United Way announces $800,000 campaign goal

The Fraser Valley agency held a kick-off event in Abbotsford.

Members of the Abbotsford Senior Secondary drumline perform during the United Way of the Fraser Valley's campaign kick-off on Thursday morning.

United Way of the Fraser Valley (UWFV) has announced that its goal for this year’s fundraising campaign is $800,000.

The announcement was made by campaign co-chair Robin Marshall on Thursday morning during a kick-off celebration on the campus of Abbotsford Senior Secondary.

The celebration included a free pancake breakfast for the community and a performance by the Abby Senior drumline.

The first donation – $2,500 – for this year’s campaign was then presented to Marshall by Kathy Purcha, manager of the Bank of Montreal’s Highstreet branch.

Les Talvio of Cyrus Centre, a drop-in centre for at-risk youth that receives funding from UWFV, urged those gathered at the celebration to support the campaign.

“It’s an amazing effort to get behind and contribute to. They’re making a difference in the community,” he said.

The UWFV campaign runs annually from September to December, and 79 per cent of the funds comes from employee payroll deductions. Another 19.6 per cent is from corporate donations, while the remaining 1.4 per cent is from individuals contributing outside of a workplace program.

The UWFV covers the area from Aldergrove to Boston Bar, including Abbotsford and Mission.

It provides social service grants to 25 charities in areas such as early childhood success, homelessness and affordable housing, and poverty reduction.

Last year, the agency raised about $756,000 toward its $875,000 goal, resulting in a lower target being set for this year.

For more information about UWFV or to make a donation, call 604-852-1234 or visit uwfv.bc.ca.

The agency is located in the Sweeney Neighbourhood Centre at Abbotsford Senior Secondary, 33355 Bevan Ave.