United Way Drive Aims For Record

United Way Drive Aims For Record

Campaign Starts Oct. 19

Organizers of the 1999 Boston College United Way Campaign are looking toward a seventh consecutive record-setting year as the drive opens with a kickoff breakfast in Walsh Hall next Tuesday, Oct. 19.

Last year, Boston College employees contributed more than $133,000 to United Way, an 8 percent increase over the 1997 drive's previous record gift total.

"Not only have we had a wonderful financial response to United Way, but the participation rate of our employees has consistently been the highest of any college or university in the Boston area," said Senior Media Relations Officer Reid Oslin, chairman of this year's campus United Way drive.

"The keys to our success have clearly been the generosity of so many of our employees and the hard work of the many department representatives who have answered our call each year," he said.

More than 50 percent of BC employees contributed to the 1998 campaign, Oslin said. The average gift to United Way last year was $109, another high mark for the annual drive.

Tuesday's meeting of more than 100 office and department representatives will feature remarks by University President William P. Leahy, SJ, and several United Way staff professionals.

Employees are asked to return the payroll deduction forms or contributions to their representative by Dec. 1.

Senior Media Relations Officer Reid Oslin is chairman of the 1999 BC United Way Campaign.

"One of the big selling points of United Way is that donors are able to determine the exact allocation of their contributions," Oslin said. People can target their gift to a wide area, such as care for elderly or domestic abuse victims, or to a specific social service agency, he said. They can also earmark the gift for community-wide care, enabling United Way to invest the contribution where it is most needed.

More than 86 percent of all United Way contributions go directly to participating agencies, according to campaign statistics. Overall, more than 1.8 million children and adults in 80 eastern Massachusetts cities and towns are expected to benefit from this year's United Way drive.

Oslin said that this year's United Way campaign will again include an array of raffle prizes for contributors. Among the prizes donated by University departments are Bookstore gift certificates, Dining Services "Be Our Guest" cards, athletic tickets and apparel, Flynn Recreation Complex memberships, Robsham Theater tickets, and a University parking sticker of the winner's choice.

Many local restaurants and merchants have also donated gift certificates and prizes for the campaign, he said.

Prize drawings will be held four times during the six-week campaign, enabling employees who return their pledge cards early to have the most chances to win a prize.

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