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WMU launches annual United Way campus campaign

Oct. 1, 2007

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University officially kicked off its 2007 United Way campus campaign today. The University has announced a goal of $215,000, which will contribute to the Greater Kalamazoo United Way's $11.1 million overall target.

The campus community is encouraged to step up this year to make a positive difference in Kalamazoo County. Among other programs and initiatives, donations and pledges made to the WMU United Way campaign go to fund programs administered by area agencies such as Gryphon Place, Community Healing Centers, Community Advocates for Persons with Developmental Disabilities, Family and Children Services, Ministry with Community and many other organizations that help empower the people of Kalamazoo and create positive change in our community.

"This is an organization that is truly committed to Kalamazoo," says Bob Beam, chair of the campus campaign. "Its agency partners work tirelessly to better the lives of people right here in our community--our neighbors, friends, coworkers and sometimes our own family members.

Last year's campus campaign drew in $183,132 in gifts and pledges, with 41 percent of employees participating. At the close of the campaign, the WMU community, including faculty, staff, emeriti, retirees, students and others, had raised $212,132. Before this year's campaign draws to a close Tuesday, Nov. 13, the University plans to surpass those figures.

"We hope that every single person on campus with adequate means will reach out and share their blessings with those in our community who've fallen onto more unfortunate times," says Beam, who is WMU vice president emeritus of business and finance.

WMU faculty and staff members already have contributed $32,403 in pre-kickoff gifts and pledges through Friday, Sept. 28. This amount represents 15 percent of the campus goal and is the product of 196 of the 2,696 employees who received pledge cards this year.

"We still have a long way to go," Beam says, "but we're thrilled to see such great response and generous giving this early in the game."

WMU President Dr. John M. Dunn and campaign committee members will host a WMU United Way Rally to thank everyone who has given and provide more information to those who are interested. The "7th Inning Stretch" is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 17, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Bernhard Center Ballroom. The campus community is invited to attend.

For additional or replacement pledge cards or for more information, contact campaign Vice Chair Dr. Sue Caulfield, WMU professor of sociology and director of academic collective bargaining, at sue.caulfield@wmich.edu or (269) 387-4307.

Media contact: Tonya Hernandez, (269) 387-8400, tonya.hernandez@wmich.edu

WMU News
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