United Way: They Did It, And Then Some

Drive exceeds goal, with more pledges still to come

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

Nov 6, 2007 - Hopkins County United Way, thanks to generous contributions from individuals, organizations and companies, has met the 2007-2008 campaign goal of $145,000 for 16 local agencies.

Staff Photo by Angela Pitts

Hopkins County United Way Campaign Chairman Randal Voss jumps  for joy when HCUW worker Jan Chapman (far right) totals up this year's donations Tuesday during the workers' final report meeting held at the Chamber of Commerce office. This year more than $148,000 has been raised, surpassing the goal of $145,000, with more to come. Also pictured (left to right) are executive secretary Charlotte Henderson, and workers Larry Rosamond and Gina Law.

As of 10 o'clock this morning, HCUW had collected $148,767 and counting, as some businesses and at least one club have yet to hand in their pledges, campaign workers said just prior to their celebration in front of the United Way “thermometer” on the square.

�Thank y'all so much. Y'all did great,� HCUW Campaign Chair Randal Voss said following the final tally. �We did great for the community, which is what this is all about. We appreciate your persistence and giving.�

Loyal campaign worker Lucy Vaden, on behalf of Community Chest, extended heartfelt appreciation for everyone’s efforts to support HCUW. 

�I say to each one of you, I appreciate your personal efforts to do this. [The campaign] can be fun, but it�s not always,� Vaden said.

Denise McCarty, also a campaign worker, on behalf of East Texas Food Bank noted the difference everyone’s contributions to HCUW make to her agency.

�If not for United Way, we probably would not have our food bank,� McCarty said. "I appreciate all of you stepping� up. I know what it is to lose 40 percent of your income in one year. United Way is amazing. Thank you for stepping up."

Tina Phillips also spoke for Northeast Texas Child Advocacy Center, which is largely dependent on government grants to continue operations. Phillips said knowing NETCAC can depend on HCUW is a big help.

�The child advocacy center appreciates your hard work,� Phillips said. "A lot of our funding depends on government grants. They�re harder to get. We�re waiting later and later in the year [for them] to let us know. Three months later, when they let us know, that money is already spent. We know we can count on United Way."

Gina Law, executive director of Lake Country CASA, noted that most help agencies rely on grant funding and donations from individuals and groups such as United Way. CASA doesn’t have the option of saying "No" when people are referred to them — they represent abused and neglected children. Last year, Lake Country CASA served 81 children, and the number is even higher this year. The funding United Way gives to CASA goes a long way toward helping those children represented by CASA.

�On behalf of CASA, I thank you. Thank you very much,� Law said.

Also during the final report meeting a few individual industries were recognized for meeting and exceeding their pledge goals, including Echo Publishing Company and employees for exceeding, Sulphur Springs Independent School District for adding another $237 to its donation, the Medical Surgical Clinic, agricultural businesses for contributing an average of 110 percent giving, Sulphur Springs Vision Center for meeting their goal, Carriage House Manor for exceeding, Lone Star Dodge for meeting its goal, Sulta Manufacturing for exceeding their goal, and Fidelity Express for exceeding their goal despite increased insurance costs. Four local banks — Alliance, City National, Guaranty Bond and Community — were also commended for joining forces to raise $2,083 for HCUW during their hamburger cookout last Friday on the square.

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