WMU News

Gary Fund brings in record $821,000

June 2, 2004

KALAMAZOO--More than $820,000 in gifts and pledges have already been received through the annual Mike Gary Athletic Fund campaign at Western Michigan University.

Telephone solicitation kicked off this year's drive, with a group of approximately 40 volunteers making calls from April 19 through May 20. This year's Gary Fund drive will continue through June 30.

Through the end of May, $821,355 in gifts and pledges had been received, easily surpassing the previous record total of $802,775, set one year ago. Gifts to the Gary Fund, now in its 48th year, help defray the costs of athletic scholarships and special equipment purchases.

"All of the volunteers involved did another outstanding job," said Jerry George, director of development for athletics. "They were not only able to maintain the relationships with previous donors, but discover new individuals as well. Our success wouldn't be possible without their efforts."

George noted that 2003-04 was a year of extreme highs and lows for the Broncos and their fans. WMU athletes earned Mid-American Conference championships in four sports--the most for the Broncos in one school year since 1984-85. The past year also saw the elimination of four varsity sports, caused by the longterm budget deficits facing the University and the state of Michigan.

"Working with this record-setting group [of volunteers] makes me proud to be a Bronco," says Fred Sitkins, chair of the 2004 Gary Fund and WMU professor of industrial and manufacturing engineering. "I have enjoyed working with the Gary Fund for 15 years and appreciate the opportunity to help the student-athletes."

Dr. Lewis Walker is chair-elect for the 2005 Gary Fund campaign. He is a professor emeritus of sociology and served as vice chair of this year's athletic fund-raising effort.

For more information about WMU's Mike Gary Athletic Fund or to make a contribution, contact Jerry George at (269) 387-3057 or <jerry.george@wmich.edu>.

Media contact: Thom Myers, 269 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

WMU News
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