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Food and fun power United Way campaign

December 08, 2010

The 2010 ASU United Way campaign has concluded, and thanks to its generous faculty and staff, ASU surpassed the goal of $625,000 by a little more than $50,000. (As of Dec. 3, the total was $676,848.)

And a lot of the campaign’s success can be credited to food.

Yes, that’s right. Calories.

There were hot dog sales, bake sales, ice cream sales, a chili cook-off, popcorn sales, and more hot dog lunches.

Perhaps the most “tasty” of all was the Pie in the Face event sponsored by the Office of Human Resources. Kevin Salcido, associate vice president for human resources, Dave Brixen, associate vice president for facilities development and management, and Audrey Dumouchel-Jones, assistant director of HR, all volunteered to get creamed in the face.

Dumouchel-Jones said being a target was “actually fun, and good way to help with the cause. I got a good taste of the pie, as I could not stop laughing when someone got in a great throw. Luckily they used spray whip so it was good! I don’t like cool-whip type whip cream!”

“It was whipped cream,” Brixen said. “Did get a little taste. Definitely whipped cream! It was for a good cause so I was fine with it. All in good fun!”

Various departments also sponsored events that had nothing to do with eating.

Tillman Scholars in The W. P. Carey School of Business raised more than $500 by collecting change from purchases made at Aramark food locations across campus in an initiative called “Be the Change.”

Also, Intercollegiate Athletics resorted to what ASU Women’s basketball coach Charli Turner Thorne called “bribery” (though ASU President Michael Crow labeled it “an added incentive to participate”).

The “incentives” included raffle prizes of basketball tickets, golf at Karsten, autographed balls, athletic apparel, lunch at Karsten, and two very special prizes – the opportunity to view a men’s basketball practice and the chance to serve as guest coach for Turner Thorne’s team.

Laurie Chassin, Regents’ Professor of Psychology, won the “coach for a day” prize. She hasn’t put on her whistle yet, but Chassin said she might lead the team over winter break.

Beth Walker, associate dean of the W.P. Carey MBA, won the men’s basketball practice viewing, but she hasn’t attended a practice session yet (Don’t send her any coaching suggestions – remember, she’s just observing.)

This year’s co-chairs of ASU Leadership Giving for the United Way Campaign were Turner Thorne and Herb Sendek, men’s basketball coach. Christine Wilkinson, senior vice president of ASU, served as University campaign chair. Patricia Rosciano, assistant to Salcido, was campaign coordinator, and Rebecca O’Kusky from Vanguard was ASU’s loaned executive.

Salcido attributes this year’s success to “a well-organized campaign, strong executive level support and a workforce that is truly embedded in the community,” as well as the “unsung heroes” – the many department representatives who gave of their time (and in many cases, Salcido said, their personal funds) to stage the events.

Turner Thorne said she wasn’t sure there was a “key” to having a good campaign, “but we tried to really impress upon our ASU family that this is ‘our charity’ and we need to support our family.

“It was honor to be chair and it was our goal to have the best campaign ever. The credit goes to all campaign managers and department heads who really kept on people to give...and of course to those people who stepped up and gave!”

Sendek added, “Dr. Crow does a great job providing leadership and setting the stage, and so many people dedicate their time and energy to spread the word and amplify the importance of the United Way Campaign. In the end, people generously gave with caring hearts.”

Wilkinson commented, “We’re thrilled that in these hard times, when we asked university faculty and staff to support the community in which they live and work, they exceeded the goal.

“This year, we also give special acknowledgement to Patricia Rosciano. She did a tremendous job in keeping the campaign going on a daily basis. And, we also thank Jim Rund, who helped tie the United Way campaign into a Sun Devil Spirit campaign. We were able to incorporate United Way giving with also broadening Sun Devil pride though supporting ASU sports and other university wide events."

Some of the events were:

Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering hosted “Lunch and a Movie” every Friday, as well as a Halloween Haunted House and Bocce Ball fundraiser.

The Provost’s Office sponsored events nearly every week, ranging from hot dog, popcorn and ice cream sales, a chili cook-off and “photo op with Sparky.” The Provost’s Office raised the most: $4,450.95.

Public Affairs hosted an ice cream social.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences sponsored a book sale.

Educational Outreach and Student Services sponsored a raffle of a handmade Sparky quilt and other items.

UGA sponsored a Boo-Gram fund-raiser (similar to singing telegrams.)

To view a video wrap-up of the 2010 campaign, go to