230 people packed the Evinrude Centre this morning to launch the 77th annual United Way Community fundraising Campaign. There was lively hosting by Stu Harrison, Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, and Catherine Hanrahan, Team vanRahan and the event was broadcast live by Fresh Radio and Chex Television. At one point the event was overtaken by Zombies from the John Howard Society promoting their Zombie Outbreak escape maze event planned for October 25th and 26th to support the United Way Campaign.
Jim Russell, CEO of United Way of Peterborough and District welcomed and opened the celebration with an acknowledgement of the stewardship of the land by indigenous peoples. He enthusiastically revealed this year’s Campaign theme of Local Love and reminded the crowd gathered that “we are all responsible for our community, for each other, for our friends and neighbors, and indeed strangers in need, and this year’s campaign provides the opportunity to make manifest Peterborough’s Local Love”. The 2018 Campaign Theme is LocalLove and is about unleashing the power of local love to create change and take action on the pressing issues found in our community.
This year’s Campaign Chair, Megan Murphy, showcased her mini-doc series 50 people 1 Peterborough produced to change the conversation about need in our community and highlight the impact of United Way in addressing these concerns. Murphy stated “my vision for this year’s campaign is put the “you” back in United Way through storytelling and our guerrilla marketing #ChalkTalk campaign. I want Peterborough to understand that we own both the poverty and privilege in our community and to truly feel the impact that their donation makes.”
Megan was born and raised in Peterborough. She went on to study at York University where she obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Performance. She is a graduate of the Documentary Filmmaking Institute at Seneca College and the Second City Conservatory Program. She is currently a morning show co-host on two Peterborough/Northumberland radio station, 93.3 myFM and 107.9 Classic Rock and an afternoon drive co-host on Oldies 96.7. As an actress she has appeared on-screen in various roles from Flashpoint to Tim Hortons commercials. Megan has directed a number of films including Shelf Life and Towns End both of which were programmed at ReFrame Film Festival. Her feature film, Murphy’s Law, which chronicled her journey across Ireland on her deceased father’s bicycle, won best documentary at the Fingal Film Festival in Ireland in 2016.
Megan Murphy and Jim Russell were joined United Way’s Partner agencies including its two recently funded innovation projects and 12 neighbourhood projects for the reveal of this year’s goal, which is set at $1,850,000.00.
The County of Peterborough also hosted a campaign launch at Lang Pioneer Village with County Council to celebrate the start of the campaign in the county.