For the second year in a row, United Way’s nominee for the Inspiring Philanthropy Awards has been selected as an honouree.
This year, United Way elected to nominate a family which has, for many years, supported the community in a variety of ways: the Wichers Family, well-known business owners and community supporters. Family members John, Doris, Harvey (Joanne), Brian (Stacey), Tanya [deceased] (Mitch Diaper) and Lisa have been involved heavily in the community and especially with United Way.
“The family moved to Lethbridge in 1969 to help Doris’ father, Sven Ericksen, establish Sven Ericksen’s Family Restaurant and two KFC stores,” says Trudy Carrels, Executive Director for United Way. “When Ericksen passed his restaurant to John and Doris, they followed in his footsteps supporting the community. They gave time, product and money to support many organizations. “
John and sons Harvey and Brian have each served as United Way board members and 25 years ago, John and Harvey began the United Way Golf Classic to assist in meeting fundraising goals. Following John’s passing in 1998, the tournament was re-named the Golf Classic In Memory of John Wichers.
In addition to United Way, the Wichers family has also generously supported Chinook Country Tourist Association, Lethbridge Therapeutic Riding Association, Lethbridge Soccer, the Lethbridge Hurricanes, the Canadian Cancer Society, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and many other organizations.
The Wichers family’s personal philanthropic support to the United Way has enriched the community. Through their personal and corporate donations, they have enabled the United Way Community Fund to support grants to over 30 community organizations.
The honourees are: Fortis Alberta (Aboriginal); Stantec and Ward Bros. (tied for Corporate Philanthropist); the Wichers family (Individual Philanthropist/Family); the CCH Interact Club (Philanthropic Group); Balog Auction (Small Business); and Bella Beck (Youth Philanthropist).
In 2015, Chris Murray and Murray Chevrolet Cadillac were honoured in the Corporate Philanthropy category, for the unique double matching program the company provides during the United Way campaign, tripling employees’ individual donations.
The National Philanthropy Day Luncheon will take place on Thursday, November 17 at the Enmax Centre in the Canadian Western Bank Lounge. Tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite.