Community rallies for United Way charities

When there’s a buzz in the air, Jim Tighe isn’t far away.

Laughter and conversation were in abundance at the United Way’s annual Spirit Awards last Thursday night at the Fairmont Empress Hotel where Tighe mingled part of the night away with 250 men and women whose hearts are in the right place.

“There’s always a great sound,” said the United Way’s community campaign chair. “Most of the volunteers have been involved before and know one another.”

And then a hush fell over the crowd as award after award was presented. The United Way of Greater Victoria recognized many of the hundreds of local businesses and workplace volunteers for helping raise $6.21 million from September to January – $100,000 over their target.

“It’s always a great, simple evening to say thank you,” Tighe said.

The single largest contributor during the 2010 campaign was once again CFB Esquimalt, which generated more than $700,000 for the charity.

The millions of dollars raised will support 65 not-for-profits, including 125 programs and services from mental health to affordable housing in Greater Victoria, out to Sooke and Salt Spring Island.

“For some of them the organizations were started by somebody who was touched by that issue,” Tighe said of the enormous need for financial assistance. “How do they raise the tens of thousands of dollars it takes to continue every year?”

emccracken@vicnews.com

 

Campaign highlights: 

Major gifts: $335,000

Workplace campaign: $5,875,000

Total raised: $6.21 million