May 24, 2006 09:45 ET


UNITED WAY KICKS OFF $100 MILLION FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN AND 50TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, City Editor, News Editor, Photo Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO, MEDIA RELEASE--(CCNMatthews - May 24, 2006) - United Way of Greater Toronto announced today a record $100 million goal for its 2006 fundraising campaign and launched its 50th anniversary at its annual general meeting (AGM).

"For fifty years, United Way has been a catalyst for change, a way to make a difference in Toronto and build a better city for us all," said Frances Lankin, President and CEO, United Way of Greater Toronto. "Today we celebrate the dedicated and concerned Torontonians - donors, volunteers, staff as well as our agencies and thousands of workplaces - who have come together to engage the community through United Way. It is because of your efforts and generosity that we have had positive impact in people's lives and neighbourhoods across the city."

More than 400 supporters helped celebrate United Way's golden anniversary at The Carlu, the original venue where its first meeting as an incorporated charity was held in May 1956. Community leaders, long-time supporters, agency representatives and special guests enjoyed a look back at half a century of community work and recognition of many Torontonians who have been involved with the organization since 1956. The record-breaking goal announcement earned the immediate applause of the audience.

The money raised through United Way's campaign will help fund neighbourhood-strengthening initiatives and support its network of 200 health and social service agencies that help youth, families, newcomers, seniors and more. The 2005 campaign raised a record $96.1 million.

"I am honoured to lead United Way's fundraising campaign in this very special year," said Rick Waugh, President and CEO, Scotiabank and 2006 United Way Campaign Chair. "We have set an ambitious target, but as the last 50 years have shown, together we can meet this challenge and make a difference in Toronto."

The Honourable Mary Anne Chambers, Minister of Children and Youth Services, was the keynote speaker for the AGM. Chambers spoke of Ontario's programs and services to help youth fulfill their potential, and noted United Way is a partner in supporting youth and neighbourhoods in Toronto.

Mayor David Miller presented the Thanks a Million Awards to companies that contributed $1 million or more to United Way during the 2005 campaign. He also presented Lankin a scroll on behalf of the city, thanking United Way for its 50 years of work in the community.

For 50 years, United Way of Greater Toronto has been working to create sustainable change in the lives of Torontonians. Through research, partnerships with business, labour, government and volunteers, and by funding a network of 200 health and social service agencies, United Way identifies needs and takes action to support people and develop strong communities.

United Way of Greater Toronto 50th anniversary fact sheets are available at www.unitedwaytoronto.com. /For further information: Kate Rusnak, Pearce Bannon or Kim Barnhardt, United Way of Greater Toronto,

Contact Information

  • Kate Rusnak, Publicist, United Way of Greater Toronto
    Primary Phone: 416-777-1444 ext. 396
    E-mail: krusnak@uwgt.org