March 2013 

Vol 5, Issue 3     

United Way Connects
March Madness!
For the past couple months, Priority Impact Team (PIT) members have been meeting with all the agency representatives who have applied for funding this year.  Based on the evaluations, interviews and supporting documents they, alongside staff, will be shortly making their recommendations to our Community Impact Council. One of the reasons why we think our investment model works so well is that the funding decisions are made with strong volunteer involvement. 

I spoke with Anto Davis a few days ago and asked her what she thought of the process.  She responded, "I felt the process was a real eye opener.  When you meet and talk with an agency you learn so much about our community. You realize there are many people who need shelter, direction and to connect with the community. The people who work at these agencies really care about their clients and go above and beyond their job description. You leave a meeting feeling more compassionate, more aware of the great need in our community and thankful there are people caring enough to volunteer and donate to help people out."

We appreciate the many hours Anto and the entire investment committee have made these past weeks, and the wisdom and skills you share with us.

Information on this year's funding investments will be released in early May.

We`re delighted to announce that Councilor Buck Buchanan, owner of X-Cops Inc. and Dustin Sundby, Regional Managing Partner at MNP will be leading United Way of Central Alberta`s 2013 community fundraising campaign. Read the entire press release

Applause.Investment Volunteers   investment crew
Pictured, from left to right: Anto Davis (Scotiabank), Leah Poole (NOVA Chemicals), Priscilla Ristau (community member) and Chair of the Income Priority Impact Team (PIT) Bill Blomfield (community member).

Other investment volunteers include:
Community Impact Council Chair - Brenda Farewell (Alberta Health Services)
Chair Education PIT - Theresa Huber (Alberta Health Services)
Chair Wellness PIT - Edie Hiebert (Canadian Western Bank)
Frank Bauer (Central Alberta Refugee Effort)
Dolly Berg (JET Uniform and Supply)
Robin Byrnes (community member)
Valdene Callin (Family Services of Central Alberta)
Connie Cartwright (Alberta Health Services)
Gwen Clarke (NOVA Chemicals)
Shelley Dallas-Smith (Alberta Health Services)
Keely Ennis (Scott Builders Red Deer Ltd.)
Kathryn Hagen (NOVA Chemicals)
Marie Krushelnicki (Red Deer Catholic Regional School Division)
Barry MacKenzie (INEOS Canada Partnership)
Joe McLaughlin (Red Deer Advocate)
John Mulgrew (INEOS Canada Partnership)
Marcie Nieman (Shell Canada Energy)
Julie Ostrowski (NOVA Chemicals)
Roxane Parsons (Alberta Health Services)
LeeAnne Shinski (Lifelong Learning Council)
Ian Sudlow (NOVA Chemicals)
Brenda Watts (Red Deer Hospice Society)
We are currently looking to recruit volunteer data checkers. The data checkers will play a key role in checking the information received from local non-profit organizations before it goes to our trained 211 Data Entry Administrator. Training will be provided so that all volunteers are comfortable in the role they are being asked to perform. Because 211 holds much more detailed records of each organization than a 411 directory service database, this opportunity will require people who are detail oriented and concise. Knowledge of local health and social service organizations would be useful but not essential.

If you are interested in finding out more or volunteering for this important role, please contact Val Yarbrough at the United Way office, 403.343.3900, or email
Are you a business or community leader who believes in the impact that United Way has in the community and isn't afraid to sell it to others? Can you build strategies and motivate your peers? We're looking for community minded individuals to join the fundraising Campaign Cabinet, a high profile group of people who enjoy the challenges and excitement of fundraising for their community. If you're interested in networking, volunteering for a great cause and giving back to Central Alberta, see the links below for more information on this amazing opportunity.

Our first meeting is April 16th!

Division Chair
Account Executive
thankyouHappy Anniversary!   


