*his year's edition of Homecoming attracted more people -- and brought in more tangible support -- than any previous edition.
"There was a wonderful buzz to the whole weekend," said Ann Vroom, Director of Alumni Affairs, whose small staff worked furiously to help the Concordia University Alumni Associations organize reunions, dinners and fundraising events.
This year, the Shuffle walkathon for scholarships, Homecoming and the launch of the final, alumni phase of the Capital Campaign all took place over five days, September 23 to 27.
The most dramatic events took place at the Molson Centre on Saturday, with a well-attended family skate in the afternoon, and a hockey game, dinner and gala auction -- billed as an EXTRAvaganza -- in the evening.
Well-known auctioneer David Smith came in from Ottawa to officiate, and soon got the 300 participants laughing as they bid against each other for some serious prizes. These included tickets to the Augusta National Masters golf tournament with transport by private jet (bought for $18,000), a box at Céline Dion's December concert ($800), a weekend in Vermont with meals and the use of a BMW ($950), a catered dinner for eight in the purchaser's home ($1,000), a Formula 2000 driving lesson ($1,900), and "Rector for a day" ($500).
About 300 people attended the EXTRAvaganza, and another 500 bought inexpensive $25 tickets to the game between the Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs. Altogether, Saturday's activities brought in about $95,000 for the University.
Thanks for the fabulous venue go to Ron Corey, honorary chair of Concordia's Capital Campaign and president of the Molson Centre and the Canadiens hockey team. The EXTRAvaganza, a year in the planning by the Alumni Office, was the centrepiece fundraising effort for the Capital Campaign of the combined Loyola, Sir George Williams and Concordia alumni associations.
The activities at an NHL hockey game generated enormous publicity for Concordia. The Stingers women's hockey team were presented with their 1998 CIAU inaugural championship rings at centre ice. During the first intermission, 18,000 hockey fans watched an exhibition shoot-out between Concordia women's and men's hockey teams, and two Stingers jerseys, signed by the women's team, were raffled to members of the audience.