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Scholfield Award 2019 Nominations Now Open!

Scholfield Award of Community Distinction

Recognizing and celebrating outstanding volunteer contributions to the City and County of Peterborough.

United Way of Peterborough & District’s Scholfield Award of Community Distinction was established to recognize an individual or organization for their outstanding contribution and ability to mobilize positive change within our community. Through their excellent leadership, the award recipient will energize and inspire people to come together to make a lasting difference in the City and County of Peterborough.


The Board of Directors of United Way Peterborough and District will select a recipient based on the following criteria:

  • Achievement: The nominee achieved progress in addressing a community need or issue
  • Impact: The nominee’s impact on the community was significant
  • Approach: The nominee used an innovative, unique or exemplary approach
  • Mobilization: The nominee mobilized members of the community
  • Involvement: The nominee demonstrated a strong commitment, whether long-term or a first-time involvement
  • Leadership: The nominee demonstrated leadership in addressing a community need or issue

In 2004, Paul and Ina Scholfield were the first recipients of this award. The Scholfield’s have been long-time philanthropists and community builders. Through their generosity and commitment, they lead by example, typifying the spirit of community building. Other recipients of this award include: Marion Burton, Faith Dickinson, Stephen Kylie, Marie Bongard, Sharon Courts, Paul Lafond, People First, John Martyn, Bill Strode, Roy Brady, Survivors Abreast, John McNutt and Special Olympics – Peterborough.

This award is open to any resident or organization within the boundaries of the city and county of Peterborough.  Any individual or representative of national, provincial, regional or local organizations may nominate a candidate.

 Submit your nominations on this form

Nominations must be submitted by 4 pm, March 15th, 2019 to the United Way Peterborough & District office at:

277 Stewart Street, Peterborough, ON  K9J 3M8
Phone: 705-742-8839     Fax: 705-742-9186
Email: erichmond@uwpeterborough.ca

Click here for Media Release.

Click here for Nomination Form.

Peterborough’s low-income earners aren’t moving upward, still below provincial income levels

Our CEO, Jim Russell weighs in on income levels here in Peterborough.  Click here for full article in Peterborough This Week  or read below.

Peterborough’s low-income earners aren’t moving upward, still below provincial income levels

According to a provincial study, since 2000 high-income earners have been making more money while low-income earners have stagnated

NEWS Feb 19, 2019 by Taylor Clysdale  Peterborough This Week
Income Disparity Ontario

An infographic from the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario shows the province’s highest income earners made more gains in income than lower-income workers. That statistic and more make up a recent report on income disparity. – Courtesy/FAO

The average household income in Peterborough is thousands of dollars less than the provincial average.

And combined with facts from a new report saying low-income earners are finding it harder to move upward, it’s become difficult to thin the divide between the rich and poor in Ontario.

The Financial Accountability Office of Ontario released a report Jan. 31 titled Income in Ontario: Growth, Distribution and Mobility.

Data from that report shows income growth in Ontario from 2000 to 2016 was the slowest of any province, and that Ontario has had the slowest growth in median-family income across the provinces “by a wide margin.”

“The data suggests that it is becoming harder for lower-income Ontarians to move up the income distribution. For middle-income Ontarians, the risk of downward mobility has increased. At the same time, fewer higher-income Ontarians are falling out of high income,” says the report.

And Peterborough is well below the provincial average for income. According to Statistics Canada, the median household income for the city before taxes in 2015 was $58,381. Compare that to the Ontario average of $74,287 or the national average of $70,336.

If low-income earners are able to better keep up with costs then it will improve their chances of increasing their income mobility, says Jim Russell, president of United Way Peterborough and District.

The United Way Peterborough and District sponsors the Housing is Fundamental Report and has undertaken studies on homelessness and income.

“It’s actually a shame the provincial government concluded the pilot project around a guaranteed basic income,” Russell says.

