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United Way surpasses goal

United Way surpasses goal

The Pettigrews are a family that took their love of the community and combined it with their love. Now, they've made history.

Mack, his wife Suzanne and their son Colton have just completed their term as cochairs for the Porcupine United Way. It was the first time that the organization had a family act as co-chairs. Together, the trio had a successful year.

In front of community members, volunteers and friends, Porcupine United Way executive director Jean Warren announced that the volunteer-based group raised $444,590.93. The initial goal was $400,500.

The Porcupine United Way held its annual Campaign Touchdown ceremony at the Shania Twain Centre on Friday evening, where the grand total was revealed along with various awards for individual volunteers and businesses.

"To surpass our goal is a big achievement," Mack said. "We thought it was a long stretch to get to our goal. Everyone has been working hard since our kickoff in November.

"We've been approaching companies, individuals, organizations and everyone just kicks in together."

It was a particularly emotional night for the Pettigrew family as they watched the team of volunteers celebrate a successful campaign. They also celebrated their ability to come together to support local organizations.

"It's been really special to co-chair with our son," Mack said. "We always do a lot of family things together and our son has taken to this charity organization real well.

"I'm really proud of him. He's done well for himself and he's very outgoing and loves to speak to the public."

Colton put his best foot forward by getting his classmates at Timmins High & Vocational School involved in raising funds for his family's charity of choice. He organized a tug-of-war at his school and really got the youth involved in raising awareness.

"My mother was a part of United Way last year and she really enjoyed herself and thought it was a great idea to get me and my father into it and have us participate and jump at it to see how much we could get done," Colton said. "I volunteered as soon as my mom suggested it. We're happy we've done so well this year.

"It's sad we're done for now but there's another year to come again and it'll be enjoyable to start up again."

Suzanne said without the volunteers, there would be no way that the Porcupine United Way would have been able to achieve its goal.

"We're very excited and very proud of the team we had," she said.

"I think everyone worked really hard to ensure we achieved our goal and overachieved our goal."

As for her family, she'll look back at the campaign with fond memories of time spent with her loved ones.

"You always want to spend time with your family and volunteer, this was the perfect way to do both."

Fellow volunteer Mayor Tom Laughren was quick to acknowledge the actions of the Pettigrew's and the rest of the Porcupine United Way members.

"The goodness that it does in this community can't be overstated," Laughren said. "The agencies that it supports, the volunteers that support the United Way and the different events you run, our city would not be able to function without people like you."

Among those acknowledged that night was 20-year volunteer veteran and divisional chairman of personal giving Fern Tremblay. He got a round of applause when he accepted the Campaign Cabinet Volunteer of the Year.

"I'm grateful to whoever nominated me but I don't do it for the recognition," he said. "Even though I am recognized, it doesn't really give me the fulfillment I get when I serve the people. The award is good recognition and I accept it with a lot of gratitude."

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