|Volume 45 Number 5||Edmonton, Canada||November 2, 2007|
Belly bounding for bucks
Event puts the fun in fundraiser
by Michael Brown
If nothing else, campus groups raising money for the United Way know how to have a good time. Of course, being successful is fun, too.
"I'd say we have already raised close to $500,000 for the United Way," Lorna Hallam, University of Alberta United Way campaign co-ordinator, said of the six-week campaign that wraps up Nov. 9. "We set a goal of $525,000 this year but we're hoping to break last year's record of $570,000."
Helping to push towards that magical $570,000 mark and beyond, the Faculty of Native Studies held its first-ever Belly Bumpin' for Bucks Oct. 30.
For a donation of $5, students and staff were given the chance to don a Sumo wrestler suit and battle it out for a good cause and a good time. The main event of the day saw Mike Mahon, dean of the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation bounce off all his opponents in a Battle of the Deans showdown that included Ellen Bielawski, dean of the Faculty of Native Studies, Martin Ferguson-Pell, dean of the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, and Gurston Dacks, acting dean of the Faculty of Arts.
"The United Way is so important to so many people who live here, and we'll do almost anything we can to contribute to that cause," said Bielawski, who was edged out by a wily Dacks in the Sumo semifinal. "I think for us, as many people know, aboriginal people are among the poorest in Canada, so it's really important to us that the United Way does well because it funds a lot of agencies that help out the poor."
The fun continued on Halloween with the Spectacular Thriller Workout, where a $2 donation bought a trip back in time to learn all the moves Michael Jackson made famous during the height of his Thriller album back in 1982.
The 2007 United Way campaign's single biggest fundraiser, the Chillin' For Charity Polar Bear Swim, put on by the U of A's School of Business Jeux Du Commerce team, takes the plunge Nov. 2. The icy leap of faith, held at the U of A's main quad starting at 1 p.m., is expected to raise $30,000.