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United Way campaign off to generous start

Oct. 6, 2008

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University faculty, staff and retirees have contributed nearly $68,000 in gifts and pledges to this year's campus United Way campaign, bringing the University 30 percent of the way to its goal in the opening week of the campaign, which began Oct. 1 and runs through Oct. 31.

"It's great to see such a huge response and such generous giving this early in the game," says Bob Beam, WMU vice president emeritus of business and finance and chair of the campus United Way campaign. "But, we still have a long way to go. It is our hope that the campus community will reach out and share its blessings with those in our community who are less fortunate."

In a special agency fair and kickoff event earlier this week, WMU President John M. Dunn encouraged everyone on campus to step up this year to make a positive difference in Kalamazoo County.

"I know that the state of the economy has made it a little more difficult to make ends meet, and that each of you will have to dig a little deeper into your pockets this year to give," he said. "But in these trying economic times, it's more important than ever.

"The high prices, the market fallouts and the lack of jobs--all of these things have pushed more people into hardship, which means more people will go without medication, care, food and even homes."

The University has announced a goal of $225,000 for this year's campus campaign, which will contribute to the Greater Kalamazoo United Way's $10.9 million overall target. Donations and pledges made to the Greater Kalamazoo United Way 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 the community.

Visit Greater Kalamazoo United Way online to learn more about the local organization and its partner agencies. For additional or replacement pledge cards, or for more information about the WMU United Way campaign, contact the WMU United Way Advisory Board at wmu-united-way@wmich.edu.

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

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