New Westminster city employees are fired up for the United Way.
Each year, city employees hold a variety of events to raise funds for the United Way. This year's fundraising campaign features a variety of events between Sept. 14 and 21.
"All of the employees within the City of New Westminster are highly engaged in the campaign," said New Westminster firefighter Kathy Ius, chair of this year's civic campaign. "I have seen a lot of work done by dedicated employees who participate year in, year out. It's really special. It's a charity that is near and dear to the city and the employees of the city."
The United Way of the Lower Mainland strives to make a difference in the lives of children and seniors by funding programs that tackle child poverty and bullying, and social isolation of seniors.
Many city employees contribute to the United Way through payroll deductions, but funds raised during the week boost their overall contributions.
The city employees kicked off their fundraising campaign on Sept. 14 with a pancake breakfast. That was followed by events including a book sale for employees at a number of city facilities, a bake sale at city hall and an airplane toss at city hall.
"You buy the paper, you make your plane," Ius said of the event that saw employees throw paper airplanes from the upper level of city hall to the lobby below. "You want to hit a target. There is a grand prize - that is the incentive."
A three-on-three hockey tournament was scheduled to take place during lunch hours at the city's works yard during the week.
"The final game between the last two teams will be at city hall on Friday, along with a wrap-up barbecue," Ius said. "The three on-three hockey is new."
Const. Bruce Ballingall of the New Westminster Police Department is lending his voice to the Brown Bag Bingo with Bruce Ballingall, which featured two rounds of bingo over lunch at city hall. The events are held at the time of day when employees normally take their lunch breaks.
Ius said the main goal of the fundraising events is to raise money for the United Way, but there are additional benefits.
"It is really about the employees coming together - teambuilding, leadership, the ability for different departments to interact," she said. "It brings the different faction of the city together under a common cause."
While many city employees work at city hall, others are based at other locations, including the public library, the city's works yard, the fire halls and the police station.