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United Way Contributions for 2008-09 Total $269,717

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January 30, 2009 | by Judy Moore
EVANSTON, Ill. --- The 2008-09 United Way campaign has received contributions and pledges totaling $269,717, resulting in a 2.2 percent decrease in total contributions and pledges compared to last year's total of $275,745.

Northwestern employees decreased their contributions by 1.5 percent for a total of $249,853.

Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation (NMFF) staff donated or pledged $580; Northwestern retirees, emeritus and contributed services faculty gave $11,055; and the Silent Auction raised $8,229.

For the past eight years, prizes have been awarded to the three top departments participating in the campaign.

For the fourth time, the $1,500 Gold Medal winner of the participation rate contest went to Student Accounts and Student Loans with a record-breaking 100 percent participation rate. They also won the "most improved" award of $250 with a 20 percent point increase from last year. Katwanya K. West, assistant director of student accounts, was the campaign manager. Student Accounts and Student Loans are planning on using the award for a "Thank You" celebration for contributing staff and intend to donate the rest of the funds to the United Way, said West.

The $1,000 second place winner was University Relations, with a 56.1 percent participation rate. Al Cubbage, vice president of University Relations, was the campaign manager. University Relations plans to donate the prize money to a local charitable organization, said Cubbage.

The $750 third place award went to Student Affairs, Norris University Center and University Career Services, with a 42 percent participation rate. Rick Thomas, executive director of Norris University Center, was the campaign manager. The winnings will be split between Norris Center and University Career Services, said Thomas, noting that Norris University Center has not yet determined how to use their portion of the award. Norris also received recognition last year and used its portion of the award to fund in part a family picnic for staff. University Career Services will use their portion of the award toward purchasing artwork for their reception area, said Lonnie Dunlap, director of University Career Services.

The $500 fourth place winner was University Services, with a 32.26 percent participation rate. Melissa Rivas, procurement analyst, was the campaign manager. University Services contributors voted to donate $250 of the award to the United Way and the other $250 to the Greater Chicago Depository, Rivas said.