University Raises $484,000 for United Way, Exceeds Goal

December 02, 2008 - News Release

The University of Guelph community has raised almost $484,000 for the United Way, exceeding its 2008 campaign goal by more than $40,000. And it isn't over yet. It's anticipated that the total will rise before the books are closed Dec. 12.

"I can't tell you how good it feels to be a part of this campaign," said president Alastair Summerlee, who is this year’s chair for the overall Guelph and Wellington United Way campaign.

Speaking to volunteers who ran the University campaign, Summerlee said: "You know that the campaign in the city is having trouble. It was more than $100,000 short of the goal, but now it's only $60,000 short and you are the people who have made that difference. Thank you so much. It means a great deal."

More than 80 community programs in Guelph and Wellington County receive financial support from the United Way, and some 60,000 people in the community are helped every year.

The bar for the University's campaign was set extremely high this year, with a goal that was $16,000 higher than in 2007. But the campaign co-chairs said they never doubted the campaign’s success.

“There is incredible support for the United Way on this campus," said Prof. Jim Atkinson of the Department of Animal and Poultry Science, one of three campaign co-chairs. The others are Jennifer Beehler of the Department of Clinical Studies and business student Suba Naganathan.

“We are indebted to the hundreds of employees and students who volunteer their time every year to canvass for the United Way and run special events. Their enthusiasm and dedication create a spark that is picked up by all those who make a financial contribution to the campaign," Atkinson said.

About 160 university staff served as volunteer co-ordinators and canvassers for the campaign. They were recognized during an appreciation luncheon and a number of volunteer awards were presented Tuesday. Special “Pat-on-the-Back” awards were presented to about a dozen individuals and units who made an extra effort in this year’s campaign.

The annual Gabrielle Hubert Award for outstanding contributions by an individual volunteer went to Lee Anne Clarke of the Central Student Association office. The President’s Award, which recognizes the campus unit with the highest increase in both participation and dollars raised, went to the Office of Research. The College of Management and Economics received the Spirit Award, which is given to a unit that exceeds its goal, achieves a five-per-cent increase in participation and demonstrates enthusiasm and creativity in its fundraising effort.

A highlight of the volunteer event was the announcement of results from the first “University Talent” competition. Six competitors performed at a noon luncheon event Oct. 31; voting continued until Nov. 24 through donations to the United Way. The winner was food science PhD candidate and violinist Majid Hassas Roudsari, representing the Ontario Agricultural College and earning $761. Beehler, who represented the Ontario Veterinary College, was the runner-up with $615. The entire event raised $3,721.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Barry Gunn, Ext. 56982,

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1