United Way Campaign releases 2020 results, introduces 2021 Campaign Chair

(photo submitted)

Persistence has paid off for the United Way Brandon & District and their quest to raise their required amount of funding needed to meet their commitments to local agencies.   Issues due to the pandemic have made fund raising more difficult than ever, and with the support of the amazing Westman community, the number was just barely reached.

A major issue with the group’s fundraising opportunities came from many local businesses having employees work from home, laid off, or furloughed which resulted in less revenue from employee workplace campaigns.  These campaigns result in an average 40% of the overall funds raised.  Justifiably, with the difficulties and added stress of alternative work schedules, United Way CEO Cynamon Mychasiw understands the choice to delay some fund raising efforts until things loosen up and staff can return to their workplaces.  “As much as raising the dollars necessary to provide stable and consistent funding to our partners is always a priority, this year we also realized the need to be sensitive to a very different economic climate.  So many individuals, families and businesses have been impacted by shut downs and reduced business capacity, and the last thing we wanted to do was to add pressure to an already stressful time.  However, this community always comes through for us.  Those who could give did, and did so generously.”

Another major setback in the 2020 campaign is the lack of being able to have live events, which normally brings the feeling of community to the effort.  “Getting together for fun events such as the annual Bus Pull or the Lip Sync Battle energizes a group and gets them excited to be a part of the campaign.  We’ve tried to take those events and make them virtual, but just isn’t the same,” United Way Marketing Executive, Bryan Podworny, explains.  “We had to come up with fresh ideas and new ways to bring some energy.”

Even with challenges, the group was still able to raise $624,149.00.  Like all United Way Brandon & District fund raising campaigns, 100% of undesignated revenues will be distributed to 29 agencies throughout Westman.  These agencies use these funds to provide front line services to individuals in need.  A new campaign will launch this coming September, and the organization announced its new Campaign Chair this morning.

Jenn McMillan is the co-owner and a head coach at Rocked Community Fitness.  She and her husband Zack have put forth a business mission statement that exemplifies not only their training philosophy, but translates well into Jenn’s volunteer role with United Way – “Together we are building a community that unites and empowers people to become the strongest, healthiest, happiest versions of themselves.” 

The Brandon office is optimistic about being able to return to holding events again this year, adjusting accordingly to meet any pandemic restrictions.  These will hopefully include a Goofy Golf tournament, three Summer Sports Markets, the Tools for School Program, the annual Holiday Tree auction and a revised Lip Sync Battle.

For more information and other United Way Brandon & District news, please contact their office at 204-571-8929.  Emails can be sent to office@brandonuw.ca.