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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 19, 2007

State employees donate more than $3 million to meet social service needs
Veterans’ Affairs Director Tammy Duckworth to be 2007 SECA Honorary Chair

SPRINGFIELD –The generosity of State employees was recognized at a luncheon at the Executive Mansion today as SECA Chair Maureen O’Donnell announced that the State and University Employees Combined Appeal (SECA) campaign raised more than $3 million in 2006 for the second year in a row. The funds will be disbursed through member charities to provide health and human services to hundreds of thousands of people around the world.

“As public servants, State employees can take pride in knowing that their work makes a profound difference in people’s lives,” said O’Donnell, Acting Director of the Department of Central Management Services.  “Participation in SECA provides an even more tangible way to help others.  State and university employees can feel good knowing that their SECA contributions go to efforts that help our neighbors in need - in Illinois and around the globe.”

Since its inception in 1983, the statewide charity campaign has raised more than $53 million.

“We’d like to recognize this remarkable showing of generosity from our workers, which will help thousands of charities touch hundreds of thousands of lives in a positive way,” said Carol Adams, PhD., Secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services and the honorary chair of the 2006 campaign.

Tammy Duckworth, Director of the Department of Veterans' Affairs, has agreed to be the Honorary Chairperson for the 2007 SECA Campaign. In 2006, the department’s staff donated $18,000 and received an award for outstanding achievement at today’s event.

At the luncheon, 40 state agencies were recognized for exceptional participation, including the Department of Corrections (IDOC), which was awarded the Capitol Cup for the highest percentage of employee participants of a large agency – for the sixth year in a row. 

The University of Illinois at Springfield was awarded the Chancellor’s Cup for highest percentage of participation for a university, for the second year in a row.  Also, the Civil Service Commission was awarded the Governor’s Cup for the highest percentage of participation for smaller agencies (those with less than 1,000 employees).  And SECA Advisory Board member Barb Rice of Northern Illinois University was awarded the Lee Frost-Kumpf Award – an honor named for a former SECA board member to recognize outstanding dedication, leadership and enthusiasm for volunteerism.

During the 2006 SECA campaign, IDOC raised $380,000 from nearly 3,800 contributors.  Staff from the agency’s correctional centers, work camps, boot camps, adult transition centers, juvenile centers, parole offices as well as its General Headquarters, School District No. 428 and Correctional Industries joined together to contribute to one or more SECA charities.

“The dedication of the agency’s employees to help those in need is amazing,” said IDOC Director Roger E. Walker Jr. “Corrections employees have a longstanding history of kindness and goodwill. Their generous giving to charitable organizations helps many of those in need in a very positive way. From the young to the old, these gifts benefit our neighbors, our friends and even our families. It’s important for us to continue to build on this tradition of kindness and to demonstrate the willingness to help make a difference.” Walker noted that Winston Churchill once reflected on the importance of helping others when he said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."   

The SECA campaign is a once-a-year fundraising drive that allows state and university employees and retirees to contribute to participating charities through either payroll deductions or a one-time donation.   

Through the campaign, employees direct their contributions to up to eleven member charities, which in turn represent more than 2,200 charitable organizations that collectively provide health and human services to hundreds of thousands of people around the world:
 
 American Cancer Society    Global Impact
America’s Charities    Independent Charities of America
 Black United Fund of Illinois, Inc.  Special Olympics of Illinois 
Community Health Charities of Illinois  United Negro College Fund
Community Shares of Illinois   United Way
 Earth Share of Illinois  
 
For more information about SECA and its member charities, log on to the SECA web site at www.secaillinois.org



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