Centraide Estrie, the Eastern Townships branch of United Way, announced on Wednesday morning that its 2017 fundraising campaign succeeded in raising $1,635,500. The campaign, which was the organization’s 42nd in the area, began in September with a goal of raising $1,6 million to help 68 local initiatives that serve the less fortunate in different ways. “These are the best results in the last five years,” said Eric Ashby, who served in the role of campaign chair for the second year in a row, explaining that the 68 groups funded by the annual campaign go on to help more than 62,000 people across the region. “It is thanks to our dedicated donors and volunteers that we have this success,” said Yves Jodoin, Chair of Centraide Estrie’s Board of Directors, noting that this year’s campaign saw a 4.5 per cent increase over the previous year despite the vast range of different organizations and causes out seeking donations on a regular basis. Wednesday’s announcement also offered the charitable organization the opportunity to announce a new partnership with Chocolat Lamontagne, the Sherbrooke-based fundraising chocolate company. See full story in the Thursday, March 15th edition of The Record.