By STEVE HENSCHEL, Niagara This Week
United Way gets by with a little help from friends.
With friends like these the United Way of South Niagara has some reliable help.
Three area residents have joined together to create a leadership challenge under the banner of the Three Amigos. Specifically, Pelham town councillor and former United Way executive director Peter Papp, entrepreneur Rick Lowes and area developer Terry Duffy have teamed up, pledging $15,000 to the fundraising organization just so long as leaders step up to the plate. The trio is challenging individuals to step up as leaders with gifts of $1,000 or more. Every such gift will be matched by the amigos. Papp said the Three Amigos undertaking is the first such leadership challenge for the United Way of South Niagara. He noted he was originally challenged to launch the endeavour by United Way of St. Catharines executive director Frances Hallworth.
“I took up the challenge and approached my good friends,” said Papp, adding, “within a matter of seconds they agreed.” Papp noted both are first time cash donors, although Lowes has donated services and products in the past. He said a big part of the challenge is to encourage first time donors.
“They’ve been through the tough times and the good times and they wanted to give back,” said Papp, noting for him, and Lowes, both who lost a spouse recently, the challenge is a way for the pair to show their gratitude to the community for its support.
“Finally I have the chance to give something back,” said Duffy, pointing out his financial situation hasn’t always been so stable. He explained in business sometimes such generosity can’t be afforded, but, when it can it is important for profitable businesses to make their contribution. Papp noted the challenge is also a way to show a new generation who will soon take over supporting the United Way just what it takes.
While, the Three Amigos challenge is the first leadership challenge for the south Niagara, the St. Catharines United Way has a strong track record of success with such fundraisers. This year the United Ways of Niagara are cooperating at a greater level on their annual campaigns. Those campaigns kick off soon and the United Way of South Niagara is prepared to celebrate with its annual kick-off gala at Casa Vostra in Fonthill on Sept. 20. Office manager Ad Lewis noted its the first time the event has taken place in Pelham.
“We try and change it up,” she said, pointing out the event will be a chance for attendees to enjoy drinks, a fantastic dinner and company in a semi-formal affair. Beyond that they will have a chance to meet the amigos and learn about their United Way.
“Really it marks the start of the campaign,” said campaign associate Jamie Miller. Tickets to the event run $50 and the festivities kick off at 6 p.m. All proceeds benefit the United Way. Interested parties should RSVP to email@example.com or by calling 905-735-0490.