President’s Pancake Breakfast raises a fistful of dollars

It was a flipping great morning in Central Square Cafeteria Wednesday when over $800 was raised during the President’s Pancake Breakfast in support of the United Way.

The event kicked off York University’s United Way Campaign in a sweet way. For just $2 a pancake, hungry tummies were satisfied and enough money was raised to feed six families of four living below the poverty line for one week.

Right: President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri serves ’em up at the President’s Pancake Breakfast

“I’m really pleased to see that so many members of the York community came out to support the pancake breakfast for the United Way,” said President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri. “In supporting the United Way, you are helping to make a real and significant difference in the lives of so many living in our city.” He went on to say that he hopes this year’s campaign will generate even more funds than last year.

“This was one of the most successful pankcake breakfasts we’ve had,” said Yvette Munro, chair of York University’s United Way Employee Campaign. “Close to 300 people came out to support the United Way.”

The event was so busy that more pancake batter had to be mixed to keep up with demand as York administrators poured and tossed one fluffy, golden brown pancake after another.

Those administrators included Shoukri; Gary Brewer, vice-president finance & administration; Jennifer Sloan, vice-president university relations; Douglas Peers, dean and associate vice-president graduate; Rob Tiffin, vice-president students; Steve Dranitsaris, senior executive officer, Division of Vice-President Finance & Administration; Faculty of Education Dean Alice Pitt and many others.

Left: Shoukri talks about the importance of the United Way Campaign

Prominent leaders and philanthropists Ed Clark and Seymour Schulich are this year’s United Way benefactors, and they have issued a special challenge to help the campaign reach its goal. “If you donate $1,000 to the United Way for the first time – which is about $80 a month – Ed Clark and Seymour Schulich will match it,” said Schulich School of Business Professor Pat Bradshaw, United Way leadership co-chair.

Right: From left, Douglas Peers, dean and associate vice-president graduate; Mamdouh Shoukri; Gary Brewer, vice-president finance & administration; and Jennifer Sloan, vice-president university relations

“If you’ve already donated $1,000 and you take your donation up to $1,200, they’ll match the increase in your donation,” added Bradshaw.

Joanne Duklas, United Way leadership co-chair, told the gathering, “I have no doubt that all the work the United Way does is helping our city’s most needy. It’s really important that we all get behind this year’s campaign and help us reach or exceed our $200,000 goal.”

Left: United Way Leadership Co-Chair Joanne Duklas

Bradshaw asked everyone to consider signing up for payroll deductions in November when the UW@work online giving program is launched and sent to staff via e-mail.

Munro added: “Take the $2 everyone gave at today’s pancake breakfast – if you pledged the same amount every week through payroll deduction, it would be enough to send a kid for a week of summer camp, after a year’s time.”

Right: Pat Bradshaw, a professor at York’s Schulich School of Business

Duklas, York’s associate vice-president enrolment management and University registrar, outlined just some of the ways United Way programs assist individuals and communities. They help young people stay focused in school and move on to post-secondary studies at places like York University, assist newcomers in getting settled in their new country and provide activities to help seniors stay active and healthy.




Adding to the fun of the morning was a friendly competition to see which unit or department could bring the greatest number of staff out to support the pancake breakfast. Munro reported that in the end, Campus Services & Business Operations had the top attendance, followed very closely by the Registrar’s Office.

For more information on York’s United Way Campaign or to volunteer, contact Munro at ext. 77529 or