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Nov. 17, 2011 Volume 33, No. 13

Mizzou challenges KU to benefit United Way


TIGER QUILT University Hall employees, from left, Bonita Lenger, Karen Borgers, Brenda Dennis and Katina Volle crafted this quilt featuring tiger stripes and black and gold accents for the United Way online auction. Bids will be accepted at until 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18.


Less than 48 hours remain in student fundraising challenge

The clock is ticking down to the close of Live United Week, which ends Friday, Nov. 18. Since 2009, Mizzou students have competed against their University of Kansas counterparts to see who can donate the most to their local United Way. The Tigers are 2-0 against the Jayhawks in the MU/KU United Way Challenge. Last year’s campaign generated $6,188 for Heart of Missouri United Way, compared to $3,897 for United Way of Douglas County (Kansas). This year, MU’s goal is $10,000, and at press time, the Tigers had raised $10,540, exceeding that goal.

Faculty, staff and fans can contribute to the cause while getting a jump on holiday shopping by participating in the online auction, which opened Nov. 14 with about 80 items. Bids must be placed by 5 p.m. Nov. 18.

Among the auction items is a black and gold quilt made by administrative staff members Karen Borgers, Bonita Lenger, Brenda Dennis and Katina Volle. The four University Hall employees collaborated on the quilt, which features a combination of tiger stripes and black and gold accents, and a quilted tiger paw pattern on the back.

The 70-by-82 inch quilt was the brainchild of Borgers, who works in the treasurer’s office and serves on the university’s United Way marketing committee. “I thought we could make money with a quilt, and I knew there were some ladies in the building that did quilting,” she says. “From time to time they would bring their projects in and show what they had made. I knew they did nice work.”

Borgers says she does a little bit of sewing, but quilting was a new challenge. “It’s harder than you think,” she says. “Bonita and Brenda really deserve the lion’s share of credit. They spent a lot of their precious time on the quilt.”

In addition to the tiger quilt, auction items include a Les Bourgeois VIP tasting and tour, a Carl Edwards autographed collectible car, spa and golf gift certificates, a private party at the Missouri Theatre, and tea with the first ladies of the University of Missouri, Anne Deaton and Cindy Owens.

To make a fashion statement while trumping an infamous rival, shoppers can also invest in T-shirts. One Mizzou Lives United shirts are available in honey gold and traditional gold, and youth sizes were added this year. T-shirts cost $15 ($10 for youth sizes). Purchases made by Nov. 18 will be included in the MU/KU student challenge.

MU/KU challenge donations count toward the university's United Way campaign goal. As of 10 a.m. Nov. 16, MU and UM System employees in Columbia have pledged $635,699 to fund community programs supporting education, income, health and emergency needs in mid-Missouri. At press time, 4,325 of 20,266 faculty and staff had participated in the campaign. A donation of $4.33 from each of the remaining employees would push the university over its goal of $690,000, which is $40,000 more than 2010’s goal.

The University of Missouri is the largest single employer contributor to Heart of Missouri United Way. Tim Rich, executive director for the Heart of Missouri United Way, said he was inspired because, despite the university’s hiring and wage freezes, employee contributions have consistently topped themselves from each previous year.

“It’s almost counterintuitive,” he said. “There was one year that individual contributions across the country were in a 10 percent decline, yet in the Columbia area, at least with the United Way, we continue to give more.”

While helping people with their needs today through extensive Safety Net (basic and immediate) services, Heart of Missouri United Way’s Community Impact work also creates deep and lasting changes in our community by addressing the underlying elements that are the building blocks for successful lives and communities: education, income and health. The organization partners with 31 community agencies — such as  Rainbow House, Boys and Girls Club, Job Point and Voluntary Action Center — 27 of which are located in Columbia.

— Reporting by Megan Cassidy, Angela Dahman and Karen Pojmann