By Matthew Blair
Judi Gilbert fought back tears as she watched the goal exceed her expectations.
“I’m not normally speechless, it’s truly exciting,” said Judi Gilbert, Executive Director Of the United Way Of Quinte.
The United Way held its annual achievement celebration at the Empire Theatre Tuesday night, and a large crowd of more than100 people was on hand to watch the goal of just over $1.9 million dollars be reached.
“It’s overwhelming and I’m grateful for every one of our dedicated volunteers. There’s always going to be a need, and it’ll never be enough. We need to look at what we’ve done well, and what we need to do better,” Gilbert said.
The total amount they had set for the 2012 campaign season was $1.92 million, but were able to finish over that with 1.95 million. Gilbert recognized many people on stage, but none stood out more than Kim Egan, who was all smiles for good reasons.
“I saw the need to get involved, and after I started I just didn’t stop” Egan said.
Egan was the recipient of this years “Jack Hartling Volunteer Of The Year” award. She has been involved with the United Way in many capacities for the last 10 years.
“I often wonder where she finds the time to give so much of herself. To always be available to help, and to always do it in a kind and gracious manner,” Gilbert said.
Egan’s dedication doesn’t start with just her. It runs in her family.
“My father was my mentor. I looked up to him because he was always helping people. Not just with United Way but all around. ”
She said when you enjoy what you do, you lose track of how often and how much work you truly put into something.
Campaign Chair Dave Allen, who’s on holidays was unable to attend the celebration, but sent in an emotional video speech to everyone who took part in the campaign.
There hasn’t been a goal set for 2013, but Gilbert said they will be working year round to fundraise money for over 55,000 people, and nearly 100 organizations in the community who rely on the United Way.