United Way campaign organizers at the University of Guelph hope to continue the University’s record-breaking streak with this year’s fundraising drive.

The 2015 fundraising goal — $607,500 — was announced today during the annual United Way kickoff in Branion Plaza.

Referring to the strong support of the annual United Way campaign on campus and in Guelph, president Franco Vaccarino said “that community spirit is captured in so many ways by the power of volunteerism at the University of Guelph.”

Vaccarino and other U of G leaders and United Way volunteers served hot dogs and popcorn during a barbecue at the event.

Also attending the University kickoff was Karen Farbridge, campaign chair for the United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin and former Guelph mayor.

This year’s target was chosen to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the regional United Way and to acknowledge the advocacy rooted in the annual University campaign.

“The support from the U of G community has always been phenomenal,” said Rich Moccia, associate vice-president, research (strategic partnerships).

He is co-chairing this year’s campaign with Patricia Tersigni, director of academic programs and policy in the provost’s office, and student co-chairs Meghan Doherty and Kim Hu. About 150 volunteers serve as canvassers, committee members and event organizers for the campaign.

“We are confident that we will not only meet this goal but exceed it and set yet another new benchmark for giving from the U of G community,” Moccia said.

Last year, the University raised a record-breaking $616,910, nearly $17,000 above its goal.

U of G has raised more than $600,000 for the agency for three years in a row, and more than $500,000 in each of the past six years.

The United Way works with more than 90 local agencies to provide everything from basic support to adult literacy programs to kids’ development activities to sports and fitness.

“The United Way’s goal of improving lives and building community meshes with U of G’s goal of changing lives and improving life,’” said Tersigni.

She invited campus members to support the campaign, including giving through the payroll deduction plan, donating raffle items or participating in fundraising activities around campus.

This year, all new University leadership donations worth $1,000 or more will be matched by the regional United Way campaign.

The University’s United Way campaign runs for 10 weeks. For regular updates and events, visit www.uoguelph.ca/unitedway.