March 2013 marked an important anniversary for someone who is very near and dear to the staff at United Way. Gwen Clarke has been an  employee with NOVA Chemicals for 15 years, with most of that time dedicated to supporting the company's Communication/Community Relations department.


NOVA Chemicals is our leading corporate and employee contributor to the campaign, and while she will be the first to tell you it takes dozens of volunteers and hundreds of donors we also know that Gwen is one of the key people who have helped make the United Way campaign a success.


It's no small coincidence either that in the 15 years that Gwen has supported the United Way campaign that it grew from an $83,000 campaign to well over $500,000 this past year. Rick Van Hemmen, site leader at NOVA Chemicals and United Way Board President said, "Gwen is a key piece of the Joffre Site's United Way foundation, helping with continuity and groGwen Clarkewth."


We have also had the pleasure of having Gwen volunteer for various positions including the Education Division of the Campaign Cabinet, and most recently as Community Impact Council member.


Congratulations Gwen on your 15 year anniversary, and thank you for all that you do for the community.



didyouknowDid You Know We're Working To End Poverty?

United Way is actively involved in addressing the needs of individuals and families with low or limited incomes in Central Alberta. We believe in partnering with programs and collaborations that address the root causes of poverty. We understand that poverty is a complex issue and that a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy should address the following 10 challenges:

- the fundamental need for decent affordable housing, which is underpinning for...

- healthy early childhood development to ensure the best possible start in life and provides a solid foundation for...

- learning in the form of education and literacy, which forms building blocks for...

- training and employment that is demand-giving and customized

- income supplementation to reduce barriers for low-income earners (e.g. child tax benefits)

- income replacement through improved unemployment insurance systems

- adequate income and appropriate supports for persons with disabilities

- assistance with the creation of assets for low and modest income households

- strong social infrastructure, such as community spaces, recreation and cultural opportunities

- place-based initiatives that are specific to the community and integrate approaches to intervention 


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In This Issue

Happy Anniversary!

Photo Of The Month

John's Story

Your Purchases Counted

Did You Know We're Working To End Poverty?
savethedateSave The Date

May 7, 2013
United Way Town Hall
1:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Golden Circle
4620 47A, Red Deer

June 20, 2013
United Way AGM

photoofthemonthPhoto Of The Month
Pictured: Graham Heron and Sharon Hanson, partners at MNP.

We admit it, we miss BBQ weather!  We wanted to remember what it felt like to feel the warm sun, so we pulled this great shot from MNP's BBQ they held last year for United Way. They run a great campaign every year and we believe it has helped when the partners each visibly showing their support during the entire campaign. 
This year, check with your supervisor or manager and see what they might be willing to do to show their support.
storyJohn's Story  

John is a teenager who struggled to attend high school and participate in community activities because of developmental delays from bipolar disorder. Over the past few years, his family and service providers struggled to manage the medications to assist with John's complex needs. They also found it increasingly difficult to motivate John to get out of his house to attend school and to take part in any activities. The local high school requested that KCS Association, a United Way funded agency, join John's learning team to help find more successful options for John.


KCS staff met with John and his parents to explore his interests, dreams, passions and vulnerabilities. Staff also reviewed his many assessment reports. They discovered that John had many passions, one which included smaller planes. Working with the high school, John received a work placement at the Penhold Airport. Now John is working in the Sylvan Lake Public Works department and volunteers for the fire department. He will always have complex needs and require support to assist him, however he has discovered ways to be a contributing member of the community and now has positive role models and is beginning to develop friendships.

yourdollarsatworkYour Purchases Counted!
For the past three years, in addition to a significant corporate gift,  Imperial Oil has partnered with United Ways across Canada to donate a portion of each $25 United Way gift card purchased.  In 2012, that amount was $1,051 for our community, and over three years has added up to $2,976. 
We appreciate everyone who took the time to purchase these gift cards and for supporting this promotion.

If you have an inspired idea on how we can partner with your business to make the community a better place, please let us know.