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McDavis designates United Appeal Day

Oct. 1, 2004

By Marisa Long

United Appeal for Athens County is getting ready once again for its annual giving campaign. In order to jumpstart the effort, Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis announced today that the Saturday, Oct. 9, football game is designated as United Appeal Day.

Fans attending the Ohio vs. Marshall football game in Peden Stadium that day will have the opportunity to donate to United Appeal. Volunteers from the organization will be collecting donations outside the gates before the game. The University hopes to set a new record this year with the continued support of faculty, staff and emeriti by raising $105,000. The overall goal of the United Appeal for Athens County campaign is to raise $203,000. Last year, Ohio University had 722 donors and raised $88,877 for the organization.

For more than 45 years, Ohio University has partnered with United Appeal ? raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for Athens County. United Appeal is an independent agency that has been serving Athens since 1956. The organization is the only non-university charitable deduction allowed from Ohio University employees' payroll, making it simple for employees to give back to Athens County.

"We operate on the model of 'one stop giving' because donors can benefit so many people in our community with one gift," says Pam Harvey, executive director of United Appeal. "Over the years our mix of member agencies has evolved, but we have always focused on Athens County agencies that serve people in our community."

United Appeal helps numerous agencies in Athens County each year. The organization currently assists the local chapters of the Red Cross, Girl Scouts ? Seal of Ohio Council, Habitat for Humanity, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Appalachian Community Hospice and many others.

David Descutner, dean of University College, and Terry Conry, director of Facilities Management, serve as co-chairs of Ohio University's 2005 campus campaign. Other University employees are actively involved with the campaign as well. Ohio University Vice President for Student Affairs Mike Sostarich and his wife, Ellen, serve as the pace setter chairs for the campaign and next year they will serve as campaign chairs.

Gina Rider, assistant to the treasurer in the Office of the Vice President for Finance and Administration, and Leonard Raley, vice president for University Advancement, serve on the United Appeal Board of Trustees, which chooses the agencies that receive donations each year.

"I've seen first hand the critical need these charities have for donations from United Appeal," Raley says. "Without United Appeal, some of these charities would not be able to serve the citizens in the area because most of them are not equipped to fundraise in this way. United Appeal really provides the fundraising arm that is so necessary for these charities to succeed."

McDavis announced United Appeal Day at a kick off breakfast for the campaign, which also marked United Appeal's first Community Volunteer Day. The president is focused on getting 100 percent participation from University employees throughout the campaign, Raley says.

"Fundraising for the community is one of the University's goals, and we want people to realize that every dollar counts," he says.

University employees can have donations deducted from their payroll. If interested in donating to United Appeal or for more information on volunteering at one of the member agencies, visit www.unitedappeal.org.  

Marisa Long is a writer with University Communications and Marketing.

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