That’s referring to the basic income pilot project, which was launched by the previous Liberal government with 4,000 program participants in Lindsay, Hamilton and Thunder Bay.

On July 31, the Progressive Conservative government cancelled the project. A group attempted to take the province to court over the decision, hoping to overturn it, but on Feb. 14, the court shot down the appeal.

Russell says the information that pilot project, had it finished, would have provided valuable data on whether a basic income helps move people out of living with a low-income.

 Whether a basic income actually helped elevate people up the income scale was something the pilot could have discovered, adds Russell.

He notes that by providing a minimum standard to meet basic needs, people rely less on food banks and charities.

“What we’re seeing right now is the strains on capitalism,” he says.

Russell also says precarious employment is another factor in workers’ inability to improve their incomes.

And many of Peterborough’s workers live with precarious or insecure employment which affects their day-to-day lives. That’s according to studies done by the Precarious Employment Research Initiative, which was performed by Peterborough Public Health with the help of the city and a slew of agencies and institutions.

Precarious work is defined by the initiative as having irregular hours, unpredictable wages, less access to job training and usually consists of part-time, contract or temporary work.

The first study in that initiative found 33 per cent of Peterborough workers face precarious employment, while 29 per cent describe their employment as being vulnerable, 18 per cent say it is stable while only 20 per cent call their work secure.

Peterborough Public Health has also done other research on how having a low-income affects people’s health. According to a 2018 report, individuals who make a low-income have a shorter life expectancy than their high-income counterparts, are more challenged with mental-health issues and rate their own health as being lower than those earning more.

“Individuals living in low income have higher rates of chronic diseases and are more likely to die earlier than individuals who are better off financially,” says the report. “Growing up and living in low income can also contribute to food and employment insecurity, lower levels of education, being poorly housed or homeless, social isolation, stress, and difficulty accessing quality health care.”

It also says that suffering those factors may even perpetuate their low-income status.

Mayor Diane Therrien says it’s no surprise it has become harder to get by as more people are living paycheque to paycheque.

“We know that income inequality has been rising for the last couple decades,” says Therrien.

In part that’s to do with large corporations that aren’t paying their fair share, she says. Outrage from Panama Papers back in 2017, where journalists discovered corporations had been hiding massive amounts of wealth offshore to avoid taxes, has disappeared and no one speaks about it anymore.

“There’s people that have hundreds of millions of dollars that are able to cheat the system,” she says.

Without that money coming in and circulating the economy, the public is worse off, she notes.

But Therrien also says it’s possible to change that. People can advocate to higher levels of government for change and she adds there’s plenty of giving people in the community supporting low-income earners through the United Way, YWCA and Kawartha Food Share.

Locally there’s also been a painful transition as the economy moves away from large-scale manufacturing jobs and people who expected to have careers in those fields need retraining, she says.

“The good full-time jobs aren’t there in the traditional sectors,” she says.

But it’s not hopeless for people who are dealing with this challenge.

The health unit report on the health effects of low-income life says its possible to create communities where people are more easily able to afford the basic necessities of life. It recommends people advocate to their city councillors, MPs and MPPs and to join advocacy groups to deal with issues related to poverty.

Mayor Therrien says advocacy is important, as many people don’t know how to access help or don’t know it exists.

“It’s about linking people up to the services they need,” she says.

Russell says the federal government supports seniors, so there is a precedent supporting a basic income guarantee across Canada.

While some benefitting from that program might be comfortable staying at that minimum income level, others would likely want to augment that, he explains.

And by building on that income and aspiring to “get more and have more” they can move up on the income scale and stay out of poverty.

“We have a lot of work to do at a local level and also pressuring senior levels of government to step up,” says Therrien.

by Taylor Clysdale

Taylor Clysdale covers municipal, provincial and federal politics for Peterborough This Week.You can follow him on Twitter @TaylorClysdale and reach him at tclysdale@mykawartha.com.

