United Way Campaign announces new ‘Club 21′

The sixth week of the Rice United Way Campaign has been the most successful yet, due in large part to the Administration division, whose total contributions to this year’s campaign have now reached $16,163. Members of the Rice community have pledged or contributed $135,297, or 77.3 percent of the campaign’s $175,000 goal.

Club 21In honor of that success, the campaign co-chairs have announced a new leadership giving category — Club 21 — and honorary campaign chairman and Rice Board of Trustees Chair Bobby Tudor ’82 has expanded his matching gift offer to include Rice employees who pledge at this new leadership level.

Club 21, the exclusive Rice club for fun and philanthropy, takes its name from the fact that a United Way pledge of $500 works out to a little less that $21 per paycheck when divided over all of 2014 by automatic payroll deductions. Club 21 membership includes invitations to complimentary club events, the first of which will be held Nov. 7 at 4 p.m. at the Gibbs Recreation and Wellness Center.  That debut event will feature music, snacks, a signature cocktail created especially for the event featuring the locally distilled “spirit of Houston” — DASH vodka and a beer custom-brewed for the occasion by Houston’s Buffalo Bayou Brewing Company, founded by Rice alumnus Rassul Zarinfar ’04.

To further encourage Club 21 membership, Tudor and his wife, Phoebe, have extended their $25,000 matching gift challenge to include any donation in the $500-$999 range. For all pledges and donations of this size received during the 2013-14 Rice United Way Campaign, the Tudors will contribute $250. In addition, first-time lead donors — those who pledge $1,000 or more — will still see their gifts matched by $500, and for renewing lead donors, the Tudors will match any increase over last year’s leadership-level gift, up to $500, until the matching challenge fund total has been reached.

Rice employees may pledge by payroll deductions spread over all paychecks in calendar (and tax) year 2014 by logging in to ESTHER (http://esther.rice.edu) and making a United Way payroll pledge on line, or by printing and mailing the pledge form found at www.rice.edu/unitedway.  That same pledge form may also be used to make a cash, check or credit card contribution for tax year 2013. Information on the Lead Donor program, Club 21 and other details about the Rice United Way Campaign may be found at www.rice.edu/unitedway.

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