Help Pull That Weight

Published September 13, 2014 13:52


Raising $20 million may seem like a daunting task, but if 20 Winnipeg Sun employees can pull a Boeing 727 across 20 feet of tarmac then anything is possible.

United Way of Winnipeg is hoping to break the $20 million barrier and raise $20.7 million through the 2014 fundraising campaign. Sandra Oakley, the campaign chair, made the announcement Friday to 1,500 people and 56 teams who participated in Plane Pull 11 at Red River College's Stevenson Campus.

Almost $6 million of the goal has already been raised through corporate gifts and workplace campaigns, so Oakley is confident the goal will be met.

"Winnipeg is an incredibly generous city and does realize the work being done by the United Way, and the agencies it allocates funds to," she said.

"On average, every two minutes someone accesses an agency funded by the United Way in a year. About one out of three Winnipeggers will at sometime in their life use the services of an agency and there's the ripple effect of that. Their families are ultimately helped by the fact someone has received assistance."

About 190,000 people accessed programs and services supported by the United Way, from parenting workshops to counselling, wellness and education programs to neighbourhood safety.

Every dollar donated to the annual campaign goes to making a difference in Winnipeg, thanks to a provincial grant that supports fundraising and administration costs.

"Without you, there would be over 2,000 kids without a safe and supportive place to go in the vulnerable after-school hours," Ron Brown, president and CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg, told the crowd.

Without the United Way's support, close to half of their clubhouses would close overnight, Brown said.

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