Ready, set, go: York’s United Way Campaign is off and running

York’s 2006 United Way Employee Campaign gets off to a running start on Sunday, Oct. 29, with the first annual York University 10k for the United Way run. The campaign runs until Nov. 24 and this year’s goal is $190,000.

“York is a proud supporter of the United Way,” said Danielle Chateau, York University United Way Campaign co-chair. “This year’s campaign offers a variety of wonderful events and will kick off a little earlier this year with the run. It is also a wonderful way for the York community to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the United Way.”

The first annual York University 10k for the United Way offers runners and walkers the opportunity to pursue a fitness activity while at the same time supporting the United Way. The event, which takes place at York’s Keele campus, offers a challenging 10 kilometre course and will appeal to both runners and walkers.

Anyone in the York community can participate in the run, but registration is required. Run organizers are seeking volunteers to help staff the run. Those interested in volunteering should contact run organizers Irene Fezza, executive assistant to the president, at ext. 55200 or Lisa Bevacqua, administrative coordinator, Office of the President, at ext. 55200. All proceeds from the run will go toward the 2006 York University United Way Campaign. Visit the York University 10k for the United Way Web site for information on the run. To pre-register online, click here

“The 10k for the United Way run kicks off a month of great events,” said Sue Levesque, York University United Way Campaign co-chair. “We would love to have your support. If you would like to organize an event or are willing to serve as a canvasser in your department, please contact either Danielle or me. The United Way pledge card packages will be sent in the mail to all full-time faculty and staff the week of Oct. 30. Those who return their pledge cards by the campaign early-bird date of Nov. 17 will automatically be entered into a draw for some terrific prizes. There will also be a draw for prizes at the end of the campaign on Nov. 24. So I urge everyone to get their donations in early!”

Canvasser training will take place on Oct. 24. For more information or to volunteer as a canvasser, contact Danielle Chateau at ext. 55597, or Sue Levesque at ext. 77529.

Other events planned for the 2006 United Way Employee Campaign include:

The York Facilities United Way Car Wash will take place (weather permitting) on Thursday, Nov. 9, in the Vanier College Temporary Parking Lot, from 1 to 5pm. The lot is located adjacent to York Lanes on the Keele campus. The dedicated staff of Facilities Services will provide a hand-detailed car wash that is guaranteed to shine. The cost is just $5 and additional donations will be gratefully accepted on behalf of the United Way.

See the flapjacks fly during the President’s Pancake Breakfast on Tuesday, Nov. 7, from 8:30 to 10am in the Central Square Cafeteria, Keele campus. For some flipping good fun, plan to attend this year’s pancake breakfast and watch as the culinary prowess of York’s administration is put to the test with winning results. Come out and enjoy fresh, piping hot pancakes served in style by York’s President and Vice-Chancellor Lorna R. Marsden and members of the York administration.

The Atkinson United Way Bazaar & Food and Toy Drive take place on Tuesday, Nov. 7, from 10am to 3pm in the East Bear Pit, Central Square on the Keele campus. This event offers beautiful handcrafted items  just in time for holiday shopping. Organizers are also hosting a food and toy drive and encourage everyone at York to bring a gently used or new toy or a non-perishable food item to Central Square during the event. All toys and food will be donated to community organizations in the Jane-Finch area to be distributed to local children.

Clean out your closet to benefit the United Way. The first annual York University Clothing Swap for the United Way will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 14, from 12 to 2pm, at The Underground Restaurant in the Student Centre on the Keele campus. Practice an environmentally friendly way of restocking your closet and reduce your contribution to landfills. Bring clean, modern, gently worn and new items you no longer wear or use and then swap and take home your favourites. Bring a minimum of three clean, new or gently worn modern adult clothing, shoes and accessories (belts or purses) that you no longer wear to The Underground between 8 and 9:30am. Then return between 12 and 2pm, and for a $5 entrance fee, you can try on a variety of outfits. If you love it, it is yours! The $5 entrance fee will go to the United Way. All unclaimed items will be donated to a local charity. Those interested in participating in the clothing swap should register by Nov. 7 by sending an e-mail to Ijade Maxwell Rodrigues, executive officer, President’s Office. Maxwell Rodrigues is also seeking volunteers to staff the event and help with sizing and sorting the clothing. Visit the York University Clothing Swap for the United Way Web site for more information.

Cup-A-Soup Week, which takes place from Nov. 20 to 24, from 12 to 2pm (while supplies last) in Central Square on the Keele campus, is a very popular event. Hosted by the Offices of the President, the Vice-Presidents, the University Secretary and General Counsel, and the York University Foundation, the Cup-A-Soup Week offers a cup of vegetarian or traditional soup and roll for just a toonie. The soup is donated by Petal Foods, operators of the Atkinson Cafeteria (Michelangelo’s).

Visit the United Way of Greater Toronto Web site to learn more about the campaign and the people who benefit from the organization.

Watch for a new section in YFile detailing United Way activities at York for the duration of the campaign.