lives today and build better futures for tomorrow.”

Highlights of the event included a flash mob dance choreographed by Mississauga native Blake McGrath, a choreographer and judge on CTV’s So You Think You Can Dance Canada, and remarks by Mayors Hazel McCallion of Mississauga and Marolyn Morrison of the Town of Caledon. Troy Taylor, a volunteer youth mentor and former little brother with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Peel, shared the story of the difference the organization has made in his life. He is now pursuing studies at the University of Guelph.

“I think it’s fair to say that no other organization brings together people like United Way does,” said United Way CEO Shelley White. “From every corner of our community, people unite to focus on important social issues such as reducing poverty, creating opportunities for newcomers, stopping domestic violence, providing support for seniors, and strengthening families, children and youth.”

A special emphasis in this year’s campaign is the focus on increasing the number of Leadership gifts to United Way’s Community Fund. Leadership gifts are donations of $1,000 or more in a calendar year. Last year more than 1,100 generous donors contributed at this level.

United Way’s kick-off event was sponsored by TD Bank Financial Group. Other event supporters included Blake McGrath, Canada Dry-Motts, Casa Film Productions, Courtyard by Marriott, CueGo Audio Visual, the Hershey Centre and On the Move Catering.

There are various ways to support United Way in our community. Organizations, businesses and individuals interested in becoming involved can contact United Way at 905-602-3650. For further information about United Way of Peel Region, visit

Media Contact:
Liz Leake
Communications and Marketing Director