With two kids to look after, Nancy Bélanger doesn’t always have time to volunteer in her community as much as she would like to.

That is why she has donated more than $1,000 to United Way, knowing that she was able to make a difference.

“I haven’t had time myself to contribute and volunteer. At least by giving money, I can support in that way to help people in need,” said Bélanger.

She was among the 4,500 people who attended the exclusive SENSational Sunday event organized by United Way to thank those who have given at least $1,000 to the campaign.

Hockey legend Phil Esposito and players from the Ottawa Senators made appearances throughout the afternoon while kids skated on the ice surface and had their faces painted.

“We really couldn’t raise the kind of money we raised in this community without having a large amount of people who are giving a pretty considerable amount,” said 2010 campaign chair Cassie Doyle.

So far, donors have helped United Way raise $26.4 million — about 80 per cent of this year’s goal.