United Way kicks off 2017 campaign
United Way of South Niagara and Niagara Falls/Greater Fort Erie kicked off its fundraiser campaign Wednesday at Club Richelieu in Welland.
During the barbecue lunch Tamara Coleman-Lawrie, United Way of South Niagara executive director, announced the organization had set a target goal of raising $1.8 million. The funds will be split between South Niagara and United Way of Niagara Falls and Greater Fort Erie. Coleman Lawrie said South Niagara’s goal is about $600,000 and Niagara Falls and Greater Fort Erie is aiming for $1.2 million.
Carol Stewart-Kirkby, Niagara Falls and Greater Fort Erie United Way executive director, said the two branches are relatively small, but when they come together they can accomplish a great deal. She said it creates an opportunity to make more of an impact within each community when they work as a team.
The United Way campaign cochairs were announced during the event Wednesday afternoon. Aaron Boggio and his brother Kyle Boggio will be campaigning and raising funds for the organization. Kyle said the campaign will focus on assisting children and families, creating a strong community and moving from poverty to possibility.
“The impact that they’ve made, I grew up in Port Colborne where essentially one in two people in Port Colborne has been impacted by United Way. In the rest of Niagara it’s one in three people,” Kyle said.
The United Way of Niagara Falls and Greater Fort Erie and United Way of South Niagara are focusing on a number of goals. Coleman Lawrie said those goals include providing mental health support services, youth programming, food programs and education opportunities to name a few. The organization will directly impact the lives of 70,000 people throughout the community.
The Boggio Pharmacy has locations throughout Niagara. Kyle said his family business has supported the United Way for many years. The Boggio family encourages their staff to donate money to the organization each week and in return they have out of uniform Fridays. The Boggios match the donations from employees. Kyle said last year they raised about $15,000 and he hopes to raise as much this year.
Coleman-Lawrie and Stewart Kirkby said community need continues to increase each year. Coleman-Lawrie said without the support from the United Way many programs would be lost in each community, including food banks and youth programs.
The next fundraising event is Thursday, Oct. 12 at Club Italia in Niagara Falls for the Niagara Falls Elimination Draw and Dinner. For more information about this event and other fundraisers, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
United Way South Niagara executive director Tamara Coleman-Lawrie, left, and Niagara Falls and Greater Fort Erie United Way executive director Carol Stewart-Kirkby, right, announce fundraising goals during the 2017 Campaign Kickoff Celebration BBQ at Club Richelieu Wednesday.