A higher goal and the desire to return the 'fun' to fundraising was announced to the community at the kickoff to the Weyburn and District United Way 2010 Communithon on Thursday. With the theme of "Let's Work Together", the Communithon will be marking its 29th year on Oct. 22 and 23, and all donations raised benefit their member agencies. The goal is to reach $127,900 while on the air.
"We are going full-tilt boogie from now until the final hours of the Communithon," said CJ Mainil, president of the Weyburn and District United Way and Communithon Chair. "Our goal is a bit higher than what we had last year, but I am confident that we can do it. This event really brings the community together and showcases lots of talent from the area."
Originally started as a single annual concentrated drive for the United Way's member agencies, the Communithon will be aired live on Access from the Cafetorium of the Weyburn Comprehensive School from 8 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 22 until 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 23.
"This year we are promoting the fun of fundraising," said Mainil. "Years ago, businesses and organizations had a lot of crazy events that would help to raise funds for Communithon. We would like to see a return of some of these, like the wheelchair races, or pull the fire truck, or any other unique ideas that residents can come up with."
"These events not only raise money for the Communithon, but they also promote the local businesses and organizations that are holding them."
There is even a way to ensure that well-known representatives from the Communithon will attend these fundraising events, as business and organizations are able to invite Captain United and Lady Charity to attend. This year, Captain United is Tanner Russell and Lady Charity is Elanne Krainyk. Visits can be arranged through United Way director Christine Black.
"I hope to see the community get involved with the Communithon, because it is a fun event and all of Weyburn should be a part of it," said Krainyk. "I am looking forward to attending all the fundraising events and helping the members agencies."
"I am looking forward to everyone showing up at the Communithon and helping out the member agencies," said Russell. "I expect to have a lot of fun, and it is an honour to be chosen as this year's Captain United."
As a youth, Krainyk had been inspired by former Lady Charities and hoped she could serve as a role model for other youth. "When I was little I always saw Lady Charity and just thought she was awesome. Now that I have a chance to be her, I am excited to give back to the community that gives me so much."
For Russell, his involvement with the Communithon in the last two years inspired him to take on the role of Captain United. "I just can't wait to start attending events in my role to help raise money and support for the Communithon."
There are several ways residents, organizations and business can donate to the Communithon, either by volunteers to entertain or help out during the 33-hour event, or by visiting the Cafetorium to watch the different performances; or by donating funds through payroll deductions or pre-authorized donations from their bank account.
"We would really like to encourage residents to consider pre-authorized donations from their bank account. Because it was new last year, we had a lot of people who were uncertain about the process," explained Mainil. "Basically it is an automatic withdrawal that is easy to set up, where a direct pre-authorized monthly amount is donated to the United Way."
Even something like $5 donated every month will work out to a total of $60 for the United Way. Of course residents can choose to automatically donate any amount of funds.
The member agencies with the United Way this year are the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation South Sask. Cystic Fibrosis Chapter; the Canadian Mental Health Association; the Canadian National Institute for the Blind; the Canadian Paraplegic Association (Sask.) Inc.; the Canadian Red Cross; the Envision Counselling and Support Centre; the Arthritis Society; the Saskatchewan Abilities Council; the Southeast Advocated for Employment Inc., which supports the Weyburn and Area Supportive Employment Services; the Weyburn and Area Early Childhood Intervention Program Inc.; the Weyburn Big Brothers Big Sisters Association; the Weyburn Care-A-Van Society; and the Weyburn Special Care Home Auxiliary.