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iMove for United Way raises over $46,000 for youth mental health
United Way’s newest fundraising event – iMove for United Way – raised over $46,000 (and counting) for youth mental health throughout February and March. Funds raised through the event will help vulnerable children and youth access mental health and wellness supports they couldn’t otherwise afford.
iMove for United Way engaged 1,690 community members – including over 1,380 students and 8 schools – to get up, get moving, and challenge themselves to be physically active as part of the new virtual fundraiser. Whether participants ran, walked their dog, practiced yoga, or danced in their living room, the goal was to get moving for mental health.
“We are incredibly grateful to everyone who went digital this year and moved to support youth mental health in Windsor-Essex County,” says Andrew Bothamley, Vice-President, Finance and Operations at United Way. “We invest in programs that put prevention and wellness first for youth.”
The pandemic has been particularly hard on young people, with children reporting some of the largest declines in mental health compared to other populations. iMove for United Way focused on the importance of physical activity and mental health for youth and community members at large. Fitness professionals also provided 10 activity videos for participants and students to do from home.
iMove for United Way replaced iClimb, one of United Way’s signature events affected by the pandemic. This year, adults and students connected through a virtual platform that was used for fitness tracking and fundraising. To view pictures of some of the incredible people who joined the #iMove4UnitedWay challenge, visit iMove photo gallery. Congratulations to the Top Individual Fundraiser, Kyle Kootstra who raised $2,040 for United Way and won a Wireless Bose Bluetooth Speaker and Apple AirPods In-Ear Wireless Headphones ($350 value), and to the Top Fundraising Team, ArcelorMittal Windsor (AMW Steelers) who raised $4,510.
Additional prize winners include Michelle Dupuis, Manvir Shokar, Tracy Moore, Christine Parker, Tammy Fryer, Nancy Campana, Christine Haskell, Gloria Mcleod, Lorraine Allard, Kristy Franklin, Jack Abbruzzese, Lynda Pizzolitto, and Melanie Borelli. Prizes included a Garmin Forerunner 45 GPS fitness tracker smartwatch provided by The Running Factory, a $200 Gift Card for running shoes courtesy of SportCheck, eight Google Nest Minis paired with a $30 Gift Card to Spotify and three COVID CARE gift packs courtesy of Seamstress Susan Rodd. Visit the Leaderboard to see all the top participants.
Mental health supports are delivered through United Way’s On Track to Success, WE-STEAM and Virtual Learning programs, and local after school programs and counselling programs delivered through Family Services Windsor-Essex. All these programs have adapted their services to support children and youth ages 7-25 during COVID-19.