Petes Plaid Night

Plaidtastic Puck drop

Today in the Pat Casey Alumni room at the Memorial Centre, Jim Russell CEO of the United Way of Peterborough and District together with the 2017 Campaign Chair Neil Morton announced that Thursday November 2 will be Plaid Night at the Peterborough Petes game against the Sarnia Sting. Coining a neologism, Morton implored everyone to plan to have “plaidtastic night!” Enthusiastically Mr. Morton went on to describe the importance of this year’s campaign theme, “When I think of plaid and its history it represents hard working industrious people and communities, where everyone is included.” Morton was giddy in his delight at the thought of seeing the Memorial Centre sold out with everyone wearing plaid, “it’s a dream come true!”

Petes, Neil, Jim

Matt D’Agostini of the Petes was unabashed in his support of the night and the partnership with the United Way. As a special enticement for the public to come out to the game, he was joined at the podium by three of the Petes players, Cole Fraser, Matthew Timms, and Dylan Wells. They all sported redesigned special edition maroon, black and cream, Plaid, game day sweaters. The jerseys will be worn during the game and be auctioned off with all proceeds going towards the annual campaign.

Patrick McAuley, Bowes & Cocks and Jim Bailey, Camibium Inc.

Patrick McAuley, Bowes & Cocks and Jim Bailey, Cambium Inc.

Co-sponsors of the one of a kind sweaters were Cambium and Patrick McAuley of Bowes and Cocks. Jim Bailey of Cambium Inc. spoke of the culture of his workplace and the importance to give back to the community, “for us it was a perfect fit, with both the United Way and the Petes being important to Peterborough.” In addition Ashburnham Realty is sponsoring the skybox for the evening.


Noah Crowley, of Sun Life Financial, Chair of the silent auction table for the event shared a list of items so far secured including, Gold Leaf Tickets, an Anaheim Ducks game jersey signed by Nick Ritchie, a Fitbit from Best Buy, signed Kurtis Foster hockey stick, and a special “suite Night Out” package which will include a box, tickets for 8, and food for the evening sponsored by Ricky’s.


Jim Russell sporting a day of the dead bow tie in honour of November 2, thanked people for joining and implored the room, “Let’s have a sea of plaid!”


There are $20 tickets still available, $7 of each going directly to the United Way, as well as Plaid scarves for $25. Both are available at United Way office.

Event details

United Way Plaid Night-Flyer

76th United Way Campaign Launches #NowMoreThanEver

2017 Launch place setting

76th United Way Campaign Launches  #NowMoreThanEver

PETERBOROUGH, ON –300 people packed the Evinrude Centre this morning to launch the 76th annual United Way Community fundraising Campaign.  This year’s Campaign Chair, Neil Morton was bagpiped into the centre, along with all the Partner agencies who receive long term funding through the efforts of each annual campaign.

Morton was effusive in his praise for this year’s cabinet and United Way staff, “there is such a strong committed team, and I am confident we will reach goal.”

An overarching theme to this year’s campaign has been the introduction of plaid. “Plaid is the great equalizer, a reminder that we are all part of the same family” says Morton. In fact it was announced that on November 2 the Peterborough Pete’s will be holding a Pete’s Plaid Night, showcasing plaid redesigned jerseys. Fans will be encouraged to wear plaid in support of the United Way.

Morton, the co-founder of PTBO Canada, the premiere social medial agency in the city has been instrumental in raising the Social Media presence of the United Way. Jim Russell CEO stated, “There has been more early momentum in this year’s campaign than ever before” attributing it directly to Morton’s counsel.

Board Chair Karen Wilson outlined the role United Way plays in building community through ensuring basic needs are met, supporting healthy aging, supporting programs dealing with mental health, to name a few.

Wilson and Morton were joined by all Partner agencies for the reveal of this year’s goal, which is set at $1,850,000.00.

Click here to view our photo gallery!


