I Heart UWinnipeg 2012

I Heart UWinnipeg

WINNIPEG, MB – University of Winnipeg President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Lloyd Axworthy and his wife Ms. Denise Ommanney hosted a sold out fundraising event Wednesday night. The third annual “I Heart UWinnipeg” dinner, on May 23, 2012, attracted 600 people and exceeded its financial target — raising more than $210,000 to help students in need.

Generous donors who stepped forward during the dinner included alumnus Mr. Paul Swaity (United College Class of ’46) with a gift of $100,000 on his behalf and on behalf of his late wife Mrs. Opal Swaity; Manitoba Blue Cross, with a gift of $50,000; and Mrs. Marni Larkin and Mr. Lyle Misura, with a gift of $10,000 in memory of Mr. Mark Joseph Bachus. All proceeds benefit UWinnipeg’s Opportunity Fund, which since 2007 has awarded more than 850 bursaries and supported the graduation of 100 students from The University of Winnipeg.

The event also marked the unveiling of the “Education is Key” necklace, custom designed by UWinnipeg Collegiate grad and renowned jewelry designer Hilary Druxman in support of the Opportunity Fund. The necklace is available for purchase at The University of Winnipeg Bookstore, at Druxman’s store located in Winnipeg’s Exchange District (258 McDermot Avenue) and online at

Attendees heard firsthand the profound impact the Opportunity Fund has on students. Brandon Murdock, a beneficiary of the Fund’s unique Tuition Credit program and recipient of an Entrance Scholarship to The University of Winnipeg Collegiate Model School, described his pride in becoming the first member of his family to graduate from Grade 12 and his excitement about attending The University of Winnipeg this Fall. Obafemi (Babs) and Motunrayo (Yemmy) Oladele, recent immigrants from Nigeria, also expressed gratitude at the event for the exceptional opportunities made possible by the Opportunity Fund. Both are Fast-Track Bursary recipients, currently completing the second year of a five-year integrated Bachelor of Education program at the University’s Winnipeg Education Centre (WEC).

“While we all know the critical value of education in making a better future, we cannot overlook the barriers that can prevent talented people from achieving their full potential. That’s why the Opportunity Fund is so important to our community and we are truly grateful for the dedicated support of our valued partners,” said President Axworthy. “The University thanks the evening’s Gold Sponsor, Ital-Inter Soccer Club; Silver Sponsor, Bee Clean; Bronze Sponsor, Cardinal Capital Management, Inc.; as well as Media and Prize Sponsors: Winnipeg Free Press, The Indo-Canadian Telegram, Morden’s of Winnipeg, Imperial Flooring, and Advance Electronics.”

UWinnipeg thanks everyone who bought tickets to the dinner, and offers a special thank you to the following corporate sponsors for their generous support:

Boom Done Next, Canad Inns, City of Winnipeg, Coca-Cola Refreshments, Council on Post-Secondary Education, Dakota Ojibway Tribal Council, D’Arcy & Deacon LLP, Davian Construction Ltd, Fisher River Cree Nation, General Child & Family Services Authority, Harris Consulting Corp., Norway House Cree Nation, Number Ten Architectural Group, Omnitrax Canada, Peerless Garments LP, Pony Corral Restaurant & Bar, Procurity Inc., ReSolve Project Management Ltd and Manshield Construction, Sorrento’s on Ellice, Taylor McCaffrey LLP, The North West Company, Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP, University of Winnipeg – Follett Bookstore, Winnipeg Police Association, and Winpark Dorchester Properties

Background – Opportunity Fund

The University of Winnipeg is committed to helping youth dream big. To date, UWinnipeg has been able to award more than 850 Fast-Track Bursaries thanks to generous donations to the Opportunity Fund — and as a result, 100 students have graduated from UWinnipeg. Approximately 184 inner-city students are now registered in the unique Tuition Credit program, which rewards students who stay in school and graduate. The fund is unique in Canada, set up specifically to offer financial support to Aboriginal students, young people from war-affected areas and refugee populations, and youth from inner-city neighbourhoods.

The goal of the Opportunity Fund is to create a $10 million endowment fund that will ensure that everyone — regardless of background and socio-economic status — has access to university education. For further information on the Opportunity Fund, please contact the University’s Awards Office at 204.779.8946 or click here.

To donate to the Opportunity Fund, please contact the University of Winnipeg Foundation at 204.786.9995 or toll free at 1.866.394.6050, or visit:

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Kevin Rosen, Director of Marketing & Communications, The University of Winnipeg
P: 204.786.9381 E: