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Oct. 16, 2021 | Saturday
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United Way Niagara celebrated a successful campaign year on Thursday
United Way Niagara celebrated a striking success in 2018 campaign.

United Way Niagara hit and surpassed a fundraising goal of $5,000,000 by more than $200,000 – calling a “striking victory” during the non-profit’s first campaign as an amalgamated organization.

The organization celebrated the 2018 campaign on March 28 at White Oaks Conference Resort and Spa.

Frances Hallworth, executive director of United Way Niagara, said the first campaign chair of the newly combined organization was Sean Simpson of Simpson’s Pharmacy in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

“We were substantially over goal and we were incredibly excited about that. We celebrated last night to a sold-out crowd at White Oaks. It was a very positive celebration.”

Hallworth said Caroline Sherk of Verge Insurance Group was announced as the new 2019 campaign chair, the youngest, at 24, that the organization has ever had.

“She spoke for a few minutes and is incredibly excited to get to work on this year’s campaign,” Hallworth said.

Choosing a campaign chair is something Hallworth said the organization tries to think about in advance. “We’re always trying to think ahead and trying to keep people in mind. We always look for people from different parts of the community.”

She said Sherk has experience in the organization on the community investment panel, which is where the allocation of funds to different charities is decided.

“She has a lot of experience there, she has an incredible amount of energy and she brings a new demographic to United Way.”

During the celebration on Thursday, a new award was announced in honour of longstanding volunteer and 2015 campaign chair Anita Robertson, who died in 2018 alongside husband, Joe and daughter, Laura.

“The loss of Anita, Joe and Laura is felt so deeply in the community they gave so much to,” Kevin Jong, director of resource development, said on the United Way Niagara website.

The inaugural recipients of the annual Anita Robertson Legacy Award were Robertson’s close friends, Heidi Burgess and Karen MacKay. Embodying Anita’s kind heart and community spirit, the recipients demonstrate commitment to United Way and an “unparalleled desire to help those most in need,” a media release said.

Also honoured on Thursday, Peter Partridge was recognized with the Community Builder Award, accepted by his wife Janet and son Peter.

Hallworth said the organization is excited for a new campaign year and what the non-profit can bring to the community as a newly combined group for the region. Though regional, Hallworth said the charities United Way supports reach residents locally.

“Many organizations are regional. It doesn’t really matter where they are located, they take calls from people in Niagara-on-the-Lake and around the region.”