Fourth Annual I Heart UWinnipeg Dinner Raises Over $100,000
University of Winnipeg President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Lloyd Axworthy and his wife Ms. Denise Ommanney, with the support of honorary co-chairs alumna Ms. Chantal Kreviazuk and Mr. Michael Bruneau, hosted a sold out fundraising event on May 23, 2013. The fourth annual “I Heart UWinnipeg” dinner attracted more than 600 people and raised over $100,000 to help students in need.
All proceeds benefit The Opportunity Fund, which has raised more than $2.8 million to date, Since 2007, the fund has awarded 1,158 bursaries and supported the graduation of 238 students from The University of Winnipeg.
Many generous pledges were made throughout the dinner, including one of $32,000 from Dr. Axworthy and Ms. Ommanney to establish an endowment in the name of Jennifer Rattray, UWinnipeg’s Associate VP of Indigenous, Government and Community Affairs, in honour of her longstanding devotion to the Opportunity Fund and UWinnipeg’s community-based learning initiatives. This was complemented by a $5,000 pledge from ReSolve Project Management Ltd.
Helping youth dream big
Event attendees heard firsthand accounts of the positive impact derived from their support. Opportunity Fund bursary recipient Robert Robinson described in gritty detail the challenges he has faced since childhood and the positive changes he has made since enrolling at UWinnipeg. Now majoring in Urban and Inner-city Studies, Robinson expressed gratitude for the opportunity to turn his life around through education.
Opportunity Fund recipient Jessica Lavalee
Similarly, Jessica Lavallee attested to the positive impact of being an Opportunity Fund beneficiary. She graduated earlier this month from UWinnipeg’s Collegiate Model School, the first in her family to earn a Grade 12 diploma. Attendees were also addressed by Megan Fultz, who generously donated her UWinnipeg entrance scholarship to the Opportunity Fund so that less-advantaged young people may achieve their post-secondary goals. Fultz will graduate from UWinnipeg next week with a BA in Human Rights and a BA in International Development Studies; she is the incoming UWSA president.
“The Opportunity Fund is about raising hope and opportunity for talented people who face barriers that prevent the realization of their full potential,” said Dr. Axworthy. “We know that education is a crucial factor in building a successful future, and that’s why the Opportunity Fund is so important to our community. We are truly grateful for the dedicated support of our valued partners: Gold Sponsor, Bee Clean; Bronze Sponsors, HUB International Insurance Brokers and Consultants and D’Arcy & Deacon LLP; as well as Media and Prize Sponsors: Winnipeg Free Press, Energy 106, West End Biz, Solcosta Resorts, Sata International Airlines, and Powerland Computers.”
UWinnipeg thanks everyone who bought tickets to the dinner, and offers a special thank you to the following corporate sponsors for their generous support: Boom Done Next, Canadian Corporate Real Estate Services, Canad Inns, City of Winnipeg, Coca-Cola Refreshments, Dakota Ojibway Tribal Council, Davian Construction Ltd, Fisher River Cree Nation, General Child & Family Services Authority, KPMG LLP, Number Ten Architectural Group, Omnitrax Canada, Out ‘n About Travel, Peerless Garments LP, Qualico, RBC Royal Bank, ReSolve Project Management Ltd., Seven Oaks School Division, SI Alarms, Sorrento’s on Ellice, Taylor McCaffrey LLP, The North West Company, Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP, University of Winnipeg – Follett Bookstore, and Winnipeg Police Association.
Last year’s event marked the unveiling of the “Education is Key” necklace, custom designed by UWinnipeg Collegiate grad and renowned jewelry designer Hilary Druxman in support of the Opportunity Fund. This year, Druxman supplemented the design with the addition of a one-of-a-kind silver “key” charm that adorns the necklace. Both items are available for purchase at The University of Winnipeg Bookstore in the AnX at 491 Portage Avenue, at Druxman’s store located in Winnipeg’s Exchange District (258 McDermot Avenue) and online.
Background – Opportunity Fund
The University of Winnipeg is committed to helping youth dream big and to eliminating financial barriers to our University. The Opportunity fund is unique in Canada, set up specifically to offer financial support to Aboriginal students, young people from war-affected areas and refugee populations, and youth from inner-city neighbourhoods through fast-track bursaries, tuition credits, and tuition waivers for youth who have grown up in the child welfare system.
The goal of the Opportunity Fund is to create a $10 million endowment fund that will ensure that everyone — regardless of background and socio-economic status — has access to university education. For further information on the Opportunity Fund, please contact the University’s Awards Office at 204.779.8946. To donate to the Opportunity Fund, please contact the University of Winnipeg Foundation at 204.786.9995 or toll free at 1.866.394.6050.
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Kevin Rosen, Director of Marketing & Communications,
The University of Winnipeg
P: 204.786.9381, E: firstname.lastname@example.org