Toying with business donations
By Brendan Howe and Tony Paolo
The Richard Ivey School of Business wants to give toys to the children of its alumni at this year's Homecoming celebration but a former London toy store owner does not like the way they have gone about it.
The business school asked local toy retailers to donate toys to compile kits for the children of business school alumni when they come to Western for homecoming, said alumni relations manager Tracey Skinkle.
Derek Chick owned Wiz Kids Creative Toys until it went out of business and said he was approached by Ivey's alumni relations to donate toys from his store. He said toys being donated to the business school could be better used by other local charities.
"Every person or company has only so much they can give away," Chick said. "If they give to the business school it takes away from giving to other deserving charities."
Chick said the business school getting toys as donations is not necessary, not needed and the school does not deserve the donations for this particular initiative.
Skinkle thinks Chick misunderstood the school's intentions. She said in no way at any time did they intend to compete with any charitable organizations.
We are trying to get the community involved with the school through this initiative, Skinkle said. Local toy stores can put their business cards or brochures into kits for the children and their company will be advertised in an Ivey brochure, adding it's a good advertising opportunity for these businesses.
"We're expecting between 1,200 to 1,500 people here at homecoming," she said, adding they are planning to provide activities for children attending the event.
The Toy Shoppe of London is one of the toy stores who will be donating to the business school. Owner Clide Walton said he believes it will be good for his store because many alumni including the Ivey family shop there.
"We think it's good to be associated with the business school. They asked us to give them some toys and we think it's the community-minded thing to do," Walton said.
Chick said the business school should either buy the toys themselves or find another way of getting them, adding one business school alumni told him he was embarrassed the school approached local toy stores to ask them for donations.
The business school has some very wealthy and successful alumni and they should be more careful when looking for donations, Chick said.
"This is for a reunion. They're celebrating how successful the school is and they're asking for donations," he added.