Email: tclysdale@mykawartha.com Twitter

Change Starts Here – This is Rob’s Story



Giving is about people. Your local love can truly change a life, right here in the city and county of Peterborough. This is one story.
Thank-you to our community partners who gave Rob the support he needed to change his life. Thank-you to everyone who has donated to our campaign and invested in our friends, family and neighbours.
But mostly, thank you to Rob for your courage to change your life and share your story.
There is still time to give. Please visit our website to make a donation today. https://give.unitedway.ca/donate/WPETER
Film Credits: Megan Murphy & FilmKelly


United Way Peterborough Announces 1.2 million


The United Way of Peterborough and District announced Wednesday morning that the fall campaign has reached $1.2 million toward its goal of raising $1.85 million for the local agencies funded by United Way.

United Way CEO Jim Russell and campaign chairwoman Megan Murphy joined members of the campaign team in making the announcement at the Pagoda Bridge at Jackson Creek Trail in Peterborough.

Media Coverage:


1 Day Collection for Coats For Kids

United Way Peterborough is partnering with Vinnies for a one-day fall collection of Coats For Kids on Saturday, October 13.

Vinnies will collect the coats for the United Way’s Coats For Kids during their regular hours of operation from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the Saturday only. Then on Sunday, October 14, a pool of Vinnies’ volunteers will sort the coats at their warehouse. On Monday, October 15 United Way volunteers will deliver the coats to the three cleaners in Peterborough – Grainger, Kent and Windsor Cleaners.

“We are thrilled to work with the United Way on this project that is so important to our community,” said Sue Mazziotti-Armitage, Vinnies’ Client Care Coordinator.

“We know the need for winter coats for kids and adults too is great. Our office is already getting calls from individuals and agencies for the distribution date,” said Lisa Smith, United Way Peterborough’s Director of Philanthropic Impact.

This program provides much needed relief to local families as one in six children in Peterborough lives in poverty. Families continue to deal with sharply rising costs of living and simply don’t have the means to purchase clothing to stay warm during the harsh winter months.

Coats for Kids is possible due to the generous support of Peterborough residents, community organizations, and program partners. Since 1986, individuals and families have donated gently worn winter wear which is then cleaned at no cost to the program by local dry cleaning providers. Grainger Cleaners, Kent Cleaners, and Windsor’s Dry Cleaning Centre have been active and program partners since the program began 30 years ago.

The coats will be distributed on Saturday, October 27 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Peterborough Square. United Way Peterborough also partners with Peterborough Social Services in the distribution of coats in the County.

For more information, contact Lisa Smith, Director of Philanthropic Impact at 705-742-8839 ext. 29

Community Comes Together to Show Its Local Love at the 2018 United Way Campaign Launch #LocalLove

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.


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6th Annual Paint the Town Red Continues to Show Growth

On Wednesday July 18th, hundreds of people dined out at 32 local restaurants who donated 25% of their daily sales to support the work of United Way Peterborough & District.  Today we are thrilled to announce another record breaking success both in donations and community engagement.

The event continues to show growth, raising just over $16,000, a 6% increase from last year bringing the grand total to over $75,000 raised since the event was launched in 2013. There were some participating locations this year and the event featured a special charity ride from Full Tilt Cycle where riders were encouraged to Ride then Dine.

Paint the Town Red continues to raise more than donations, it also raises community connection. The true flavour of the event was exemplified by restaurants supporting each other, businesses encouraging folks to head out to eat, workplaces coordinating team meals and friendly rivalries to see who could eat at more restaurants, all to support everyone in our community.  The infamous Red Spoon toured the vicinity throughout the day and folks were clamouring for a spoon spotting, or even better, a spoon selfie!  You could watch the day unfold through your computer or cell phone as the community of Peterborough shared their photos and experiences on various social media platforms. The hashtag #PaintPtboRed was trending on Twitter across Canada all day demonstrating the powerful force of our community at large.

