September 22, 2020

By KEILA MACPHERSON

Family is there to care for and show support to its members. The Conestoga family is going above and beyond by showing their financial support as well through the Family Campaign.
The campaign is part of the college’s Be the Cause of Something Great campaign where faculty, staff, alumni and retirees can donate money toward various projects at all campuses and financial awards for students.
The starting goal of the Family Campaign was $800,000, but by the end of May 2012, $865,712, had been raised.
Under the leadership of chairpersons Kathryn Brillinger, Stephanie Bartlett and Monica Himmelman, and with the help of directors Julie Gillis, Tim Tribe and 128 other volunteers, the Family Campaign kicked off in April 2011. It was designed to encourage the community to make donations based on the idea of a strong internal support system.
“It was important for people who are very intimately connected to this institution to demonstrate leadership and their commitment to the campaign and the college,” said Tim Tribe, director of development at Conestoga.
Conestoga’s family continued to donate money over the summer and the funds rose to $891,921, as of Sept. 6.
“It is the highest amount any college has raised internally,” said Julie Gillis, manager of donor relations and stewardship. “The goal is to continue to receive donations and support from the staff. Whether we will get that amount every year, it is hard to say.”
According to Gillis, donors have a choice of where and what department their donation will go to, and she said one hundred per cent of their contributions are used for the intended purposes.
“That’s what fundraising is about; letting somebody help somebody else in a way that they feel good about,” said Tribe.
The distribution of funds, as of Sept. 6, is as follows:

  • $410,284 for the campaign to use for general projects
  • $169,465 to the School of Engineering and Information Technology
  • $115,950 toward awards and scholarships
  • $89,192 to the School of Health & Life Sciences
  • $44,596 to go toward other departments (Learning Resource Centre, Disability Services, recreation centre)
  • $35,677 to the School of Business
  • $26,758 toward trades & apprenticeship

Renovations to the LRC, the recent addition to the F-wing at the Doon campus, the new Cambridge campus and new learning and skills centres at campuses in Ingersoll, Waterloo and Guelph were funded by donations.
There are several more projects planned for the future, bringing the total cost to about $126 million.
“This isn’t a one-time thing. This is going to, hopefully, take on a life of its own and become really a part of the culture of Conestoga going forward,” said Tribe.