CTV's Community Ambassador and former anchor Max Keeping will lead this year's United Way campaign in Ottawa.

"United Way may be the monster of fundraising, but it's an opportunity I couldn't pass up. It's an opportunity to be a cheerleader for 14,000 volunteers; to be a cheerleader for the hundreds of thousands of people who donate and are benefitting from United Way; the opportunity to embrace the entire community," Keeping said.

He says the United Way uses research to show where fundraising dollars are most needed. It also helps people understand how their donations are making a difference.

Examples of those services include after-school programs for youth and services to help seniors stay in their own homes as they age.

The chair of United Way Ottawa's board of directors says Keeping is someone who has helped build our community and understands the various challenges we face.

"Max is an icon in our community," Rick Gibbons said in a prepared statement. "He is driven and committed to building a caring and compassionate community . . . We are proud and fortunate that he's agreed to take on this pivotal role."

Over the last 40 years, Keeping has helped raise more than $100 million for countless organizations.

He will now lead a team of volunteers to raise money for the 2011 United Way Community Campaign in Ottawa, one of the most successful United Way campaigns in the country.

United Way Ottawa will launch its annual campaign on September 22.