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Employees reach deep to hit goals
December 14, 1998

UConn President Philip Austin is an economist by trade, so when he declared on December 3 that UConn employees had met their $100,000 goal for the Connecticut State Employees Charitable Campaign despite the fact that less than $99,000 had actually been collected, he went unquestioned.

"I'd say you could call it a statistical (victory)," Austin said, as he congratulated the 40 people attending a reception for campaign volunteers and donors to the campaign, as well as the other 534 donors who couldn't attend the event, held at the Centennial Alumni House.

"You help make UConn the wonderful place that it is. Through your generosity you make this a more caring community," he said.

The charity drive, officially conducted in October, is still accepting donations, says Dennis Dion, coordinator of the UConn portion of the state employee campaign. The campaign, part of a broader, statewide campaign, for the third consecutive year breached the $1 million barrier. And, for the sixth consecutive year, says Jan Gwudz, director of the state employee campaign, UConn employee contributions topped all other state agencies.

By press time, Austin's December 3 prediction was looking good, as UConn's total climbed to $99,300. And Dion remained confident late pledges will push it over the top.

The pledges topped UConn's 1997 campaign by more than $10,000.

The campaign's more than 950 charitable organizations, and the millions of people they help, were not the only winners, either. Several local restaurants, and a variety of UConn organizations, donated raffle prizes to the effort. The winners of those prizes were:

  • Eldridge Adams, from the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, who won two tickets to a Connecticut Repertory Theatre show;

  • Bernard Cellillie of accounts payable and Jennifer Shea, from the Office of the Vice Chancellor, who each won a $25 gift certificate to Ted's or Huskies Restaurant;

  • Marie Dexter, a computer center staffer, Marie Lesage from the School of Engineering, and Hector Ortiz, from custodial services, won two tickets each to a show at Jorgensen Auditorium.

  • Marijke Kehrhahn, from the Department of Educational Leadership, won two tickets to a women's basketball game;

  • Gerald Leibowitz, a math professor, won season tickets to Husky hockey games;

  • Ruth Millikan, philosophy, won a complimentary core parking space;

  • Janice Nash, from Central Stores, won two tickets to a men's basketball game;

  • Marlene Oppelt, of custodial services, and Gary Weller, from purchasing, each won $50 gift certificates to Cycle Escape in Hebron, donated by Mary Parker, a staffer in the payroll department;

  • Linda Pescatello from the School of Allied Health, and Rutherford Witthus, a staffer in the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, each won a free six-foot sub from Subway Sandwiches;

  • J.C. Schwarz, psychology, and Karen Violette from internal auditing each won a $50 gift certificate to the Altnaveigh Inn, donated by the University of Connecticut Professional Employees Association (UCPEA).