In the wake of Anita’s death, the staff and board of United Way decided that one of the ways we would honour Anita’s memory was to establish The Anita Robertson Legacy Award. This memorial award is presented annually to an individual or individuals that embody Anita’s kind heart and community spirit.
Anita, Campaign Chair, with Sean Simpson (Past Board Chair) and Frances Hallworth, revealing 2015 Campaign achievement. Photo by Denis Cahill.
Recipients of The Anita Robertson Legacy Award:
2018: Heidi Burgess & Karen MacKay
2019: Sean Simpson
2020: Domenic & Patrizia Trapasso
2021: The Late Bill Heelis
2022: Carol & Mike Clarke
United Way staff at a reception hosted by Anita and Joe at their home in Niagara-on-the-Lake in 2015. Photo by Denis Cahill.
Our team was not alone in their desire to commemorate this remarkable woman. For those who knew Anita, it should come as no surprise that she had an army of friends who wanted to honour her legacy too. It was through friendship and love that The Anita Project was born. The project bring together friends of Anita to fundraise for and pack Hygiene Kits and Welcome Home Kits which are distributed to our partners across Niagara. The idea came from a “packing party” where Anita introduced friends to these initiatives several years ago. When you are living in poverty, acquiring everyday essentials can be a challenge. Hygiene products are often overlooked as donations to shelters and food banks. United Way has responded to this need in the community by providing people living in poverty or those at crisis shelters with hygiene products at no cost. Anita played an instrumental role in launching this initiative and it is fitting that the project lives on through her friends.
The women behind The Anita Project have worked diligently to raise more than $90,000 since 2018, providing more than 5,000 hygiene kits and 470 Welcome Home Kits to people and families in need. All of these kits are distributed through United Way agency partners dealing directly with people experiencing poverty and homelessness – a cause near and dear to Anita. In total, 65 agencies across Niagara have received kits. A meaningful and impactful tribute to Anita and the Robertson family.