LAWRENCE ― Oct. 4th marked the official kick off of the University of Kansas School of Business 2011 United Way campaign. The seven-week fundraiser, coordinated by Jim Guthrie, human resources professor, and Janet Lukehart, assistant to the dean, will generate much-needed financial support for the United Way of Douglas County.
The kickoff festivities included remarks from Neeli Bendapudi, School of Business dean; Colleen Gregoire, vice president and campaign director of United Way Douglas County; and Pam Lawrence, a representative from the GaDuGi Safe Center, a Lawrence agency supported by the United Way.
"We want to increases awareness about the United Way campaign to better support it among business school faculty and staff," Guthrie said. "We have several campaign goals: beat last year's participation rate; achieve a 50 percent participation rate; and have a higher participation rate than any other academic unit on campus."
Participating faculty and staff were each given "Live United" T-shirts supplied by Dean Bendapudi to raise awareness for the campaign. Guthrie and Lukehart developed seven weekly drawings to entice support throughout the fundraiser. Gifts include KU football tickets, an assortment of wines donated by business faculty and a private dinner with Dean Bendapudi.
"I'm happy to be helping the school's efforts with the United Way campaign," Guthrie said. "The agencies supported by the United Way deal with challenging issues that affect many, many people. The various agencies supported by the United Way have touched the lives of a number of people I have known over the years."
KU's goal is to raise $315,000 in this year's United Way campaign. As of Oct. 7, it has raised $153,124 – almost 49 percent of the total goal.
"Raising the school participation rate is a great way to reflect who we are: caring and involved members of our community," Lukehart said. "There has already been a truly positive effort at the school and it isn't all around donating money."
To learn more about the United Way of Douglas County and its partner agencies or to donate directly, visit unitedwaydgco.org.