York’s United Way Campaign gets off to a sweet start

York’s United Way Campaign got off to a sweet start as members of the University’s administration displayed their culinary skills at the President’s Pancake Breakfast. The event, which took place on Nov. 7, featured piping hot pancakes and maple syrup.

Left: York President & Vice-Chancellor Lorna R. Marsden (left) and Atkinson Dean Rhonda Lenton (right) serve up pancakes with a smile during the President’s Pancake Breakfast on Nov. 7

A record number of faculty, staff and students lined up for pancakes and helped raise $742 for the United Way. This year’s pancake breakfast received a special level of support as Sodexho staff were on hand to help York’s administration perfect their pancake-making skills. The York Bookstore donated a door prize which was won by Connie Scalzullo, an administrative assistant in the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health. Sport York was on hand along with volunteers from a number of departments and divisions in the University. Jazz was supplied by student musicians from the Department of Music, Faculty of Fine Arts.

Right: So this is how it’s done… 

“We are very close to reaching the $50,000 mark,” said United Way Campaign Co-Chair Danielle Chateau. “Our early bird deadline is Nov. 17 for pledge cards and the final deadline is Nov. 24.”

The University has been abuzz with events organized in support of the United Way. This year’s campaign fundraising goal is $190,000.

Following the President’s Pancake Breakfast, colourful booths, posters and enthusiastic volunteers became the central attraction as the York community actively supported the Atkinson United Way Bazaar. The sale, which featured a variety of items including crystal, handbags and clothing, raised $315 for the United Way. Atkinson also kicked off the first day of its second annual toy and food drive which runs until Nov. 24.

Donations of new or gently used toys and packaged or canned food items can be donated to the drive. All donations will be directed to the Food 4 Thought food bank and the Rexdale Women’s Centre. Donations can be dropped off at the following locations:

  • Rooms 140 or 150 Atkinson Bldg.
  • Rooms 301 & 439 Health, Nursing & Environmental Studies Bldg.
  • Room 1017 Kinsmen Bldg.
  • Room 2120 Technology Enhanced Learning Bldg.
  • Room 346 Student Centre

For more information about the drive call 33572 or e-mail stars@atkinson.yorku.ca.

Right: The Atkinson United Way Bazaar

Osgoode Hall Law School also got into the United Way spirit and organized a Pumpkin Carving Contest, Dart Board Game & Silent Auction, on Oct. 24. Pumpkins were judged by Osgoode Hall Law School Dean Patrick Monahan and the winning pumpkin was auctioned off. Osgoode’s event raised $1,500 for the United Way.

On Oct. 19, nineteen students from York University participated in the 29th annual CN Tower Student Stair Climb. The students were members of the United Way at York University team. They took on the massive feat of climbing the 1,776 steps of the world’s tallest building in support of United Way’s network of over 200 health and social service agencies.

Left: The “Oz-good” pumpkin

York kinesiology student Elvira Gesummaria completed the climb in a team-best of 17 minutes and 30 seconds. Her time was within a little under 6 minutes of the female world record set by Canadian cyclist and Olympic team member Chrissy Reddon.

The team members and their sponsors made this year’s stair climb the most successful one yet for the United Way at York student campaign. The team raised a total of $1,670, making York University the second-highest student fundraising team among all of the participating secondary and postsecondary schools.


Right: The CN tower team

Members of the York community are reminded to get their pledge cards in as soon as possible. Pledge cards received by the early bird deadline will be entered into a draw to receive one of three prizes:

  • An Aramark Gift Basket which includes a coffee maker. This prize is valued at $250 and was donated by Aramark Canada;
  • A $25 gift certificate for use at any vendor in York Lanes. The gift certificate was donated by the York University Development Corporation;
  • A $30 prize pack donated by Sport York.

The final campaign deadline for pledge cards in Nov. 24. All pledge cards received by the deadline will be entered into a grand prize draw for an iPod Nano, valued at $250. The grand prize was donated by Tri-Tech Electrical Contractors. Also included in the final deadline draw are a number of great prizes:



 Donated by

 Two tickets to a Rogers Cup semi-final match    $200  Office of the President
 Two Gold Session tickets to the Rogers Cup  $170  Tennis Canada
 Utensil Set  $100   Automatic Compactors  
 Car Care Kit  $100  Facilities Services
 Prize pack  $30  Sport York
 Prize pack  $30  Sport York
 Prize pack  $30  Sport York
 Gift certificate  $25  York University Development Corporation  

Upcoming events include a York University community favourite, 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. Hosted by the Offices of the President, the Vice-Presidents, the University Secretary & 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.

For more information on York’s United Way Campaign, or to volunteer for this year’s effort, e-mail this year’s campaign co-chairs, Danielle Chateau or Sue Levesque.