Patricia Tersigni named United Way 2021 campaign chair

GUELPH – United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin has named Patricia Tersigni as the 2021 campaign chair.

As lead United Way volunteer, Patricia will work to mobilize leaders from across sectors, corporate, community, and government, to collectively build the resilience of United Way’s network in Guelph, Wellington & Dufferin.

Tersigni was born and raised in Guelph and was inspired from a young age by grandparents, parents and other family members who modeled volunteerism and civic-mindedness.

“I am passionate about our community and the strength of our people. We know there are acute needs and the pandemic has shone an even bigger spotlight on the areas where our most vulnerable neighbours need support,” said Tersigni.

“I truly believe United Way represents the power of coming together to tackle issues that are bigger than any one of us or any one organization to make real and effective change.”

Tersigni is the director of  academic programs and policy at the University of Guelph and led the univeristy’s United Way campaign in 2015 and 2016. Both years had record-breaking fundraising results.

She has continued to be an active volunteer with United Way, the University, and other local organizations, and is a vocal advocate for social services and community investment.

Tersigni called the campaign cabinet “an outstanding team.”

“I am profoundly moved by their passion and commitment to the same issues I’m passionate about – poverty, mental health, seniors, healthy and safe kids and the well-being of our communities,” she said.

“Patricia embodies the true spirit of a community champion and is a natural fit for this role,” said Glenna Banda, executive director at United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin.

“Her passion, energy and local love will lead a fundraising campaign with one aim—to ensure our communities’ social safety net will be there for our neighbours and their families when they need it most, today and tomorrow.”

United Way is the second largest funder of social service programs across the country, second only to government.

Thanks to generous donors and partners, United Way is creating change on key social issues such as food security, mental health and isolation in seniors by investing $2.3 million in critical services to over 90,000 residents across Guelph, Wellington & Dufferin in 2021.

This is in addition to the close to $1.5 million distributed for COVID emergency services in 2020, thanks in part to both local donors, partners, and the government of Canada.

The agency says that 2021 will see people still dealing with the impacts of COVID-19 and anticipates continued demand for food security, shelter and connection, and the funds needed to provide them.