For information about United Way, please contact:   

Jim Russell
United Way Peterborough & District
T: 705-742-8839



GIVING VOICE… Peterborough’s 2016 Point-in-Time Count of Homelessness

I Count Ptbo Logo

For 75 years our singular priority as United Way of Peterborough & District has been to ask ourselves: what does our community need and how we collectively respond to those challenges with conviction and hope? All while bringing together resources, goodwill, and a strategic promise to effectively invest time, money, and voice to ensure equal opportunity for all to build a better life.

Homelessness is a pressing concern for many Canadians. The question of ‘Why” resonates across this country — from the deep concern that arises when you pass someone who is homeless and living on the street to the despair and hopelessness felt by the person who is struggling to find a safe and affordable place to stay. We all ask “what can be done” or even more boldly “what must be done?”

Our community… our home… Peterborough has a strong and honourable history of actively responding to the needs of our homeless neighbour and is reflected in the work of numerous agencies, advocates, and coalitions. Indeed there is an ever evolving political will – federally, provincially and municipally – to address our shared concern for the homeless. The simple truth is we all suffer when homelessness exists in our communities. This report calls us – all of us – to deepen our community wide effort to address this issue and to truly hear and listen to the voice of those who are impacted by this issue on a daily basis.

It is time to ask ourselves what it might take to end homelessness in Peterborough. What approaches are needed? How do we involve the entire community in this work?  How do we build on and enhance the tireless attention to this issue that so many committed people have championed for years? And finally how will we measure progress?

To that end the Point in Time Count is the starting point on this journey. We must continue to gather together comprehensive information, in a statistically rigorous manner, and consistent with similar communities across the country from those who are homelessness. Giving Voice….Peterborough’s 2016 Point in Time Count of Homelessness is a snap shot of homelessness in our community. This report serves to inform and perhaps to guide and indeed to provoke collective action based on the voices of those most affected.

Certainly, this undertaking was not United Way’s alone. Throughout this report you will see acknowledgement of thought leaders, advocates, and organizations concerned about homelessness – all whom supported this undertaking. I would like to draw special attention to the efforts of Dorothy Oliver, Chair of the HPS Community Advisory Board, Lisa Smith Director of Philanthropic Impact, and Erica Richmond, PiT coordinator. The collaborative-ness, energy, and aplomb in this inaugural undertaking was inspiring.

Finally, dare we say “we can end homelessness in Peterborough”

Jim Russell B.S.W., M.S.W.
Chief Executive Officer


Report: GIVING VOICE…Peterborough’s 2016 Point-in-Time Count of Homelessness

Key Findings: PiT Key Findings – One Pager

4th Annual Paint The Town Red – July 13, 2016


Generous Peterborough area restaurants are donating 25% of their day’s sales to United Way Peterborough & District on Wednesday July 13, 2016.


Confirmed Restaurants

  • Silver Bean Café​
  • Apollo Grill​
  • La Hacienda Mexican Restaurant​
  • The Night Kitchen​
  • The Planet Bakery​
  • Cosmic Charlie’s Cafe​
  • Dolce Vita Resto​
  • Natas Cafe​
  • Ashburnham Ale House​
  • Electric City Gardens​
  • St Veronus​
  • Kawartha Dairy​ – Scooped Ice Cream only – Ptbo location
  • Black Honey Dessert and Coffeehouse​
  • Olde Stone Brewing Company​
  • Soupcon Bistro​
  • Brio Gusto Restaurant & Wine Bar​
  • Marty Moo’s​
  • BrickHouse CRAFT BURGER​
  • Sam’s Place – ”The Best Dan Deli In Town”​
  • Riley’s Pub Peterborough​

Follow us @UnitedWayPtbo and help spread the red #PaintPtboRed

Join the event group and invite your friends on Facebook: Paint The Town Red – Facebook Event

If you wish to participate please email or call 705-742-8839 Thank you!


We’re Celebrating 75 Years of Caring!

United Way Peterborough 75th anniversary logo_ver2

David Fell, Board Chair and Gwyneth James, 2016 Campaign Chair of United Way Peterborough & District unveiled a special anniversary logo today on the United Way front lawn on Stewart Street and announced the launch ’75 Years of Caring,’ a year-long celebration of the organization’s 75th Anniversary.

