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October 24, 1996

Pitt kicks off United Way campaign

Pitt's 1996 United Way campaign kicked off Oct. 17 with a goal of $435,000, an increase of about 5 percent over last year's total.

In announcing the fund drive, Pitt's United Way steering committee chair and Associate Vice Chancellor for Business John DeVitto said he is confident that the University will meet its goal.

"I believe that the University of Pittsburgh, as the largest employer in Pittsburgh, has a great responsibility to give back to the community," DeVitto said. "Each year, Pitt employees show with their tremendous willingness to give of themselves that they feel the same way I do." The steering committee also would like to boost participation in the campaign. Last year, just under 50 percent of the University community took part in the fund drive. The committee would like to see that figure top the 50 percent mark this year.

"We're looking to boost the percentage of people who contribute," said Michelle Garraux, communications coordinator for the campaign and director of University Graphics and Printing. "We'd love to see a greater percentage of people contribute regardless of the amount." To encourage participation, campaign organizers, starting with Chancellor Mark Nordenberg, are taking a more personalized approached to soliciting gifts. Instead of mass leadership functions, Nordenberg is sending out personal letters to people at the leadership level of giving, individuals who donate $1,000 or more. In addition, the chancellor made a personal appeal to campaign supporters who attended the annual kick-off breakfast.

One thing that has not changed is the prize program. Participants in the campaign automatically are registered to win more than 100 prizes.

Included among the prizes are: a month of free parking, a $10 gift certificate to Eddie's or the Schenley Cafe, a personal safety alarm, personalized stationery, tickets to a Pitt basketball game, a 1997 calendar, and a copy of the book "The Story of the University of Pittsburgh." All Pitt faculty, staff and students who turn in a pledge card – whether or not a gift is pledged – are eligible to win prizes. Pledge cards, including those using payroll deduction, are to be sent to Dolores Vojta in the Office of Institutional Advancement, 500 Craig Hall. The deadline for returning cards is Dec. 31.

Participants can make an unrestricted gift to the United Way, direct all or a portion of their donation into five different general categories or to a specific United Way affiliated group, including more than 20 groups at Pitt and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

The five general categories to which gifts can be directed are: nurturing children and youth, strengthening families, supporting older people, promoting health and healing, and increasing self-sufficiency.

Pitt/United Way programs and their codes include: after school care, 3222; breast cancer research, 830; Child Development Center, 1280; children's neurosurgery project, 4645; Cleft-palate Craniofacial Center, 234; Department of Neurology-Epilepsy, 1769; Duchenne Gene Therapy Center, 9623; Eye and Ear Institute, 2593; petinitis pigmentosa research, 990; Eye and Ear Institute Ambulatory Service Corp., 4387; Generations Together, 574; Hand-in-Hand Festival, 1241; Jannetta Research Fund, 3943; Natural History of AIDS, 1955; Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, 2331; Pittsburgh Cancer Institute Blair Crawford Program, 4231; Right Start, 1475; Schwentker Endowment in Urologic Surgery, 9239; scleroderma research, 4492; Sotereanos Endowment for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, 9138; speech and hearing, 1228; Thomas E. Starzl Transplant Institute, 9537; School of Medicine, 2305; UPMC, 4722, and UPMC Clinical Social Work Special Purpose program, 9203.

Along with DeVitto, Garraux and Vojta, members of the 1996 United Way campaign steering committee include: Janice Minnich, Business; Dennis Donham, Student Affairs; Ron Frisch, Human Resources; George Klinzing, Provost Area; Joni Masquelier, UPMC Human Resources; Sue Steele, Institutional Advancement; Kristin Dillon, University Graphics and Marketing; Ken Meszar, Computing and Information Services; Terrence Milani and Steve Zupcic, Center for Public and Community Service; Graham Park, Special Events; Carrie Gillis, UPMC Special Projects; Mary Bonach, retiree; Liza McNally, nursing; Daniel Edelstone, obstetrics and gynecology; James Herndon, orthopaedics; Alan Boggs, unions, Kerry Daley and James Sanders, students.

–Mike Sajna

Filed under: Feature,Volume 29 Issue 5

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