The United Way of Sarnia-Lambton has set this year’s campaign goal at $1.4 million.
“This goal is very close to our 2022 net campaign achievement,” said campaign chair Vicky Ducharme, noting the actual need in Sarnia-Lambton is closer to $1.6 million.
In a news release, the agency points to a June board meeting during which members “wanted to be realistic” given the current economic climate.
“But on the other hand, we know the needs are at that $1.6 million level or higher. Ultimately, we decided on a $1.4 million goal, but to take the opportunity to inform the community that the need is much higher.”
The 2023 fundraising campaign will officially begin Tuesday, September 19, with the annual Day of Caring, however, several events have already occurred.
“We have raised $275,000, with one month to go before we officially kickoff. That represents about where we were at this time last year, and we like to be at 25% of the objective before the kickoff date, so we are on pace to reach that level over the next 30 days or so,” Ducharme said.
The United Way has partnered with Black Gold Brewery in Petrolia, which has rebranded one of its top-selling brands, Liquid Gold Cream Ale, in a colourful United Way label and will donate 50 cents for every can or glass of draught sold at their establishment or any of the growing number of restaurants or bars across Sarnia and Lambton County.
Many participating restaurants also match that donation with a gift of their own.
Next up is the annual Sarnia Sting Black and White inter-squad game set to take place on Thursday, August 31, at the Progressive Auto Sales Arena.
“We always consider the Black and White hockey game as our Unofficial Campaign kickoff,” said Ducharme. “We are very grateful to the Sarnia Sting Hockey Club for all of their support.”
Saturday, September 9, is the annual United Way Enbridge Pipelines Classic Car Show from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Western Ontario Research Park at 1086 Modeland Road in Sarnia.
In the next few days, thousands of direct mail letters will be sent to local retirees, businesses and others who are part of the fall funding initiative.
Ducharme said that a significant portion of the funds raised this year will have been generated by traditional mail through the post office.