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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University January 5, 2004 | Vol. 33 No. 16
United Way Campaign: Over the Top

Donations received by Jan. 12 will go toward 2003 total

By Greg Rienzi
The Gazette

Exceeding optimistic projections, the 2003 Johns Hopkins United Way Campaign has surpassed its lofty goal with still a week left to go. To date, the combined contributions from those at the university, Johns Hopkins Medicine and the Applied Physics Laboratory total $2,454,395, more than $72,000 past the desired mark, and counting.

Jan. 12 is the official last day Johns Hopkins pledges are marked toward the 2003 United Way of Central Maryland campaign.

As of Dec. 30, 2003, nine of the university's 14 units had exceeded their goals, with the other five closing in on theirs. Of special note in this year's campaign, Homewood Student Affairs bested its goal by 43 percent, raising $30,400, with a participation rate of 63 percent.

APL raised $647,000, the highest total in its history. The university topped its goal of $1,120,000 — the largest goal in the history of the JHU United Way campaign — and raised $1,203,000. Overall, Johns Hopkins institutions had 470 leadership members — 87 of them new — a designation for those who donate $1,000 or more.

This year's three campaign chairs — for the university, Ralph Fessler, dean of the School of Professional Studies in Business and Education; for APL, Jay Dettmer, supervisor of the Electronic Services Group; and for Johns Hopkins Medicine, Martin Abeloff, director of Oncology at the School of Medicine, set a combined Hopkins goal of $2,382,100. The figure represents a total for contributions from JHM and all university divisions except the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, whose donations are reported to the Washington, D.C., capital area campaign.

Last year's combined Hopkins gifts to the United Way of Central Maryland totaled $2,295,230. Fessler said that Johns Hopkins showed its high level of dedication to the community at large by investing so generously this year.

"We thought the goal was stretching it a bit, given the economy and times, but we have surpassed it, and I'm sure it will go higher. It's really a testimony to the Hopkins community," Fessler said. "It was really a privilege to serve as chair this year. The campaign brought out a deep understanding for me how committed Hopkins is to the broader community, especially at a time when government resources and the [United Way] organizations themselves have been challenged."

Fessler said that what stood out for him in particular in this year's campaign were the many individuals who came out to participate in the university's Day of Caring event, which took place in September at St. Jerome's Head Start, a childcare center in Baltimore that provides academic skills training to children from low-income families. JHU volunteers led children in arts and crafts projects, flower planting and other activities.

"It was wonderful having the opportunity to see firsthand the great work being done at places like that," he said.

APL's Jay Dettmer said that in addition to the 9 percent increase in donations, the Lab had a 24 percent increase in participation in its Day of Caring projects. More than 480 APL employees volunteered 1,539 hours on 51 projects.

"These results showed me that APL staff members truly care about our communities and are willing to give not just of their money but also of themselves," he said.

Martin Abeloff said that he, too, was impressed by the very deep commitment and enthusiasm shown by the campaign staff and those who have volunteered both time and money.

"But our challenge remains to be able to encourage and convince the many others to participate," Abeloff said. "We have done very well this year, but in some respects, it's never good enough. We still have work to do."


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