WMU News

Gary Fund reaches record total, more than $725,000

June 4, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- The 2001 Mike Gary Athletic Fund at Western Michigan University reached a new record total of $725,854 in gifts and pledges.

The money raised surpassed the campaign goal of $685,000 and was an 11 percent increase from the $652,000 raised the previous year. A group of approximately 40 volunteers solicited phone contributions by phone from April 16 through May 10.

Gitta Kudlicki, director of sales at the Kalamazoo County Convention and Visitors Bureau, was the campaign chair.

"The goal was an extremely ambitious one, but I had great confidence in the volunteers, and they responded by putting in more calling hours than had ever been totaled previously," Kudlicki said. "Those efforts allowed us to surpass our goal."

Assisting Kudlicki was Jon M. Dixon, vice president of Bronson Healthcare Group, who will serve as campaign chair in 2002. Volunteer team captains included Jim McIntyre, Lou White, Gary Gunia, Jim Everts, Jim Lamborn, Larry Lueth and Fred Sitkins.

"Gitta did a tremendous job as the chair and set the bar high for next year," said Jerry George, director of development for athletics. "She kept everyone organized and focused on their tasks. The energy level of volunteers was the highest since I've been here."

Said George, "I think the community realizes what we have to do to grow and be successful in intercollegiate athletics. It shows by how the community responded to our drive."

The 47-year-old Mike Gary Athletic Fund is among the oldest fund-raising campaigns at Western Michigan University. The fund supports the University's 20 men's and women's intercollegiate athletic teams.

Media contact: Thom Myers, 616 387-8400, thomas.myers@wmich.edu

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