The Warden’s annual fundraiser for United Way of Greater Simcoe County is underway and in its 11th year. The event is the largest of its kind in the county, and brought in $69,000 last year.
Gerry Marshall, Simcoe County Warden, looks forward to hosting the event for his third year in a row.
The county also hosts golf tournaments and other fundraisers “but this particular event always brings the maximum amount of money raised for the United Way, and that makes good sense to get great partners in the community,” says Marshall.
He also pointed out that 11 per cent of the population lives below the poverty line, 32 per cent of which are single parent families and seven per cent are seniors.
“The United Way really reaches out to deliver some much-needed programs to part of our population that really needs help to stand up, so we are happy to help them help others,” says Marshall.
One out of every eight households faces food and security challenges, and cannot put food on the table, adds Marshall.
Still, more funds are raised through the cocktail hour before the event, as well as the silent auction.
“We have generous donors who bring some really nice auction prizes that help to drive the fundraising revenues up,” says Marshall.
They have no plans of moving the event around the county, as the Nottawasaga Inn is a perfect fit for what they need to get accomplished.
The location is also key to attracting neighbouring businesses and communities who support the work of the United Way for the greater community.
CTV Barrie’s Jane Pritchard will MC at the event again this year for an evening of music, comedy, delicious food, and special guest speakers.
According to Marshall, Mark Aitkin was on the Board of Directors of the United Way ten years ago, when they were averaging receipt for programs about $300,000 a year. Aitkin called the then-Warden’s attention to the cause.
It was also under Aitkin’s direction that the United Way increased funding to programs to over $1 million.
(Pictured: Warden Gerry Marshall at the 2016 Gala for United Way)