Frisco Rough Riders broadcaster tells of what it takes to meet $140,000 goal
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor
United Way hopes to knock it out of the park

The annual luncheon, which kicked off the 2006-207 Hopkins County United Way campaign, was a "grand slam" Friday at The Lodge. (Right to left) President Deanna Landers and co-chairs Bob and Peggy Weaver enjoy the event as Scott Garner (left), a broadcaster for the Frisco Rough Riders, speaks during the luncheon. This year's goal is to raise $140,000.
Staff Photo By Angela Pitts

Oct. 1, 2006 - In keeping with this year's theme, "Hit One Over the Fence for Hopkins County United Way," Frisco Rough Riders announcer Scott Garner really knocked 'em for a loop during the United Way fund drive kickoff Friday.

Garner used colorful sports tales to help warm up the corporate gathering for the upcoming campaign to raise $140,000 for the 16 agencies which benefit from Hopkins County United Way.

Garner noted determination, concentration and hard work to be the "triple" needed to achieve success at any goal, whether it be taking top pitching or batting honors, a baseball team winning a division championship, or as is the case locally, Hopkins County United Way meeting its 2006-2007 campaign goal.

The Texas AA minor league baseball broadcaster also noted a University of Nebraska student who was recently signed to a $4 million contract with the Kansas City Royals before he ever played minor league ball. He said that the young man explained that the hard work ethic he learned from his dad, coupled with a bit of discipline and persistence, helped him cross the bridge from goals to accomplishment.

"We have set an aggressive goal we need to meet, and I think we can meet, to help the 16 agencies, including one new one this year, Northeast Texas Food Bank. They are all so important. ... We'll be in good shape if we do what we're supposed to do," said Bob Weaver, HCUW campaign co-chair, with his wife Peggy, who along with campaign president Deanna Landers embraced the full spirit of the drive by donning baseball uniforms, complete with caps and jerseys.

Landers noted that it's the team effort of the board, allocations committee, workers and sponsors who "give of their time and talents that make United Way what and all that it is."

Garner said that having a contingency plan, like a baseball player who plans to attend culinary school to become a chef after he is done playing the game, also helps.

For United Way, that means that while the allocations committee is not able to fulfill the full amount from each requesting agency when designating budget allocations, they allocate a substantial amount of the overall goal they believe can be reached. If the campaign tally is enough over the fund-raising goal, the allocations committee can then go back and divvy up the surplus among those benefiting agencies. as was the case in 2004. Or if a campaign falls short its goal, reserve funds from previous years can be utilized to off set the difference.

"We don't meet everyone's expectations, but we're getting closer all the while," Landers said.

Chad Young and The Lodge staff prepared the meal, underwritten by Alliance Bank. While Friday's kickoff luncheon marked the start of the campaign and collections for most, the Weavers praised two local entities who have already completed their collections. Grocery Supply Company covered the cost of programs and cards, and the 15 Pilot Club members who are also are United Way workers were acknowledged for the "tremendous support and work" they do to "get the job done" for HCUW.

Hannah Construction held a fund raiser and has already turned in their packet full of donations, and the city of Sulphur Springs not only handed in their packet, but "increased their giving to United Way by 50 percent." While meeting with employees regarding insurance, the city also handed out and collected HCUW pledge cards encouraging everyone to participate and to double their donation. Each person donating eligible to have their name entered in a drawing for a digital camera.

Representatives from Alliance Bank, City National Bank, Clayton Homes, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Fidelity Express, FlowServe, Grocery Supply Company, Hopkins County Memorial Hospital, Jeld-Wen, M. Hanna Construction, Ocean Spray, Sulphur Springs Independent School District, Sulta Manufacturing Company, TXU Electric Delivery and United Parcel Service were acknowledge for being among the top 15 contributors to HCUW in 2005. Each of these corporations or industries contributed at least $2,000 to $7,500 last year. 

Others contributing $2,000 or more included the city of Sulphur Springs, Community Bank, Echo Publishing Company, Fidelity Express and Texas Health Resources. Brookshire's Food Stores, Guaranty Bond Bank and Raven Industries contributed upwards of $1,500 each, while Coca-Cola/Dr. Pepper Bottling Company, Como-Pickton CISD, Dr. Charles B. Jones, Raytheon Systems and Wal-Mart turned in at least $1,000 each.

Businesses recognized for contributing $500 or more included Ashcroft Investments, Bell Concrete, Boys & Girls Club of Sulphur Springs, Buster Paving, Copy Products Inc., Custom Shutters Inc., Dairy Farmers of America, Galyean Insurance, Hopkins county Sheriff's Office, KSST Radio Station, M&F Western Products, Pilot club, Sulphur Springs Vision Center & Eye Clinic, Town & Country Cleaners, VF Factory Outlet, We Pack, Winzen Film Inc. and Winzen International.

Agencies allocated a portion of this year's $140,000 HCUW campaign goal include Community Chest, $54,000; 4-H Club, $2,600; Teen Court, $1,500; Girl Scouts, $2,500; Hopkins County Community Action Network, $8,000; Northeast Texas Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, $2,500; Hopkins County Christian Alliance, $10,000; Family Haven, $3,000; Lake Country Court Appointed Special Advocates Inc., $9,000; Hopkins County Child Protective Services, $4,000; Boys and Girls Club, $5,000; Northeast Texas Food Bank, $5,000; Heritage Outreach Ministry Foundation, $3,500; Northeast Texas Child Advocacy Center Inc., $4,500; Meal-A-Day Center, $5,000; and Our Place, $4,000. Another $1,400 will go to United Way of America and $$14,500 for administrative expenses such as a salary for HCUW's part-time Executive Secretary Charlotte Henderson, supplies and utilities, and campaign materials.

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