Youth Ambassadors achieve Red Feather Goal

The final tally is in for the funds raised by the United Way Youth Ambassadors during their annual Red Feather Week. $20,060.36 dollars were raised through various in-school fund raisers organized by the Youth Ambassadors, event entrance fees, and other donations. 

“When we first started planning these events the youth set a goal of raising $20,000 for the Community Fund” said Erica Kitchen, the Youth Engagement Co-Ordinator at United Way. “I am proud of the leadership demonstrated by the 20 Youth Ambassadors. Their hard work and determination as well as the generosity of the students, staff, and community has helped make this goal a reality.  It is rewarding to see these young leaders take such pride in the community of Chatham-Kent.”

 Once the schools completed their in-school campaigns, there were two final awards presented at the following committee meeting- Most Dollars Raised by an Individual School and Most Dollars Raised by an Individual School Per Capita. This year École secondaire de Pain Court earned both these awards. Jamie Faubert, grade 12 student and third year Youth Ambassador said “ESPC raising the most money for this year’s Red Feather campaign is proof that our little family should never be underestimated. We may be small in numbers, but what we lack in size we make up for in generosity.” Faubert went on to talk about his experience – “Being a United Way Youth Ambassador is a huge privilege. I am more aware of all that United Way does and the needs of the Chatham-Kent community. I feel lucky that I can use this as a platform to learn, help, and advocate with such a great group of ambitious students.” 

During the week of September 15 to 20, 2014 the youth from the ten local high schools competed in sporting events and activities to show their school spirit. A full list of event winners can be found at

2015 marks the 60th Anniversary of Red Feather and the event is sure to be bigger and better than before. For more information on how to get involved contact Erica Kitchen at 519-354-0430 or .

Photo Caption: The United Way Youth Ambassadors present a cheque to Dean and Margery Muharrem, the 2014 Campaign Co-Chairs. Top Row: Owen Dorssers, Ben Nicholls, Jamie Faubert, Taylor Kewley, Hannah Roesch and Carly Bell. Middle Row: Asia Aoki, Lydia Fenton, Dana O’Flynn, Amanda Kellett, Raymond Young, Owen Foster, and Emma Landriault. Front Row: Dean and Margery Muharrem, Erin McEachran, Olivia Ermers, Payton Pugh, Ashton Pugh, Ashley Jackson, and Savanna Stallaert.

Chatham-Kent Prosperity Roundtable Appoints New Staff Member

The Chatham-Kent Prosperity Roundtable is excited to announce the appointment of Kate do Forno as their new Project Co-Ordinator. Ms. do Forno will begin her duties in full on Monday, 2014 DEC 01. 

Kate brings to the Prosperity Roundtable a background in Public and Government Relations, having worked previously as a Public Relations and Social Media Consultant for a national communications firm and a Government Relations Professional for TekSavvy Solutions Inc. Kate has developed a strong understanding of how communications and marketing intersect with branding and advocacy, having managed several international public relations campaigns and championed national change in the telecommunications sector. Kate will be responsible to the Prosperity Roundtable and serve as its community voice and advocate – working to strengthen awareness throughout Chatham-Kent about the realities of those living in poverty. 

A long-time resident and lover of Chatham-Kent, Kate is a former Director on the Boards of The Ground Floor and United Way of Chatham-Kent. She is Vice-President of the United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council and a former volunteer and member of the YMCA’s Strong Kids Campaign and Cabinet. 

About the Prosperity Roundtable:

The Prosperity Roundtable is a diverse group of individuals working together to support, develop and implement strategies to eliminate poverty in Chatham-Kent. The Roundtable is made up of 59 Chatham organizations passionate about ensuring no one in Chatham-Kent lives in poverty. 

For further information please contact Kate do Forno at 519-354-0430.

Celebrating I&R Day

Every day thousands of people find the help they need quickly, conveniently and free of charge because of Information and Referral (I&R) services. To recognize the importance of I&R in our community, United Way Chatham-Kent is taking part in I&R Day on November 16. 

Information and Referral is the art, science and practice of bringing people and services together and is an integral component of the health and human services sector. 

People in search of critical services such as financial assistance, food, shelter, child care, jobs, or mental health support often do not know where to begin to get help, or they get overwhelmed trying to find what they need. Community information and referral providers connect people with resources that can help them with one simple phone call, text message, or website inquiry. 

United Way Chatham-Kent provides Information and Referral Services through their three local offices in Chatham, Tilbury and Wallaceburg.  In addition, our Certified Information and Referral Specialist, Patricia Weiler, manages and updates the local social and human service database, which then feeds into a province-wide database for Ontario 211 services. 

In late 2011, at the request of the Alliance of Information and Referral Services (AIRS), the United States Senate passed S.RES.241 designating November 16, 2011 as “National Information and Referral Services Day”. AIRS is an international non-profit professional association with more than 5,000 individual, public and private I&R organizational members including United Way Chatham-Kent. Together, we have decided to continue celebrating I&R Day each November 16 and to extend it worldwide to raise public awareness and recognize the critical importance of the I&R field. 

“Information and Referral Services are an important component of a social safety net.  When people don’t know who to call or where to turn, particularly in a crisis situation, they can call United Way or “211” and know that they will get a live person on the other end of the line who has the training and expertise to find the help they need.” said Karen Kirkwood-Whyte, CEO of  United Way Chatham-Kent.

St. Clair Thames Student’s Inc. Have Some Fun for United Way

Emilee Ritzer, Special Events Director, and TSI President Alexandra Fraser enjoy some tasty chili.

The Thames Student’s Inc. (TSI) has organized two-weeks full of activities for students and staff in support of the campus’ annual United Way fundraising campaign.

 The week began with an agency fair in the lobby to educate students and staff about the agencies, programs and services supported by United Way’s Community Fund. 

On Wednesday, students, staff and faculty participated in a Chili Cook-off, either cooking their own special recipe or voting on which chili was most delicious. After all ballots were tallied, the winning chili was “Moto Moto Chili”, made by faculty member Dr. Andrea Belanger. Second place went to “Massive Amounts of Beans” made by BScN nursing student, CJ Ziriada.  There was a tie for third place between “Poco Picante”, contributed by Office Administrative General-Medical student, Melissa Minogue and “Notorious P.I.G.” made by TSI President, Alexandra Fraser. 

Next up, on Thursday TSI organized an “Everyday Hero” photo booth.  For a donation to United Way, friends dressed up in superhero wear and had their photos taken. DAS Photo Booth provided all the accessories and will be matching all donations made at this event. 

Upcoming activities include an outdoor movie, next Wednesday, November 12, 2014, where they will be showing “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, with complimentary hot chocolate and popcorn.  Entry to the movie night is a donation.  On Friday, November 14, 2014, TSI is hosting a Dodgeball Tournament.  Teams can sign up for $25 at the Student Centre.  There will some great prizes for the winning teams!  For $2.00 or a canned good, come out and watch the staff and students of St. Clair College face off in this fun event!  There will be two very special guest referees. You won’t want to miss it! 

For more information please contact Erica Kitchen at 519-354-0430 or