PTW 75th Anniversary Photos

CEO, Jim Russell noted a caring community of volunteers and donors has contributed to the success of the past 75 years, raising over $71 million for our community. “As we embark on this year of celebration, we will reflect on the impact that has been made possible by your support,” said Russell. Throughout the year, United Way will be having several momentous occasions of celebration they would like you to join, a Birthday Party Campaign Launch September 20th and a Celebration in November, among others to be announced.


In addition, some familiar faces were at today’s announcement. Russell introduced, Chair of the 75th Celebration Committee, Len Lifchus. Lifchus served the United Way movement for 25 years, including a decade as CEO, United Way Peterborough from 1999 to 2009, and most recently as CEO, United Way of Burlington and Greater Hamilton, where he retired in 2014. He is thrilled to be working closely with UWP again in this role leading the 75th Celebration, “It’s indeed a pleasure to bring together people from the past that I worked with and celebrate 75 years of making a difference to the city and county of Peterborough,” says Lifchus.

Other members of the 75th Anniversary Celebration Committee include:

  • Janice Abbott, Former staff member for more than 20 years
  • Tom Bennet, Past Campaign Chair and Campaign Cabinet member
  • Pat Hooper, Past Board Chair and Campaign Chair
  • Jennifer MacIssac. Former staff member & Volunteer
  • Rod MacIssac, Past Campaign Chair, Campaign Cabinet member and Finance Committee member for more than 25 years
  • David Martin, Past Board Chair, Campaign Chair, Campaign Cabinet member and Community Impact Committee Chair
  • Brian O’Toole, Past Campaign Chair
  • Shirlanne Pawley-Boyd, Former staff member, Fund Distribution Committee  and Community Impact Committee member


75th Anniversary Celebration Sponsorship Opportunities


The details of the 75th Celebration will be posted here once they are finalized.


2016 Campaign Chair Announcement

Gwyneth James, 2016 Campaign Chair (center), Bob Marshall, James' partner (left), Mitchell, James' son (right)

Gwyneth James, 2016 Campaign Chair (center), Bob Marshall (James’ partner, left), Mitchell (James’ son, right)

Jim Russell, CEO United Way Peterborough & District announced today at the United Way office on Stewart Street that local accountant and entrepreneur, Gwyneth James, MBA CPA, CGA would Chair the 2016 Community Campaign.

Russell made the announcement saying, “Gwyneth is a well-respected community and business leader, she approaches all tasks with a focus and determination which inspires.”

Gwyneth was born in British Columbia and graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Science and Microbiology in 1985; later coming east to the University of Ottawa to complete her MBA in Finance in 1993. Gwyneth continued her education receiving her Certified General Accountants Designation in 1997. She eventually took on the role of Controller and Manager, Business Development at Nexicom for 11 years and then made an entrepreneurial leap into Financial Consulting and Accounting as a Partner at Cody & James CPAs in early 2009.

Gwyneth has devoted countless hours to our community through a variety of local organizations including; Women’s Business Network, Community Futures Development Corporation, Peterborough Economic Development, Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, Fleming College, Five Counties Children’s Centre Foundation, Peterborough Theatre Guild, and Peterborough Symphony Orchestra; some in roles as Board Chair and President; including Past Board Chair and Cabinet Member of United Way Peterborough. Gwyneth is a natural and well-respected leader.

Gwyneth believes it takes a whole community to build a strong community. “A strong economy is only half of the equation. We need to leverage the strengths, experiences and expertise of everyone if we are to succeed. Having been involved with the United Way for many years in the past, I’ve seen firsthand the power of the organization and I strongly believe in its direction and reach,” says James. “Chairing the 2016 Campaign is a wonderful opportunity to combine my passion for business development with helping all our community’s citizens become healthy contributing members of society. I’m humbled by the responsibility of the role and what it means to so many in our community,” James added.

Gwyneth brings a passion to both her work and volunteer activities, affirms Russell, “Reflecting on United Way’s 75 years in our community, we looked for an individual who is well respected and a leader.


