United Way kicks off fund drive
Randy White featured speaker

Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

Former Dallas Cowboy and NFL Hall of Famer Randy White was the keynote speaker at Friday's HCUW Fund Drive kickoff.
-Staff photo by Ricky Russell

Oct. 2, 2004 -- Hopkins County United Way kicked off its annual fundraising campaign Friday by thanking the heads and chief officials of the 15 businesses and industries who annually contribute the most money at a special luncheon at The Lodge, featuring Football Hall of Famer and former Dallas Cowboy Randy White.

"We decided to do things a little differently this year by having CEOs and COOs and company executives here as a thank you, to show our appreciation and thanks," HCUW 2004-2005 Campaign Chairman Cathy Chitwood said in her opening remarks. "As leaders of business, companies or the community, you will take your [drive] for the United Way goal back to your employees. We are depending on that. ... As funds for programs are being cut, your contributions are important."

White said that in order to be successful at any task, including raising the $130,000 allocated for 17 local agencies, individuals must have three qualities: empathy, drive and strength for success.

"A lot of qualities make you successful," White said. "The first quality is empathy. You have to care about other people."

He recalled quarterback Roger Staubach taking the time to shake his hand before each game his rookie year as a professional football player, letting him know his value to the team.

"He'd say, 'Randy, we need you,'" White said. "It's important to let people around you know they are important and you need them. You take for granted they know. Talk to the people around you, your family and work and let them know."

White explained that the second quality, drive, simply means being self-motivated to be the very best at everything you do.

"Ultimately, drive has to come from within," White explained. "You have to have a burning desire within you to go out and do the best you can do at whatever you're doing."

White explained that strength for success means doing what needs to be done, especially when it's not the easy choice to be made.

"It's what you do when things get tough," White said. "It's easy when things are going good. But when things get tough most people run and hide. It takes a lot of strength to ask of yourself, 'Did I do all that I can do to help this team, organization, this United Way successful?'" White said, urging those present to go out and raise money for United Way.

Among those present for the thank you luncheon were officials from Grocery Supply Company, Hopkins County Memorial Hospital, Ocean Spray, Sulphur Springs Independent School District, FlowServe, UPS, Sulta Manufacturing Company, Clayton Homes, city of Sulphur Springs, Alliance Bank, City National Bank, Jeld Wen, Oncor, Coca-Cola/Dr. Pepper Bottling Company and Echo Publishing Company, the top 15 contributors to HCUW campaign each year.

"In my 27 years doing this, I've learned its usually the busiest people and most involved ones that get out and take care of this [the annual campaign]," HCUW Executive Secretary Charlotte Henderson said. "We have a lot of wide receivers in United Way -- ones that get out and go far and wide to collect packets and money. In my experience, if the head man's in it, it usually gets done. We want you all to rush back to your businesses and get this done," she urged.

She also noted that this year's campaign will be dedicated to the memory of community leader Guy Felton, who recently died.

"It's a big loss to our community," she said. "In all the years that I can remember, Guy never turned me down when approached for United Way. He never brought back and empty packet, either. Let's dedicate this year's campaign to Guy Felton and make it the best yet in his memory. Bring those [donation] packets back full and lets give back hope to those in need," Henderson encouraged.

Campaign officials noted that the campaign goal was raised by $5,000 this year to $130,000 following collections of $138,000 in the 2003-2004 campaign.

At least 95 percent of the funds raised this year benefit individuals in Hopkins County through allocations to 17 agencies.

Community Chest was awarded $52,000, the same funding allocated the agency in 2003 and 2004. The next largest award, $13,000, will go toward administrative expenses such as a salary for the part-time secretary, supplies, utilities and campaign materials. Ministerial Alliance Community Cupboard was once again awarded $10,000. Hopkins County Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children will continued to receive $9,000. An award of $8,200 was allocated for Hopkins County Community Action Network. Hopkins County Child Protective Services, although a government agency, were once again allocated $6,000 to assist the agency for items "above and beyond" not covered by other funding sources. Two local agencies, the Meal-A-Day Center and Boys Girls Club were each awarded $5,000. Allocations of $4,000 each were awarded to both Family Haven and Our Place. North East Texas Child Advocacy Center once again requested and was granted the $3,500 it requested. 4-H Club, Girl Scouts, Heritage Outreach Ministry Foundation and Terrific Tuesdays were allocated to receive $2,000 from the 2004-2005 campaign. Teen Court was granted $1,000 this year.

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