With a dramatic break from previous years, Northumberland United Way CEO Lynda Kay announced during the annual kickoff campaign event – Taste of Port Hope – at the Port Hope Lions Club facilities on Wednesday that the 2016 fund raising campaign will be chaired by a team.

Traditionally, individuals or a couple have chaired the organizations prestigious campaign that has surpassed the one million mark in previous years and claims to “improve the lives of more than 24,000 locally…(and) create a better life for everyone in Northumberland County” according to the event’s press release.

(from left, Mark Rockburn, Peter Delanty, & Scott Fraser)

According to Gerald Blackstock, “When I think about United Way…it’s about local people raising local dollars to make change happen locally.”

This year the All Star Team which includes previous chairs will comprise of 13 members: Gerald Blackstock, Joan Macklin, Anne Burnham, Peter Dounoukos, Dianne Huffman, Peter Delanty, Jacqueline Pennington, Paul Allen, Darlene Robertson, Gord Park, Barb Keenan, Scott Fraser, Michelle Verbeem.

Smiling and no doubt feeling a surfeit of food satisfaction from sampling the restaurant and local service providers food, the thirteen held up the traditional banner announcing that the fund raising goal for this year is $1,010,000. About 150 attended the event that kicks off the campaign fund raising season throughout Northumberland.

(from left, Litsa Christodoulou & Tina Bastas of Zepo’s)

Fourteen vendors included restaurants such as Black Bean Steakhouse and Olympus Burger, retirement residences such as Extendicare Port Hope and even the well-known food trailer, Rey Ray’s served up samples of their tasty dishes.

The event was sponsored by the Port Hope Chamber of Commerce and Northumberland United Way.