Published September 19, 2023 at 6:49 PM ET

United Way Elgin Middlesex held its Harvest Luncheon at RBC Place for the first time in four years in London, Ontario. On September 19, 2023. (Rita Ismail/CTV News London)

There was music, food and plenty of fundraising for United Way Elgin Middlesex on Tuesday.

“It is so great to be back in person with our entire community,” said Kelly Zegner, president and CEO of United Way Elgin Middlesex.

After a four-year hiatus, the 3M Harvest Lunch and United Way launch returned to a capacity crowd at RBC Place in London, Ontario, with more than 1,200 tickets sold. Each of these tickets buys a meal for the attendee and a meal for a neighbor in need.

“We fund a network of social service agencies across Elgin and Middlesex County. So, there are over 50 programs and services, and they serve everyone of all ages and stages of life, and the goal is really to give everyone a fair shot here in our community.” Ziegner explained.

This year’s fundraising efforts are more important than ever.

“There’s no shortage of needs in our community, from a lot of different perspectives. So, for United Way to come back, doing this event in person, bringing people together, basically having a good time but also raising money,” London said. Mayor Josh Morgan.

United Way is the largest non-governmental funder of social services in the region.

Last year alone, it distributed more than $6 million to the community, funding a network of social service agencies locally.

“This year we invite and challenge you all, and join with us, to help build a society where everyone matters,” said Mark Egbede-Emmanuel, 2023 Campaign Chair.

If you can’t attend Tuesday’s event, you can donate year-round on the United Way Elgin Middlesex website.

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