Caroline Sherk

New United Way campaign chair eager to start

January 13, 2020

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Following the successful end of the United Way Niagara’s first campaign year, new chair Caroline Sherk, of Verge Insurance Group, is already digging in on this year’s run.

Though the new campaign year won’t officially kick-off until Sept. 10 at Club Roma, Sherk has already secured a crucial leadership match for the 2019 campaign. Jessica Friesen, owner of Gale’s Gas Bar, agreed to do the $50,000 leadership match, Sherk said.

The leadership match agrees to match monetary gifts of $1,200 or more, leveraging the funds raised for the campaign.

“I know this is the earliest United Way has ever confirmed a leadership match. This will just impact and put us in a great position for the new campaign.”

With Gale’s being such a regional business in the community, Sherk said the sponsorship will be a crucial asset for the campaign year, adding that last year’s leadership match accounted for 40 per cent of money raised.

“I’m very excited to get this campaign underway … I know Sean (Simpson) set the bar very, very high. He overachieved his goal by more than $200,000. So, I look forward to meeting and hopefully exceeding those goals for this upcoming year,” Sherk said.

The United Way Niagara celebrated the end of the first campaign year as a combined organization at White Oaks Resort and Spa on March 28. Sean Simpson of Simpson’s Pharmacy was the amalgamated group’s first campaign chair.

Simpson served for three years as a campaign chair, two of those on the United Way of St. Catharines and District, before the three local organizations came together as one.

Happy to pass on the figurative torch to Sherk, Simpson said she has the drive and energy to succeed in the role.

“I had the unusual turn of doing three years, and I greatly enjoyed it. I got to know plenty of great leaders in the community,” Simpson said.

Being the first year of a joint campaign, Simpson said the success achieved in 2018-19 indicates the amalgamation was a step in the right direction.

“The beneficiaries of the United Way funding will be well served as a result.” Simpson said in an interview.

Sherk shows a similar enthusiasm in reaching out to the community. She said she’s not one to wait to get started. “I want to get it on the go and ready, I’m quite eager.”