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WMU rounds third base in United Way campaign

Oct. 29, 2007

KALAMAZOO--With less than three weeks left in its annual United Way campaign, Western Michigan University is three-quarters of the way to its $215,000 goal.

A successful and well-attended pep rally that was held in the Bernhard Center Ballroom last week helped to push the University's total gifts and pledges past the $150,000 mark. WMU's president and first lady, Dr. John M. and Linda Dunn, hosted the United Way rally, "7th Inning Stretch," which was open to the campus community. Even Buster Bronco showed up to partake in the festivities, enjoying the popcorn, peanuts, hot dogs, soft drinks and door prizes given away during the baseball-theme event.

"This is a great place to live and work for many reasons," Dunn said as he prepared to kick the rally off by throwing out the first ball. "One reason, a reason that is reflected here today, is the generosity of the community--the generosity of both the Kalamazoo community and this campus community."

In addition to thanking WMU's campaign supporters and encouraging others to step up and donate, the rally paired interested volunteers with local United Way agencies. More than a dozen agencies were present at the event, including:

Advocacy Services for Kids
Big Brothers Big Sisters A Community of Caring
Boy Scouts of America
Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Kalamazoo
Community Healing Center
Constance Brown Hearing Centers
Disability Resource Center of Southwest Michigan
Family and Children Services
Guardian Finance and Advocacy Services
Housing Resources
Volunteer Center of Greater Kalamazoo
WMU Center for Disability Services

Craig Smith, United Way campaign associate, says this year's campaign has been a positive and rewarding experience for many.

"We were impressed with the turnout at this year's rally," he says, "and with the level of engagement of everyone who has gotten involved."

But, it's not over yet. The WMU community still has a great deal of work to do. More than 60 percent of the cards distributed this year are still floating around on campus somewhere.

"We cannot and will not lose momentum now," says Bob Beam, chair of the campus campaign and vice president emeritus of business and finance at WMU.

President Dunn and campaign committee members are confident that WMU will reach its goal by the end of the campaign. In that spirit, plans for a victory celebration are already in the works. The campus community is invited to attend from 3 to 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 19, in the President's Dining Room in the Bernhard Center. A raffle will be held for those who've turned their pledge cards into the President's Office by Nov. 13--the last day of this year's campaign.

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

WMU News
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