Markham, ON

Earlier today, United Way York Region (UWYR) put icing on a cake both figuratively and literally as it announced it has raised 56% of its 2012 campaign goal of $8.26M. The announcement was made at Extendicare, where staff held its annual “Bake Sale on Steroids” in support of UWYR.

“We have raised over $4.6M so far this year,” said Rickesh Lakhani, Director, Campaign, UWYR. “We’re tracking a little behind last year but we are kicking it into high gear to make sure we reach our goal for the thousands of youth, families and seniors who are in need of help.”

This year’s campaign has been an exciting one for UWYR, with longtime supporters like Extendicare going above and beyond to give back to their communities. Last year, the company raised $53,000 in support of United Way through their employee workplace campaign; in the last 10 years alone its employees raised upwards of $800,000.

“We understand that there are people in our communities who need a helping hand,” said Kathy O’Reilly, VP, Quality and Executive Lead, Extendicare. “United Way provides an opportunity for our employees to give back and help our neighbours, which we feel is the right thing to do.”

UWYR is getting closer to its campaign goal thanks to existing workplace campaigns and the fifteen new companies that are holding campaigns in support of UWYR for the first time.

“It is inspiring to see so many people and companies come together to help build a healthier, stronger region,” said Barbara Bellissimo, Senior Vice President and Chief Agent, State Farm Canada and 2012 Campaign Chair, UWYR. “And for the first time, donors have the chance to increase the impact of their support by taking The 2012 Robert Kidd Community Leadership Challenge, which matches dollar-for-dollar first-time donations of $1,000 or more – and we are seeing many new donors step up and give.”

The 2012 fundraising campaign was launched at the Toromont CAT Dragon Boat festival back in August and this year’s campaign achievement will be revealed in January at the annual Celebration event.

United Way York Region serves nine municipalities: Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan, Whitchurch-Stouffville. In addition to its traditional role of supporting agencies to meet urgent needs, United Way is working to tackle the root causes of social issues. To help strengthen York Region’s quality of life, United Way is uniting people and resources on three priorities: helping kids be all they can be, moving people from poverty to possibility and building healthy people and strong communities.

Media Contact:
Adriana Suppa
Director, Communications
United Way York Region
Tel. 905-474-9974 ext. 358


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