Time to celebrate with the United Way Yukon; October marks the 20th year of the organization’s Yukon headquarters.

The United Way is responsible for donating to many health and social organizations from Dawson City all the way to Watson Lake.

Since 1994, the United Way Yukon has raised over $2-million.

In 1992 the process of creating the Yukon division began, based on the model of the United Way in Prince George, B.C. After a year-and-a-half of community members organizing with United Way Canada, the Yukon division was born, under the mandate of improving life for Yukoners by raising money to support local charities.

Spearheading the 20th anniversary festivities is president Leslie McRae. McRae has been involved with the organization since the beginning.

“I had a management position with Northwestel, who are huge corporate sponsors of the United Way. I thought it was a great cause, so I got involved,” she says.

Over the past 10 years, McRae has encountered her share of challenges. The United Way relies on payroll donations to support programs.

“When you don’t know how much money is coming in, it’s hard to figure out how much money to give to an organization,” she says.

“Many people may not know this, but Yukon Government employees contribute 40 per cent of donations made to the payroll campaign.”

Although McRae is stepping down from the role of president in November, she will be playing an active role in this month’s campaigning.

Along with a pancake breakfast at the beginning of the month, on October 20 the Yukon College will host a celebration for volunteers. From October 24 to 26 the annual EBA Bonspiel will be held.

“We will be collecting donations at these events,” McRae says. “This month, during the campaign we are hoping to raise $170,000.”

Some of the organizations that benefit from the United Way Yukon are Big Brothers and Sisters, the Sookum Jim Friendship Center, the Whitehorse Food Bank, and Victoria Faulkner Women’s Center.

Overall between $150,000 and $170,000 is dispersed annually amongst the many different groups.

“We are very grateful to all of our sponsors, and we hope to receive continued support so that those who are in need can be helped,” says McRae.

For more information, visit the newly designed UWY webpage at, www.unitedwayyukon.com.