During the event, Michael Allen, President and Chief Executive Officer of United Way Ottawa, called on attendees to seek out human connection with people in our city and to lift each other up.
“Every year I cherish this evening,” said Michael Allen. “The Community Builder of the Year Awards Gala is not just a celebration of community, not just a recognition of some truly amazing people and organizations, but it is also an opportunity to connect and strengthen the fabric of our city — to bring people together in a shared pursuit of social justice. And that is the work of United Way, every day of the year.”
The seven individuals and organizations recognized for their outstanding contributions were:
- All That Kids Can Be award: Costco Wholesale
- Ambassador award: Erin Benjamin
- Community Impact award: Hydro Ottawa
- From Poverty to Possibility award: Making Voices Count
- GenNext award: Corey Ellis and Alida Burke, co-founders of Growcer
- Healthy People, Strong Communities award: United Muslim Organizations of Ottawa-Gatineau
- Community Builder of the Year award: Trend-Arlington Community Association & West Carleton Disaster Relief
United Way Canada also recognized federal employees and Costco with “Thanks a Million” awards. Every year, the award is given to organizations that have raised $1 million or more in support of United Way’s in communities from coast to coast.
Together, attendees of the event also raised more than $8,000 for OrKidstra – a local agency that empowers kids in underserved neighbourhoods of Ottawa with the power of music. Scotiabank generously pitched in $3,000 to start off the fundraiser to inspire generosity throughout the evening.