Employees Get Fired Up for UA Cares With Chorizo and Chili

Employees Get Fired Up for UA Cares With Chorizo and Chili

By Kyle MittanUniversity Communications
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The Office of Budget and Planning raised nearly $1,500 for the UA Cooper Center for Environmental Learning with its 19th annual chorizo breakfast on Oct. 26. (Photo: Kyle Mittan/University Communications)
The Office of Budget and Planning raised nearly $1,500 for the UA Cooper Center for Environmental Learning with its 19th annual chorizo breakfast on Oct. 26. (Photo: Kyle Mittan/University Communications)
Renee Williams, senior accountant in the Financial Services Office, talks about her experience as a UA Cares ambassador in the video below.
Renee Williams, senior accountant in the Financial Services Office, talks about her experience as a UA Cares ambassador in the video below.

Events held across campus have raised thousands of dollars for the UA Cares annual giving campaign, with employees donating their dough for chorizo, baked goods, chili, hot dogs and more.

This year's campaign saw the return of one of the most popular and long-standing UA Cares events, the Office of Budget and Planning's chorizo breakfast. The breakfast marked its 19th year on Oct. 26, with volunteers working for several hours, cooking chorizo and eggs and serving them alongside beans and tortillas. Attendees lined the hall outside the makeshift kitchen, Room 101G in the basement of the Administration building, where they paid $5 for a plate and bought raffle tickets for a variety of prizes.

The breakfast raised $1,850 for the UA's Cooper Center for Environmental Learning, also known as Camp Cooper.

Another fundraising favorite – Facilities Management's chili cook-off – returned for its 15th year on Nov. 9 in support of Youth On Their Own, a local dropout prevention organization. UA employees nearly filled the Dan Dunlap Stadium Club in Arizona Stadium, paying $5 for a bowl of chili and a side of bread, or $10 for all-you-can-eat privileges. More than a dozen types of chili were served from crockpots on a buffet-style table, and many attendees returned several times to try as many as possible.

In the end, it was Kenneth Davis' chili that won first prize in a blind tasting. Davis, a senior dining services supervisor for Arizona Student Unions, received a $100 Visa gift card.

The cook-off raised nearly $1,500.

Here's a rundown of some of this year's other UA Cares fundraisers:

  • A College of Humanities bake sale on Oct. 17 raised $435 for the UA Employee Emergency Fund, the Campus Pantry and College of Humanities scholarships.
  • A chili dog sale, put on by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese on Oct. 18, raised nearly $500 for the department's study abroad scholarships.
  • The Office of the Provost's third annual pumpkin-crafting contest raised $200 for United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona. A set of pumpkins crafted after the title character in "The Very Hungry Caterpillar," made by employees in the Office of Business Affairs, earned first place in the contest. Employees also donated books for Literacy Connects.
  • A chili cook-off put on by Sponsored Projects and Contracting Services on Nov. 15 raised $323. Alex Riddle, a student employee in that office, and Gricelda LaTurco, a sponsored projects and financial compliance coordinator, tied for first place. The proceeds will be split evenly among the Campus Pantry and Riddle's and LaTurco's chosen charities – the Humane Society of Southern Arizona and the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, respectively.
  • The Financial Services Office held Pumpkin Palooza, a sale of pumpkin-flavored baked goods on Nov. 16, which raised money for Tu Nidito, a Tucson nonprofit that supports children affected by medical conditions or death. Melissa Vemulapalli, an accountant in FSO, won first place with her pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.

UA Cares ends on Friday, Nov. 30. To see what last-minute giving opportunities are available, visit the campaign's website.


Lo Que Pasa sat down with Renee Williams to talk about the events she organized with her colleagues in the Financial Services Office as a UA Cares ambassador. Hear from Williams, a senior accountant, and see photos from a few of this year's events in the video below.

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