United Way Campaign Exceeds Goal, Raises $424,124

December 03, 2007 - News Release

The University of Guelph community raised more than $424,124 for the United Way during its annual campaign, exceeding its goal by more than $24,000.

President Alastair Summerlee announced the 2007 campaign total today during a volunteer appreciation luncheon. The $424,124 is the University’s largest United Way contribution to date and represents an 8 per cent increase over last year.

Rick McCombie, senior vice-president at The Co-operators, who was overall chair for the Guelph and Wellington campaign, applauded the University effort and acknowledged the importance of the U of G fundraising as the largest in the area.

"When we meet with United Way colleagues from other cities, they are jealous of the relationship we have here in Guelph with the University and its remarkable United Way contributions," he said.

U of G's success is not due to "glitz or major events," said Irene Thompson, associate director of residence life who served as a campaign co-chair with Prof. Jim Atkinson, Animal and Poultry Science.

“Instead, efforts are centred around individual departments, the spirit of those who canvass and organize events, and their desire to make Guelph a better place for their friends and neighbours and everyone else who lives here," she said. "Not only does this make a difference to our community, but all of us have also been the beneficiaries of good fellowship, team building and fun.”

A number of awards were presented at the volunteer event, including the President’s Award given each year to the campus unit that had the highest increase in both participation and dollars raised. This year’s winner was the College of Physical and Engineering Science.

The Gabrielle Hubert Award for outstanding contributions by an individual volunteer was presented to Donna Mokren of the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences dean’s office.

The United Way also presents an annual Spirit Award to a unit that exceeds its goal, achieves a five-per-cent increase in participation and demonstrates commendable enthusiasm, community and creativity in its fundraising effort. This year’s award went to the Ontario Veterinary College.

Other campaign volunteers were presented with “Pat on the Back” citations to recognize their contributions to the United Way campaign: Prof. Ruediger Mueller of the College of Arts; Sharon Cardow and the President’s Office team; Jill Ferguson of student affairs; Jennifer Beehler of OVC; Sasha Alexander of financial services; Janet Kaufman and Robin Bergart of the U of G library; Debbie Hayward of hospitality services; Jennifer Wood and Lynne May of human resources; student volunteers Katelynn Thissen and Sonali Rao; and the departments of geography, political science and sociology and anthropology.

Thompson said: “If I could, I would give an award to our entire campus that would say: ‘We made a difference!’"

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, l.hunt@exec.uoguelph.ca or Deirdre Healey, Ext. 56982, d.healey@exec.uoguelph.ca

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