Dick Cavaye holds his honourary lifetime membership

A feather in his cap

Oak Bay man dedicates lifetime of giving to United Way

Dick Cavaye has been an enthusiastic supporter of the United Way for most of his life, and he’s got the red feather to prove it.

It was about 10 years ago that the United Way started recognizing contributors who have offered their continuous support for 25 years or more by titling them ‘Red Feather Friends,’ complete with a red feather lapel pin. The title pays homage to the early days of the organization when they were known as the Red Feather Campaign.

Cavaye, 78, started donating through a payroll deduction in 1970 when he was first exposed to the United Way through his company, and hasn’t looked back since.

“It’s local giving, with local results,” he said of why he’s so strongly supported the United Way all these years. “Everything given in Greater Victoria stays in Greater Victoria, and helps in Greater Victoria.”

It’s a way to know where donations are going, he said.

“With a lot of campaigns, they’re national, and you don’t always know what happened to the dollars you donated.”

The United Way establishes between 90 to 100 partnerships each year with local organizations like the Cool Aid Society, Project Literacy and Our Place, and each partnership is re-evaluated each year, said Cavaye.

“It’s a way to check up to make sure that what was said would be done, is being done.”

Cavaye has lived in Oak Bay for 40 years this July, and been involved with the Victoria United Way for nearly three decades. He served as campaign chair in ‘89, and chaired the board for several years in the late ‘90s.

These days he’s involved with the Leaders’ Committee in looking after all the donors that aren’t attached to a business.

Last year, the committee was able to raise approximately $750,000 from what Cavaye called their “orphan supporters,” but despite this success, he said they need an influx of younger donors to support their current base of retirees.

Cavaye is an example of what younger donors can accomplish. In the late ‘50s at UBC, he participated in what he called a “one day blitz” of fundraising for the United Way, taking the donation cans from classroom to classroom. He and fellow students were able to raise $2,500, equivalent to more than $20,000 today.

Nowadays, retired and without the option of an easy payroll deduction, Cavaye set up an automatic donation on a credit card, continuing his monthly commitment to the organization. Regular donations are easier for them to manage, he said.

“It helps to even out the ebbs and flows.”

It’s clear the long-time Oak Bay local plans to continue his support of the United Way, and makes the point that anyone can benefit from the organization.

Even his parents took advantage, he said. When they got to a certain age and weren’t as able to cook, his mother signed up for Meals on Wheels.

“Everyone knows someone with something,” he said.

To further commend his many years of service, Cavaye was presented with an honorary lifetime membership in 2011 “For exemplified vision, talent and dedication to United Way.”

He downplayed the accolades, emphasizing instead the good that the organization does.

“It’s really about giving back, locally.”

Do you know someone who gives back to our community? Would you like us to share their story? Email editor@oakbaynews.com

 

 

 

Just Posted

Elizabeth May’s wedding dress a ‘walk through a garden’ on Earth Day

Green Party leader set to get married in Victoria

Peninsula students taking advantage of French activities

Canadian Parents for French help organize and promote activities

Monday sees rain with high of 10 C

Plus your weekly forecast

Number of ancient humans continues to grow after discovery

Scientists identify at least 12 species outside of Homo sapians following discovery in Philippines

Sri Lanka invokes war-time military powers after nearly 300 killed in Easter bombings

Sri Lanka’s minister of tourism says 39 foreign tourists were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Trudeau to be portrayed on ‘Simpsons’ episode

Toronto journalist who’s posted videos of himself doing impressions of the PM voiced him for the show

Campbell River RCMP say alcohol and speed may be factors in collision

Woman injured after driver ran into her car on Highway 19A, says fire captain

Bodies of 3 mountain climbers recovered after last week’s Banff avalanche

The men disappeared while attempting to climb the east face of Howse Peak in the Icefields Parkway

Happy birthday: Queen Elizabeth II turns 93 on Easter Sunday

Sunday is the first of two birthday celebrations each year for the queen

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

Most Read