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Zany events draw attention to charity drive
October 13, 1998

A luau, a miniature golf course and custom-carved pumpkins; these are just a few examples of creative schemes different state departments have concocted to raise awareness - and donations - for the Connecticut State Employees Charitable Campaign. The campaign provides state and University employees with an opportunity to support a wide variety of local, national, and international non-profit charities.

At UConn, treasure chests full of booty, three-legged races, and banners strung across Route 195 have all served to generate awareness of the campaign and encourage donations. "We try to do something innovative to focus people's attention on the campaign and the charities," said Cara Workman, director of University events and campus relations.

To benefit the campaign, the University will sponsor a 1950s luncheon replete with root beer floats, cheddar cheeseburgers, foot-long hot dogs, onion rings and a Wurlitzer juke-box. The luncheon will be held October 15, from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom. Those wearing poodle skirts or other 50s attire will receive $1 off the $5 donation.

"Without our support, the agencies that help to fight poverty, to keep our water clean and our children healthy, wouldn't exist," said Dennis Dion, chair of the UConn's State Employees Campaign.

Dion said the charities enhance the quality of life for many who are in need. "People are willing to donate when they see where their money is going," he said. This year, UConn's goal for donations is $100,000. In the campaign's first week nearly $13,000 has been raised.

The campaign will draw to a close October 29 with a Fall Fest and bake sale on the Student Union patio.

Jennifer Ridder