Campus fundraising drive hoping for heavy harvest

Participating in the University’s Annual Giving Program gives her a special feeling of accomplishment, says volunteer canvasser Karen Pillon.

“It’s fun to give knowing that we will benefit as employees,” she says. “The money we give isn’t going away; it will be spent where we spend most of our time.”

Building on the success of last year’s “Plant a Seed” campaign, this year’s theme is “Here We Grow Again.” A reception for volunteers Wednesday will help to launch the 2012 effort.

Pillon expects the participation rate to continue to climb. Many of her colleagues in the Leddy Library have chosen to support a scholarship fund commemorating Karen Needham, a 25-year library employee who died in February 2010.

“It is wonderful to be able to give in honour of someone we all knew,” Pillon says. “We all come together, making a difference for our students and the campus.”

Individual donors appreciate that they are able to specify where their contributions will go, says development officer Mona Dosen. Last year’s campaign raised over $278,000 from faculty, staff and retirees in support of student scholarships and faculty and departmental priority projects across the campus.

“Their money goes directly to the projects they want to help,” she says. “We know it’s important to our faculty and staff to see that every gift supports the area they want.”

Again this year, Facility Services will designate a campus beautification project to acknowledge the contributions of employee donors. This time, it will be the plantings in the curved garden beds in the new Student Centre Courtyard, between Dillon and Memorial halls.

“People really appreciated the fountain and gardens we created in front of the Leddy Library last year,” says Dosen. “It’s something tangible that donors can see and point to as a symbol of their generosity.”

Dosen reminds volunteer canvassers who have received an invitation to Wednesday’s reception but have not yet RSVPed to e-mail her at