(10-15-97) -- With organizers hoping to improve on last year's record contribution, Boston College's annual United Way campaign officially began Wednesday as University President William P. Leahy, SJ, attended a kick-off breakfast meeting of some 75 campaign volunteers at the Walsh Hall Function Room.
The University community gave $117,017 to the United Way during the 1996-97 academic year, placing BC among the top three higher education institutions nationwide in contributions to the charity. That figure topped the $114,563 raised the previous year.
"Last year's figure was impressive, but we're hoping to top it this year," said School of Nursing Assistant Dean for Administration Susan Donelan, who is co-chairing the United Way drive with Thomas Hurley, associate director of Buildings and Grounds.
Donelan said last year's BC employee participation rate of 49 percent also ranked among the top three nationally, and was higher than that of any other institution in the Boston area. The average BC donation to the United Way last year was $96.
Beneficiaries of the United Way of Massachusetts Bay include AIDS shelters, the Camp Fire Girls, Big Brother associations, food banks and programs like Success by Six, which provides day care for pre-schoolers from low-income families, and Roxbury Youth Works, which mentors inner-city youngsters at risk for falling into lives of crime.
Eighty-seven cents of every dollar raised by the United Way of Massachusetts Bay goes directly to the needy, said Donelan.
Volunteers who return pledge sheets by Dec. 1 will be eligible for prizes, including luxury box seats at BC hockey and basketball games, Robsham Theater tickets, hotel weekends for two, and gift certificates from local restaurants.
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