Professor dons odd attire to raise money for charity

David Gabriel, right, poses with Lucie Thibault, faculty co-chair of Brock's United Way campaign.

David Gabriel, right, poses with Lucie Thibault, faculty co-chair of Brock's United Way campaign.

David Gabriel found a unique way this month to raise money for Brock’s United Way campaign.

The Kinesiology professor challenged students to raise money for the cause. If they raised enough, he’d wear a tutu in class.

The students raised $530 – enough to get Gabriel in a tutu, tiara and wig.

David Gabriel, right, presents a cheque to Lucie Thibault, faculty co-chair of Brock's United Way campaign.

“I had the whole getup from when I was an undergraduate student and had to go to a costume party,” he said. “I thought ‘Why not?’”

Gabriel held a similar fundraiser about eight years ago, but “a whole new generation of students has passed through since then,” he said. His class of 67 students, he said, is “a really good group” and he knew they would rise to the challenge.

On the day he wore the tutu, “at first they were in shock,” he said. “Then they laughed. They couldn’t believe it. I got a couple of cat calls.”

The United Way is a worthy cause because of the number of community agencies it supports, he said.

“It focuses on a lot of good things all at once.”

Jennifer Roberts, administrative assistant at the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute, also helped the cause. A master pie chef, Roberts held a raffle that offered the winner a pie of his or her choice every month for the next six months. She raised $270. The winner was Caroline Starrs from the Department of Chemistry.

The Needle Knockers on-campus knitting group is still selling tickets for its United Way afghan raffle. Tickets are $5 each or three for $10. To buy one, email jo.stewart@brocku.ca

The Brock campaign has a fundraising goal of $115,000. So far, the Brock community has committed $98,219.

United Way of St. Catharines and District has a goal of $3.1 million. So far, it has raised $1,066,634, or 34 per cent.

Posted on November 16, 2011

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