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Executive Vice President for Clinical Affairs Norman Urmy, aka Superman, plays to the crowd as he is introduced by “Alex Trebek,” Joel Lee, Executive Director of Medical Center Communications, at the Jeopardy-themed kick-off event for the Community Giving Campaign. (photo by Dana Johnson)

Community Giving campaign kicks off with superhero show

BY: BARB CRAMER

“Robin the Boy Wonder,” Mark Penkhus, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of VUH, whispers an answer to “Batman,” Dean John E. Chapman of the School of Medicine, during the superhero Jeopardy game show. (photo by Dana Johnson)

9/08/2000 - “Robin the Boy Wonder,” Mark Penkhus, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of VUH, whispers an answer to “Batman,” Dean John E. Chapman of the School of Medicine, during the superhero Jeopardy game show. (photo by Dana Johnson)

Heroes in Jeopardy was the theme for the kick-off event of VUMC’s Community Giving Campaign, held the last week in August.

The superhero-studded event marked the beginning of the annual VUMC campaign, this year built around the slogan “Reaching Out to Others.”

To get the message of giving across, Joel Lee, executive director of Communications, hosted a parody of the quiz show Jeopardy in which the contestants were in full costume and supplying questions for the Jeopardy answers: “Batman,” Dr. John E. Chapman, dean of the school of Medicine; “Wonder Woman,” Colleen Conway-Welch, Ph.D., R.N., dean of the school of Nursing; “Superman,” Norman B. Urmy, executive vice president for Clinical Affairs; “Robin, the Boy Wonder,” Mark Penkhus, executive director and chief executive officer, Vanderbilt Hospital; “Xena, the Warrior Princess,” Sally Allen, manager of Patient Care/Nutrition Service Department; and “Spiderman,” Melvin Fitzgerald, office assistant, Biochemistry Department.

Campaign chairman, Dr. Lonnie S. Burnett, Frances and John C. Burch Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, dressed in normal clothing, urged department campaign coordinators to pass the word of giving.

“I think it’s important to give because it makes you feel good to know that you are helping other people that need that help,” Burnett said.

“Giving has been a really important part of my life due in large part to my mother’s great teaching and example of giving.

“If I have one goal for this campaign, I would like to see an increase in percentage of giving, not necessarily increasing the amount, but just to have more people involved in giving.”

The goal for the 2000 Community Giving Campaign for the entire university complex is $760,000.

The Vanderbilt Community Giving Campaign raises funds for such charities as the United Way of Metropolitan Nashville, Community Shares and the Community Health Charities of Tennessee.

Two hundred campaign coordinators from departments throughout the Medical Center will be asking staff and faculty for helping in the giving campaign.

“Together, we can reach out to others and make Middle Tennessee an even better place to live,” Chapman said.

Last year, the university-wide campaign raised $756,000, $56,000 above the goal. Of that total, VUMC raised $477,412,—63 percent of the total.

Last year’s campaign had 4,752 donors with VUMC supplying 3,188 donors, which was 67 percent of the total. Vanderbilt retains 10 percent of the undesignated gifts in the campaign.

Vanderbilt University is recognized by United Way as one of the top five universities (public or private) in the U.S. for its contributions.

The eight-week Community Giving Campaign ends October 31st.

Any donation can be made either in a one-time gift or as a payroll deduction. For more information, call the internal campaign office at 343-8759.

“I look upon Vanderbilt as a big family and I think we will all feel good about giving,” said Burnett. “I think it will help bring us closer together to know that we are all giving.”

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