50 Years United for our Community
March 18th, 2014 marked the golden anniversary of the United Way of Thunder Bay. From its humble beginnings in 1964 when the Thunder Bay United Appeal was formed through a merger of the Port Arthur and Fort William Community Chests as spearheaded by a committee of representatives from the Port Arthur and Fort William Chamber of Commerce, Port Arthur District Trades and Labour Council Welfare Committee, and the two community chests, to 1975 when it joined the United Way of Canada’s national movement and officially became the United Way of Thunder Bay, this organization continues to allocate funds to social agencies that provide services and programs so widely needed by the people of our community .
A lot has changed in our community over the past 50 years and the United Way’s impact has expanded with the times. Its emphasis continues to address the underlying causes of social problems and to work towards effecting sustainable long-term change that can make a measurable difference for our neighbours, families and friends. The United Way is an organization that builds partnerships. It embraces and advocates for change to achieve shared goals. It mobilizes communities, agencies and funders. It empowers local people. Looking to the next 50 years as a leader in the community, United Way continues to support and educate local youth and create opportunities for them to become strong leaders by continuing with The Youth 4 Community Fund as a way of encouraging young people to get involved in philanthropy, build community awareness and learn new skills. This program also helps to address some of the needs in our community around youth priorities. The United Way will continue to play a role beyond just a funder to a community building one, partnering with many local community organizations to help improve programs and services, as in the past with initiatives such as in the Regional Food Distribution Association and the Action for Neighbourhood Change project.
Joined by its Funded Agencies, Board of Directors, and local dignitaries, the United Way of Thunder Bay celebrated ‘50 Years United for Our Community’ with refreshments sponsored by Carol’s Cakes and David’s Tea and a display of historical memorabilia in an open house for their volunteers. Mayor Keith Hobbs proclaimed March 18th as “United Way Day” in the City of Thunder Bay and United Way Special Events Chair Mary McLellan announced that Valhalla Inn, Prince Arthur Waterfront Hotel & Suites, Days Inn and Best Western – Crossroads Motor Inn will all be donating 50 cents from each room rented between March 18 – April 17 inclusive, to the United Way.
“Today is a day of celebration. We are all here to honour an organization that has been driving change in this community for 50 years. I am pleased to be one of the thousands of volunteers that are part of these efforts .The United Way will continue to create positive community impact by addressing root causes to some of our most pressing community priorities and looks forward to the exciting possibilities the future will bring for us.”
- Jules Tupker, President, United Way Board of Directors