January 19, 2006 20:58 ET


Achievement to help build neighbourhoods and improve lives Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, City Editor, Lifestyle Editor, News Editor TORONTO, MEDIA RELEASE--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 19, 2006) - United Way of Greater Toronto is celebrating a record-breaking $96.1 million 2005 campaign achievement that will fund community building initiatives and change lives in neighbourhoods across the city. This achievement is an increase of $5.9 million over the previous campaign.

Nearly 2,000 United Way supporters attended the charity's Celebration Dinner, themed Our Neighbourhoods, Our City, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on January 19. Toronto Mayor David Miller, United Way 2005 Campaign Chair Barbara Stymiest, Chief Operating Officer of RBC Financial Group, and Frances Lankin, President and CEO of United Way of Greater Toronto, were joined by community and business leaders to celebrate the milestone achievement. The evening also showcased United Way's Spirit Awards, honouring workplace volunteers and companies that demonstrated excellence throughout the campaign.

"Once again, Torontonians have responded to the growing needs of our city and given generously of their time and energy to improve the lives of families and individuals," said Lankin. "Their tremendous support will help create lasting change in neighbourhoods across the city. The commitment and passion shown during this past campaign demonstrates that together, we have the power to transform our community."

Mayor Miller underscored the importance of strong neighbourhoods and lauded city residents, businesses and organizations for their support of United Way. "Toronto is a city of neighbourhoods," said Mayor Miller. "Its strength has always been drawn from its people and its communities and how we have worked together to build our city."

The dinner was presented by Bell Canada, a long-time United Way supporter committed to building stronger communities. Citytv's Laura DiBattista was emcee for the evening, which included performances by singer/songwriter Zaki Ibrahim, drumming ensemble iDrum as well as Toronto youth rap and dance group Island Boys Rappers and Dancers. Artists from SKETCH, a community arts program for street-involved and homeless youth, lent their creativity to paint the record achievement.

"The work of thousands of volunteers and donors across the city to make this a stand-out campaign is truly inspiring and will help build a better community for us all," said Stymiest. "I am proud to have been part of United Way's campaign and to have seen members of the community rally behind such a worthwhile cause."

The $96.1 million raised will support neighbourhood initiatives and a network of 200 health and social service agencies in neighbourhoods across Toronto as well as other United Ways and designated charities. United Way works to create sustainable change in the lives of Torontonians. Through research, partnerships with government, volunteers, labour, and business, United Way identifies needs and takes action to support people and develop strong neighbourhoods. IN: FINANCE, MEDIA, SOCIAL, OTHER

Contact Information

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