Nexen unleashes spray paint for United Way

When Nexen Inc. launches a United Way campaign, it doesn’t aim low.

Last year, 437 employees of the Calgary energy company broke the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest gathering of people dressed as Superman. They lived up to the superhero part, raising nearly $1.5 million for United Way of Calgary and Area.

Today the company kicked off its 2012 United Way campaign with a noontime spray paint free-for-all that saw employees colour some rather unconventional canvases: each other. The company’s campaign theme this year is “Tag! You’re It!” A light mist (non-toxic, of course) hung over Century Gardens as employees let fly with cake spray paint, creating a colourful human mural.

“You look like marshmallows,” joked emcee Dave Kelly, referring to employees’ billowing white suits.

United Way of Calgary and Area president Dr. Lucy Miller praised Nexen for its leadership, enthusiasm and campaign creativity. “I love your culture!” she said. “You are obviously building a community.”

Kevin Reinhart, Nexen’s interim president and CEO, applauded United Way for using donor dollars effectively and efficiently. He urged all employees to consider their role in making Calgary a vibrant, healthy city. “We all have a responsibility, whether it’s as a company or as an individual, to make our communities better,” he said.

Nexen is aiming for 70% employee participation in its United Way campaign, up from 65% last year.