Diageo donates $120,000 to United Way

By Joel Charron

Economic times may be tough in Essex County but that’s not stopping Diageo employees from showing their generosity.

On Wednesday afternoon Diageo handed over a $120,001 donation to the United Way.

The $120,001 donation is a 3.5 per cent increase over what the company donated the previous year. The money was raised through employee donations along with a corporate match, plus proceeds from fundraising events.

“We really believe in the United Way and believe in our commitment in the community,” said Mario Leduc, Diageo Canada Vice President of Canadian Operations. “It’s part of our core values to make a difference. Our mission is to celebrate life everywhere, everyday.”

Employees raised funds through various efforts, including voluntary payroll deductions and individual donations. Additionally, Amherstburg employees had a holiday bake sale and funds were raised through Diageo’s silent Auction. Employees also held a drawing for a parking spot that allows the winner a front-row space at the plant’s parking lot.

“This year’s successful United Way campaign once again demonstrates our teams passionate generosity. I would like to congratulate them on this achievement and I hope to have even more success in the 2011 campaign,” said Leduc.

Nikki Dufour, Co-chair for the plant’s United Way campaign and Vice-president of CAW local 2098 said the employees each have the opportunity to donate to the United Way as they see fit.

“Our employees are very generous,” said Dufour. “They give what they can give at this time.”

According to Dufour, the fundraiser that seems to get the most attention is the ticket sales of the “prime” parking spot. Employees purchase raffle tickets for their chance to win a parking spot near the front of the plant.

“Everyone loves it,” she said. “It’s very popular, especially when we do it in the winter.”

Dufour said she’s not really sure why there was a 3.5 per cent increase in donations, however she thinks it may be because employees are feeling more secure in their job.

“We know the economy has been really tough the last couple of years and a lot of our members couldn’t afford to donate,” she said. “Now that there is a little bit of security here they were able to step up their donations.”

Director of Community Impact and Development for the United Way, Lorraine Goddard called Diageo’s donation a “critical part” in the United Way’s campaign goal of reaching $5 million.

“We are currently at $4,979 and just inches away from the finish line,” said Goddard. “This has really helped us to inch that much closer to success.”

Diageo Canada has been fundraising for the United Way for more than 30 years and has raised more than $1.9 million during that time.

“We value our relationship (with Diageo) tremendously,” said Goddard.

2 responses to “Diageo donates $120,000 to United Way”

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