Volume 94, Issue 63
Wednesday, January 22, 2002

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University surpasses United Way goal

By Paolo Zinatelli
Gazette Staff

Beyond a high cell phone quotient among the student body, Western now has another reason to pat itself on the back.

A presentation announcing Western's fundraising total for this year's United Way campaign was held in University College yesterday.

Western raised $309,697 for the campaign, well above the original goal of $285,000 set out by Western and the United Way, said Western President Paul Davenport.

"[Western has a] long commitment to the United Way," Davenport said, adding people look to the United Way to help bridge the gap between the more prosperous areas [of London] and those in the community who need a helping hand.

The United Way works because of a great staff and the volunteer support it receives, Davenport said.

"[I] believe [the campaign] leads to a more cohesive and supportive community," he added, noting fundraising can lead to a better life for everyone involved with the United Way.

"We have surpassed last year's campaign by $38,000," Davenport said. This year at Western there are 76 leaders and individuals who have donated $1,000 or more, Davenport noted.

General Motors of Canada put out a challenge at the beginning of the campaign to see who would garner the greater number of leaders, he explained.

"[Seventy-six] is more than any other company in London and Middlesex [County]," Davenport said, pleased that Western was victorious in the challenge.

"Reaching a $300,000 milestone is phenomenal," said Keith Zerebecki, general director of GM Defence, while congratulating this year's United Way campaign team on its great volunteers and leadership.

"I did make the [leaders] challenge a year ago," Zerebecki said, adding he was proud [Western and GM] have gained a large number of new leaders this year.

"There are people in the community in need, but, being at Western, we do not often see them," Zerebecki explained. "[It is] not only your money, but your time and your energy that really count."

Alex Curtis, London's United Way's campaign chair, said the goal for this year's fundraising campaign was $5.2 million. With yesterday's announcement, the United Way is well on their way to reaching that goal, she explained.

"You are a tremendous contribution to this campaign," Curtis said while addressing Western. "Your hard work has definitely contributed in a big way."

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2002 THE GAZETTE