College pays it forward throughout the year
Jan. 3, 2011 – The Thursday morning before Christmas brought a happy surprise for Lethbridge College employee Wendy Hart, a service specialist in the Registrar’s Office.
Members of the Office of Alumni Relations and Advancement showed up at her desk with a check for $1,580, announcing that she was the winner of the December “Pay It Forward” draw which benefits students and a lucky winner each month. So far, the 50-50 style lottery has raised $59,225 for student scholarships and allowed 43 staff, students, alumni, and community members to experience the thrill of unexpected cash.
“I look forward to Pay It Forward draw day each month,” says Kelly Morris, the alumni relations specialist who organizes the event. “There is so much joy in handing someone a cheque and telling them they won. Everyone always says, ‘I never win anything.’
“Plus,” Morris adds, “that same amount of money goes into student scholarships each month – it’s a win-win. Every month I know we’re helping students fund their education, while making someone’s day.”
Morris is one of four employees who have won the draw twice since it started in February 2008. She won draws (with other people doing the drawing, of course) in November 2009 and April 2011. Other double winners include Estela Mayen in August 2011 and October 2008, Rick Blakely in October 2009 and October 2010, and Cindy Warner in September 2008 and June 2009.
And Lethbridge College president and CEO Tracy Edwards won the draw once, in July 2008 – and promptly donated the money back to the scholarship fund.
"I was delighted to win Pay it Forward for the month of July,” Edwards said after winning the draw. “This initiative is definitely a ‘win-win’. It provides badly needed scholarships for our students and a windfall for the lucky recipient. I'd encourage everyone to participate in this worthwhile endeavour."
The program started in February 2008 following the suggestion of one of the college’s Alumni Advisory Council members, Randi Knutson. Knutson was inspired by the Pay Day 50/50 that the hospital holds and suggested that the college tried something similar. The winner of the first draw, Nancy Biggars, received $790 and the monthly draw has grown from there. The largest pot to date was in October 2011 with $1625.
Pay it Forward is open to staff, students, alumni and the community. Stop by the Office of Alumni Relations in CE2323 (Advancement Office) or call 403.329.7220 to buy a one-time $10 draw ticket, sign up for more than one draw at a time ($120 for the whole year), or sign up to have $10 deducted from your Lethbridge College paycheque every month. Community members are encouraged to participate. For more information, call the Alumni Office – 403.329.7220 or email email@example.com.
The 2011 Pay-It-Forward winners are:
December: Wendy Hart
November: Robert Kundell
October: Bill Burch
September: Loretta Huska
August: Estela Mayen
July: Sandy Vanderburgh
June: Carole Mickey
May: Chris Aitken
April: Kelly Morris
March: Dave Daniels
February: Karen O'Dwyer
January: Henry Komadowski