Wednesday October 7, 2009

Live United

The UD graduate and Flyer basketball player who leads the area United Way challenged UD faculty and staff to increase their participation in the annual fund drive to "restore our community, restore the cuts and restore hope."

Flyer basketball standout and 1975 graduate Allen Elijah returned to UD Wednesday on a mission of service for the community that became his "home away from home."

The Detroit native, now president of the United Way of the Greater Dayton Area, wants to raise $10 million for youth development, financial stability, and health and well-being in the Miami Valley — and he wants the University of Dayton, where he became a Daytonian, to be a $125,000 part of that.

At a kickoff celebration Wednesday, Oct. 7, he said the University believes, demonstrates and exemplifies the motto "Learn. Lead. Serve."

"We need to broaden our participation," Elijah said, adding that in recent years, participation in the United Way campaign at UD has been about 30 percent — much less than other area colleges.

"We're a better University than that," he said. "Just $1 a week from everyone at UD would make a tremendous difference in a lot of people's lives."

At the kickoff, Don Donoher, head basketball coach from 1964 to 1989, recalled the community spirit that in his days as a player packed the fieldhouse so tightly that the University had to bring the bleachers inside from Baujan Field. That same community spirit has been filling the UD Arena to the rafters since its first season. Now, he said, it's time to give back.

"Everyone, let's chip in and make this drive successful," he said. "Remember one thing: We are UD."

  • How to give: Pledge packets are being sent through campus mail this week; donations can be by check, credit card or payroll deduction. Donors can use the pledge cards or go to the secure United Way site for the campaign. To give online, click on the University of Dayton logo and enter the individualized login and password provided in the mailing.
  • For information: Contact campaign chair Mary Ann Dodaro, 229-2289.
  • Deadline: Oct. 30.