U of G United Way Campaign Exceeds $590,000 Goal
December 06, 2013 - Campus Bulletin
The University of Guelph United Way campaign announced a total of $591,392 at today’s volunteer appreciation luncheon. That total exceeds the campaign goal of $590,000 and is expected to rise as late receipts are counted.
Highlights of this year’s United Way campaign include a first-time family fall carnival hosted by U of G labour groups and numerous events organized by student associations. The student campaign reached an all-time high of $16,000.
The 2013 achievement was announced by Don O’Leary, U of G’s vice-president, finance and administration. “The University community has once again been exceptionally generous to our local United Way agencies; today’s impressive total clearly demonstrates our individual and collective support for the broader community.”
Representing U of G president Alastair Summerlee, O’Leary added: “The annual United Way campaign is one of the year’s highlights for faculty, staff, students and retirees of the University. It brings us together, boosts our spirits and unites us in our commitment to helping others. Let me thank all of those who volunteer every year to co-ordinate the United Way campaign, those who canvass their colleagues for donations, and the many hands who organize and run the exceptional events that make up the University’s United Way effort.”
This is the sixth year in a row that the University of Guelph community has donated more than half a million dollars to Guelph Wellington Dufferin United Way.
The 2013 fundraising committee was co-chaired by Prof. Stuart McCook, associate dean of research and graduate studies in the College of Arts; Kim Best, department and undergraduate secretary in the Department of Biomedical Sciences; and undergraduate students Jolène Labbé, arts and science, and Remy Marlatt, marketing management.
“Agreeing to co-chair U of G’s United Way campaign is scary at first,” said McCook, who has completed two years as a co-chair. “Then you go to a few meetings and discover this wonderful committee of volunteers – some might call it a machine – that just makes things happen. It has been my honour and my privilege to be a part of this group.”
A number of University awards were presented at the United Way recognition event. The President’s Award, which recognizes the campus unit with the highest increase in both participation and dollars raised went to the Department of Marketing and Consumer Studies; that unit increased participation by nine per cent and exceeded last year’s giving by almost $1,000.
The Gabrielle Hubert Award for outstanding contributions by an individual volunteer was presented to Marie Puddister, a long-time volunteer in the Department of Geography. She has spearheaded the department’s annual book sale, which has raised more than $15,000 since it began in 2003.
The Department of Human Resources fundraising team led by Joel Young received the Spirit Award for hosting creative events that increased participation and helped to surpass the unit goal.
The Co-Chairs Award for special merit was presented to Beth Nesbitt, Hospitality Services, for always “saying yes with enthusiasm” when the United Way committee asks for help co-ordinating the annual kick-off barbecue, the closing volunteer luncheon and other United Way events in between.
The 2013 student campaign run by Labbé and Marlatt doubled its $8,000 goal. Students made personal donations and participated in student association events, meal card and bookstore donations and lecture auctions where faculty offer to present a special lecture on a topic chosen by the class.
Labbé presented this year’s Student Achievement Award to the College of Arts Student Union for the most dollars raised by a single group: $8,000. Undergraduate student Terry Thach received the Student Spirit Award for busking class-to-class to build enthusiasm and awareness of the United Way.
The student effort was applauded by co-chair Kim Best: “We are immensely proud of Jolène and Remy – their tireless effort and enthusiasm – and we want to thank all student donors and volunteers for their commitment to both the U of G campaign and the agencies supported by the United Way.”
Certificates of appreciation were also presented to United Way canvassers and co-ordinators on the front-line fundraising team and to individuals and units demonstrating extra effort in this year’s campaign.
The co-chairs thanked TD Canada Trust, Stone Road Mall and U of G Parking Services for providing incentive prizes to encourage campus donations. They also recognized the assistance received from Guelph Wellington Dufferin United Way staff, particularly campaign manager and 2003 U of G graduate Patricia Townson, and co-op student Eric Caprio, who was the University’s loaned representative to the United Way.