HALIFAX: Provincial government employees are giving back to their communities and making a splash as they kick off their annual workplace fundraising campaign for United Way with six harbour swims.

Photo by Jake Boudrot
On September 5, a harbour swim at the St. Peter’s Canal was held to raise money for the United Way.

On September 5, dozens of swimmers crossed the St. Peter’s Canal, as well as Halifax, Sydney, Pictou, and Mahone Bay and Yarmouth harbours.

“The provincial harbour swim has become a wonderful tradition to kick off our annual workplace giving campaign,” said Julie Towers, deputy minister, Lands and Forestry and this year’s campaign co-lead.

“This event continues to grow each year and I’m excited to also see participants from municipal and federal government coming out and supporting a worthy cause.”

Photo by Jake Boudrot
Provincial government employees helped raise money for the United Way on September 5 in St. Peter’s.

This year’s goal is to raise over $500,000 for United Way organizations across Nova Scotia.

Photo by Jake Boudrot
Swimmers had to wait for the locks to open at the St. Peter’s Canal before finishing at the Battery Park beach.

Money raised will help United Way provide stable funding to more than 50 agencies and 100 programs, including after school programming, literacy, employment training and family resource delivery. Funds will stay in the communities from which they’re raised.

“We’re so grateful to the public servants who organize this event and the ongoing support we receive in our workplace campaigns each year.” said Sara Napier, president and CEO of United Way Halifax.

“Donations to United Way are true expressions of local love – supporting local priorities and fighting poverty so our communities are as vibrant as they can possibly be – for everyone.”

Photo by Jake Boudrot
This swimmer leaves the water following his swim through the St. Peter’s Canal on September 5.

The provincial government has supported United Way for more than 60 years. The 2018 campaign wraps up November 22.

Photo by Jake Boudrot
Following the swim, there was food, music and conversation at Battery Park in St. Peter’s.