As the University of Manitoba’s Director for Active Living, Gary Thompson is someone who clearly sees the impact positive choices can make towards long-term health and well-being. In the same way, Thompson can also see how individual giving can have a positive effect on the health of the University of Manitoba.
As the man responsible for all campus recreation programs, Thompson also acts as co-chair of the University of Manitoba’s 2012 faculty and staff giving campaign. A university staff member for 14 years and counting, Thompson is a strong advocate for the importance of staff contributions to the institution.
“I give financially because I see the need. I think there’s a lot more that we could do,” he says. “Like any other school, there are limitations with what you can do with the resources and I like to help out and am fortunate that I can contribute beyond my work.”
Thompson's philosophy on giving is that is should be personal and encourages everyone to consider their own interests and give to areas that they feel a connection to.
“Spend some time and ask yourself what your passion is and where you want to put your support,” says Thompson. “Everybody has the opportunity to ask themselves those questions: What do they really believe in? What legacy would they like to leave for the next generation?”
Naturally, Thompson’s interests and passion lie in the area of Active Living and that’s where he chooses to give his support.
“I chose to support the Active Living Centre and the Active Living Fund because that’s my life’s work, that’s where my passion is,” says Thompson. “I believe in the role of active living in chronic disease prevention and treatment.”
Soon, some of Thompson’s passions will be realized with the opening of the new Active Living Centre. Slated to be completed as early as next year, the Active Living Centre will be the university’s new fitness facility. Able to accommodate up to 1,200 people the centre will be the largest active living facility in Manitoba.
Thompson added that he also chooses to support the University of Manitoba because the institution is the leader in knowledge creation in the province.
“I think in some way all Manitobans are touched by the work the university does,” he says. “It’s a really easy choice to make for me.”