Thunder Bay Organization Gets Creative to Solicit Donations

By Matt Prokopchuk

Officials with the United Way of Thunder Bay are trying something different this year to raise funds in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The local United Way chapter announced its “No-Show Gala” on Friday which will be in place of the annual campaign breakfast. The breakfast is where the organization typically unveils its fundraising goal for the year and where the money will go. In a press release, Thunder Bay United Way chapter CEO Albert Brulé says that, this year, people are invited to “spend the evening however you choose,” and that the change is due to being “mindful of everyone’s busy lives, and the uncertainty of COVID-19.” 

The fundraising drive is asking people, through the United Way’s website, to “add up the expenses you’d normally incur to attend a gala event or evening out, such as a babysitter, raffle tickets, sponsoring a table, and more,” according to Brulé’s statement. The website has set donation amounts for each “expense”–for example $50 for the hypothetical gala ticket and $60 for cab fare–that people can donate directly to the United Way’s Recover 2020 campaign, which is raising money for local organizations and service providers in the wake of COVID-19.

The United Way website also shows what each donation amount can buy, for example the $50 “gala ticket” can provide two families with an emergency food bag, the organization says.

Donations through the campaign are being accepted until September 17. They will “help critical efforts required to get Thunder Bay back on its feet,” Brulé’s statement says, adding that “as workplaces, businesses and communities slowly reopen, we urge you to consider those who need an extra helping hand to recover.”

IG Wealth Management and Lowerys are partners in the fund drive.