Long-time volunteer and local philanthropic leader Terry Flannigan was honoured on Thursday night at United Way’s leadership recognition event, hosted by UBC Okanagan.
Flannigan was the 2013 recipient of the Dina and Mel Kotler Humanitarian Award, created in 2008 by “Million Dollar Mel” Kotler as a way to recognize the volunteer efforts of community leaders who have also contributed to the United Way. Dina Kotler presented the award to Flannigan, siting his community contributions that have largely gone “under the radar”.
Flannigan started the UBC Okanagan campus campaign for United Way during the university’s first year of operations in 2005. Since then, the campus community has raised over a quarter of a million dollars for the United Way campaign.
He was also instrumental in starting the UBC Athletic Scholarship Breakfast and was chair of the Seniors Games hosted in Kelowna. Asserting that a strong United Way campus campaign translates into more community support for educational institutions, Flannigan has spearheaded United Way campaigns at all of the post-secondary institutions he has worked at, including Grant McEwan College and Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.
UBC Okanagan deputy vice-chancellor Deborah Buszard is a member of the 2013 United Way campaign cabinet, and wanted to host the leadership event on campus as a way to say thank you to donors throughout the region who contribute $1,000 or more to the campaign.
In her remarks, Buszard emphasized how the university’s campus community of close to 10,000 people have a responsibility to create a civil and sustainable society for all.
Fourth-year student Lucia Woolgar shared her experiences involved in the Reading Week Days of Caring program, where university students are matched to projects through the United Way as part of their community service learning.
“We are so grateful to UBC Okanagan for their participation in the United Way campaign, and their willingness to open the campus to campaign leaders,” said United Way executive director Marla O’Brien. “It is so impactful for students and community members to come together to learn how each of them are contributing to a healthier Okanagan through the United Way, and to be able to honour Terry with the Dina and Mel Kotler Humanitarian Award in the location where he started the campus campaign is such a fitting tribute.”