Media Coverage

Gwyneth James will lead this year’s United Way campaign in Peterborough – Peterborough This Week, March 31, 2016

Gwyneth James to chair 2016 United Way campaign – Peterborough Examiner, March 31, 2016

United Way Names 2016 Campaign Chair – 90.5 Extra Peterborough, March 31, 2016

James named United Way community campaign chairperson – CHEX Television, March 31, 2016

Point in Time Homeless Count

I Count Ptbo Logo

Thank You to the Volunteers, Participants and Community for Making
Peterborough’s PiT Count Possible

On March 22, 2016, volunteers took to Peterborough streets, shelters and meal programs to count and survey the homeless population for Peterborough’s first Point-in-Time (PiT) Count. From 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m., fifteen teams surveyed two meal programs, five shelters and eight routes throughout the city.  While each team had their own experiences, a commonality emerged from the day, most interviewed were grateful to share their story, “They wanted their voice to be heard,” was echoed by numerous volunteers.

Thrilled with the support and involvement from our community for Peterborough’s PiT count “We applaud all 55 volunteers who generously contributed 302 hours of their time and energy to support iCountPtbo,” says Jim Russell, CEO United Way Peterborough & District. “Throughout the day our United Way office was full of energy as volunteers left with their teams and returned hours later, most of them dripping wet, the cold rainy weather did not dampen their spirits,” added Russell. Volunteers play an essential role in all initiatives and operations of United Way Peterborough.

Erica Richmond, PiT Count Coordinator was moved by the volunteer experiences and the participants of the survey, saying “we give our sincerest thanks to the people currently experiencing homelessness who agreed to be interviewed and trusted us with their stories. Their stories will give a deepened meaning to the PiT Count initiative.”

Thank you in particular to the following dedicated community members and partners for making Peterborough’s PiT Count possible:

  • Brock Mission, Cameron House, YWCA Crosswords, YES Shelter for Youth and Families, The Warming Room and City of Peterborough for assisting with this year’s count.
  • Mark Woolley who donated his time to develop individual map routes for our street count teams to follow with ease.
  • Merrett Home Hardware for generously supplying low cost equipment for our survey teams.
  • Domino’s Pizza – Parkhill for providing nourishment for our volunteers.


A few quotes from PiT Count Volunteers:

“I’ve supported people experiencing homelessness for years but this… this was much more emotional that I had anticipated. At one point, I just broke down in tears.”

“This was a new experience for me. I had to really push myself out of my comfort zone to even approach people, let alone conduct interviews. I was really surprised at how nice and open people were – they really wanted to share their stories. And I learned that homelessness can happen for a variety of reasons. Anyone can become homeless.”

“In speaking with people, I was so humbled at the level of respect I was shown. For people to be asked very personal questions by someone who is obviously not in the same situation as them and to answer honestly, shows the level of commitment the entire community has to ‘fixing’ the ‘homelessness problem’.”


A detailed report on Peterborough’s Point-in-Time Homeless Count will be released to the community June 28, 2016.


PiT Count Background Info
A PiT Count is not intended to be a measure of everyone who experiences homelessness in a community over time. By focusing on a single day, the count will not include some people who cycle in and out of homelessness. What it will do, is provide an estimate of how many of these people are homeless at a given time. It’s also not intended to be a count of hidden homelessness (e.g., people who are “couch-surfing”). The focus of the count is instead on those who are absolutely homeless (e.g., sleeping in shelters or on the street) on the day of the count.

PiT Background Info & FAQs



Media Coverage

United Way survey’s homeless community – CHEX Television – March 22, 2016

Sixty volunteers count the homeless for Peterborough and District United Way’s Point in Time survey – Peterborough Examiner – March 23, 2016

Volunteers fan out to count Peterborough’s homeless – Peterborough This Week – March 23, 2016

Peterborough’s homeless to be counted on Tuesday night – Peterborough This Week – March 21, 2016

Peterborough United Way to count how many people are homeless in the community – Peterborough This Week – March 1, 2016

How many people are homeless in Peterborough? Answer: unknown – CHEX Television – March 1, 2016

Point in Time program to count Peterborough’s homeless population – Peterborough Examiner – March 2, 2016