“Our restaurants and food are second to none in the Province. And once again we thank the entrepreneurial spirit of our restauranteurs and their commitment to building local economy while at the same time giving back to community.” Beamed Megan Murphy, 2018 Campaign Chair.

We’d like to offer our overwhelming gratitude to the participating restaurants, the people who came out and dined and to the many volunteers who made this event possible. In particular to Downtown Divas Laura Crann (Ashburnham Realty) and Ashley Vititoe who put their heart, soul and stomach into the event.

The dollars raised in this event will be going right back into this community to support our partner agencies, innovation projects and neighbourhood grants in their work building a strong and healthy Peterborough & District for everyone.

Thank-you to the 2018 Participating Restaurants

Amandala’s Dodrio Bubble Tea and Anime Cafe Kawartha Dairy (all scooped sales – High Street location) Riley’s
Amuse Coffee Co. Fresh Dreams La Hacienda Sam’s Place
Ashburnham Ale House Freshii La Mesita Silver Bean Cafe
B.E. Catering Gerti’s Oasis Mediterranean Grill –  #O.M.G St. Veronus
Black Honey Hobart’s Steak House The Night Kitchen Sunset Grill
Brio Gusto Hunter County Cuisine Pita Pit – George Street Tiny Greens
Chick-a-biddy Acres (Wednesday Market) Island Cream Providence Tre Ristorante
Cora Breakfast & Lunch Jeff Purvey’s (Rubidge Street) Rare Turnbull Cafe

For more information, please contact;

Jim Russell, CEO
United Way Peterborough & District
T: 705-742-8839
E: jrussell@uwpeterborough.ca

Paint the Town Red

Today in the Hunter Street alley, Jim Russell CEO of United Way of Peterborough & District was joined by Campaign Chair, Megan Murphy, Paint the Town Red 2018 Co-Chairs Laura Crann (Ashburnham Realty) and Ashley Vititoe (Gauvreau and Assoicates) along with a variety of participating restaurants to announce the launch of the 6th annual Paint the Town Red event.

On Wednesday July 18th, 32 participating restaurants will be donating 25% of their daily sales to support the work of United Way to build a better future for everyone.

 Says Murphy, “The energy around this event and excitement about helping each other is what I love about this community. I encourage you to sit down with friends and family on July 18th, share a meal together and help to build an even stronger and deeper community connection.”

 Event Co-Chairs Crann and Vititoe expressed that supporting this event is a great start to their first year volunteering for the United Way Campaign. Laura added, “It’s been a blast to take pictures with the ‘spoon’ while talking to folks about the work of United Way.” Special thanks to past Campaign Cabinet volunteer and last year’s event co-chair, Terry Guiel (DBIA) who spent his own time carving and painting this Paint the Town Red symbol. Laura and Ashley encourage folks that while dining on July 18th, to share their experience on social media using the hashtag #PaintPtboRed.”

Last year’s event raised over $15,000.00 bringing the total to over $60,000 since 2013.

Thanks to our Confirmed Participants for 2018 #PaintPtboRed

Amuse Coffee Co.
Ashburnham Ale House
B.E. Catering
Black Honey
Brio Gusto
Chick-a-biddy Acres (Wednesday Market)
Cora Breakfast & Lunch
Dodrio Bubble Tea and Anime Cafe
Fresh Dreams
Hobart’s Steak House
Hunter County Cuisine
Island Cream
Jeff Purvey’s (Rubidge Street)
Kawartha Dairy (all scooped sales (cones/milkshakes/ice cream sandwiches etc. – High Street location)
La Hacienda
La Mesita
Oasis Mediterranean Grill –  #O.M.G
The Night Kitchen
Pita Pit – George Street
Publican House (11am-4pm)
Sam’s Place
Silver Bean Cafe
St. Veronus
Sunset Grill
Tiny Greens
Tre Ristorante
Turnbull Cafe

Check out pictures of each restaurant with the Spoon!