2018 UW3

2018 United Way campaign kicks off with $500,000 donation

Sep 19, 2018

The 2018 Syncrude United Way campaign is officially underway. A Volunteer Breakfast held on September 11 gathered employees, community leaders and Syncrude executive for a celebration that included the ceremonial raising of the United Way flag.

Syncrude Campaign Chair Tara Chilinski announced the company's 2018 goal as $2.18 million, which was boosted by a corporate donation of $500,000.

Fundraising efforts by Syncrude employees will support the 2018 Community Campaign which raises money for vital services throughout the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB). There are 27 local agencies that the United Way funds, and the need to support these organizations is greater than ever. Some of those agencies include the Canadian Mental Health Association, the Centre of Hope, Justin Slade Youth Foundation, KidSport Wood Buffalo, Local HERO Foundation, Some other Solutions and Waypoints.

Employees in Edmonton and Calgary are also raising funds to support their local United Way.

The focus of the 2018 campaign is "Local Love," and bringing communities together. The Fort McMurray and Wood Buffalo United Way campaign target is $5 million, down from the $6 million raised in 2017. This reflects a realistic view of the changes in the community due to the economic downturn and the ongoing effects of the 2016 Horse River fire.

RMWB Mayor Don Scott was a guest at the launch and spoke of the importance of the work that the United Way does for the community, and the special relationship Syncrude has built over the years with the organization.

“Syncrude really sets the standard in the region on what the United Way is all about," Don said.

Bill Chase, Vice President, Technical, Operations Support and Syncrude's 2018 United Way Campaign Executive Sponsor thanked everyone for their past participation and continued support of the campaign. He spoke of how the United Way campaign had affected him personally.

“I also have learned a lot about genuine leadership from the events. I need to share my experience last year when we did a little yard work for Pastew Place. While I had driven past their home multiple times per week I had never recognized what they were about. As part of our visit, we had a short overview of their long history and operations. I was impressed with their progress and longevity, and even more impressed with their leader. She is someone who follows the Syncrude Vision without even really being aware of it," Bill told the crowd.

Also at the event, Syncrude Managing Director Doreen Cole received the ‘Thanks a Million’ award from Ken Sandmoen, 2018 Community Campaign Chair. This recognizes organizations whose efforts helped to raise more than a million dollars in a campaign, and Syncrude has made this list for the last eleven years.