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Sault workplaces encouraged to use insects to raise funds for United Way (5 photos)

Entomica invites local workplaces to hold cockroach cranium event, cockroach races, to assist United Way with its campaign

The United Way Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma District held a Community Leaders Breakfast at the Water Tower Inn Friday morning, in its ongoing mission to help the the community’s needy people.

The local United Way has pledges of $1,890,401 in the second year of its five year goal to raise $6.25 million to assist a number of community agencies and services it supports.

John Dedes, Entomica president and chief executive officer, announced at Friday’s gathering the popular local insectarium is inviting local workplaces to borrow its cockroaches to use for fundraising events, the money raised going toward the $4,359,599 the United Way needs to reach its five year goal.

“We’ve always tried to do things differently,” Dedes told Friday’s audience.

“Cockroach races are great. In one hour, we raised over $500 because everybody buys a $20 cockroach and you go through the whole series of racing events. It was huge fun,” Dedes said, referring to a past fundraiser held at the Great Lakes Forestry Centre.

Entomica’s Cockroach Cranium event was recently viewed widely on The Amazing Race Canada’s Sault-based episode.

“We want to come to your organization with our friendly cockroaches and our equipment and we want to help raise money for the United Way, learn something, have fun and appreciate wildlife.”

“We will come to your centre and set everything up (for a small fee) and we run the fundraisers for you,” Dedes said in his invitation to business figures in attendance at Friday’s breakfast.

Cockroaches not your thing?

Cockroaches can be substituted for “friendlier, calmer stick insects,” Entomica stated.

Other highlights of Friday’s United Way event included a skit put on by The Sault Rising Stars, a group of Sault seniors, which formed in 2000, which performs more than 60 different skits pertaining to seniors issues.

A group of three women and one man from the Stars performed a piece depicting how the United Way can help seniors with pension paperwork.

The morning included keynote speeches from several speakers, including Sonny Spina, 2017 United Way campaign chair.

“I love my community, and I want nothing more than this city to flourish,” Spina said, fondly recalling he met his wife Lindsay through a United Way event.

“Every person in this room, in some way, has contributed to The United Way and has helped people in Sault Ste. Marie. Each one of you has helped somebody in this city in some way, you’ve helped one or two or three or four people.”

“Together we can do so much more,” Spina said.

“I want each of you to go back to your organizations and be ambassadors for The United Way. I want you to take your employees by the hand and I want you to show them, in what you do, say and how you act (and inspire others to donate to The United Way in its efforts to help others).”    

David Orazietti, former Sault MPP and now a Sault College dean, is this year’s vice chair.