Record amount of $1,221,688 raised by United Way Oxford will support programs to make Oxford a 'happier, healthier, better' place

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Oxford has done it again.

Despite a campaign fraught with challenges, United Way Oxford has managed to surpass their goal of $1.2 million by a little over $20,000.

“It’s a record amount for us,” said executive director Kelly Gilson. “It is a remarkable achievement but the real celebration is what we can do with these dollars by helping change community conditions and helping change lives. We want to make Oxford a healthier, happier, better place for all.”

Affected by contract negotiations and plant closures, the campaign took heart in “the huge success” of the Dennis and Joan Vollmershausen Leadership Challenge Grant.

“Their initial contribution inspired others to donate to a fund that matches every leadership donation, which is $1,200 or more a year,” Gilson said. “Not only did it inspire lots of new giving --- or rewards people can see on their investments -- it doubles the impact.”

Gilson said the generosity of the community shows how much people care about where they live.

“People care about their neighbours, their co-workers and their community,” she said.

Campaign chair Leslie Farrell added that the generosity of the community shows a great deal of faith in the agency.

“The community has learned to trust United Way to be responsible with their donated dollars,” she said. “And that we will use it wisely.”

In a special presentation Farrell said that board will be recognizing Gilson, as well as other United Way staff including Shelley Lachapelle, Anne Wismer, Jen Belleth, Brittany Taylor and Rachel Robinson, for their dedication.

“It has been a challenging campaign and the staff has been nothing but positive. The team never gave up and we need to recognize that,” she said. “It is not only the board members but the agencies that United Way supports who appreciate what they do.”

HRivers@postmedia.com

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