Starting the CFB Petawawa United Way campaign off with a good breakfast 0
CFB Petawawa base commander Lt.-Col. Chris Moyle serves up pancakes at Normandy Court as part of the base’s United Way campaign kick-off breakfast. Hundreds of people filed through to eat up and contribute to the campaign, lining up as early at 6 a.m. For more community photos, please visit our website photo gallery at www.thedailyobserver.ca.
The Renfrew County United Way and CFB Petawawa have found a way to make the most important meal of the day even more important.
Starting at shortly after 6 a.m. on Friday, scores of hungry people began filing through the doors of Normady Court to pay their $5 and get a heaping helping of pancakes, beans, bacon and more, with all proceeds going directly to the base’s United Way campaign.
Although the perennially popular “Engineer at the Top” event started earlier this year, the breakfast is technically the kick-off event of the campaign, which hopes this year to contribute $45,000 to the United Way’s county-wide goal of $500,000.
If the turnout at the breakfast is anything to go by, things are looking positive for this year’s campaign.
“I got here at 6:30 this morning,” said Renfrew County United Way board chairman Bob French, “and it’s been steady. This is the best turnout I’ve seen in the years we’ve been doing this.”
“(We’ve had) really terrific support from the military - they’re second to none. They really get behind the United Way campaign, and we’re really hoping that people catch the spirit and realize now that we’re attempting to address the highest priority health and social needs in the county. That’s very important that we get that message across - it’s going to take the whole community to make that happen.”
While the entire community does contribute to the campaign, it’s the workplace partnerships that bring in the most money, especially the largest employers in the county, including AECL and CFB Petawawa.
The kick-off breakfast and the Engineer at the Top are the last really large events for the campaign on the base, with most of the fundraising relying on people agreeing to give money right off their paycheques regularly.
“That’s our bread and butter,” says United Way executive director Dave Studham. “The bulk of the revenue comes from payroll pledges. That’s the most convenient way for people to donate.”
Mr. Studham explains that when employers partner with the United Way, employees can simply direct their payroll office to deduct a donation before issuing their cheque, making their contribution both regular and painless.
For base commander Lt.-Col. Chris Moyle, partnerships with local initiatives like the Renfrew County United Way are vital.
“I think it’s critical,” he said. “From a community perspective, we often look at the base and say ‘it’s a big federal institution,’ but what we don’t necessarily equate is the fact that our families live in these communities, our families participate in community activities, we’re supported by the greater community, and the base being here means that we’re able to contribute to those communities in which our families live. So from my perspective, it’s critical for us to be integrated with the people who most support us.”
Although everyone involved in the organization of the campaign in general and the kick-off event in particular is optimistic about reaching the various fundraising goals, Mr. Studham says it will still be several weeks before any concrete numbers start rolling in probably mid- to late-November.
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