Hibbett proves to be a great sport about United Way

Athletic gear retailer makes good on $1,000 pledge in honor of local athlete

By FAITH HUFFMAN, News-Telegram News Editor

Oct. 7, 2008 - Hopkins County United Way's 2008-2009 campaign to raise $150,000 to benefit 17 local agencies is already off to a running start, thanks to a relative newcomer among local businesses.

So is Charlotte Henderson, thanks to the new pair of shoes she won in a drawing the day the donation was made.

Hibbett Sports became the first contributor to this year's fundraising campaign. The company in July selected Victoria Chapman as a Hibbett Sports Superstar, and at that time pledged $1,000 to HCUW. On Saturday, Sept. 27, Hibbett made good on its pledge, handing HCUW Campaign Chair John Sellers a $1,000 in Victoria's honor.

The Hibbett Superstars Program is designed to promote and encourage sports and good sportsmanship in communities. Victoria, daughter of Jan and the late Biff Chapman and granddaughter of Van Bell and Billie Rose Chapman of Sulphur Springs, was selected as a recipient, who can name a charity of choice. Victoria designated United Way, for which her mother has faithfully served as a campaign worker annual for a number of years.

Jan describes Victoria as an all-around athlete who has participated in sports since she was little and is known as a peace-keeper between rival teams.

"She represents the Hibbett concept -- the embodiment of teamwork, good health and wellness," local Hibbett Sports manager Garth Ryan said in an earlier interview with the News-Telegram.

Victoria, like other youths ages 7 to 16 selected as Hibbett Superstars, embodies characteristics Hibbett deems to be exemplary for young athletes for Superstar recognition. Victoria has been involved in sports since the age of 5, excelling in softball, soccer and basketball. She most recently was a member of a select softball team, and a member of the basketball and volleyball All Star teams as a 7th grader. She's also active in her church youth group and Sulphur Springs Work Camp, is a cheerleader and serves on the Student Council and makes the A Honor Roll.

Hibbett and its partners, Reebok, Nike and Under Armour, sponsore the Superstars program.

During the check presentation at Hibbett Sports, a drawing was held at the Mockingbird Lane store for a new pair of shoes. Charlotte Henderson, HCUW's executive secretary, won the drawing. The shoes just might come in handy this month for Henderson, who is very busy keeping track of all of the pledges, scheduling sessions for Sellers and Hopkins County United Way President Randal Voss to speak at local businesses, and whatever other errands come up in relation to the annual campaign.

The true test of just how well the campaign is doing will come the next three Tuesdays, Oct. 14, 21 and 28, as the many HCUW workers begin turning in pledges and packets from the loyal and generous United Way supporters. The weekly report meetings are slated for 9:30 a.m. at the Chamber of Commerce. For more information or to schedule a speaker or make donations, call Henderson at 903-885-6829. Donations may also be mailed to HCUW Campaign Headquarters, P.O. Box 735, Sulphur Springs, TX 75483-0735.

OPTIONAL TRIM

This year's campaign theme is "Continuing Tradition, Sharing Hope, Fulfilling the Heart -- The United Way!"

Designated to receive funding from the $150,000 HCUW campaign are Hopkins County Community Chest, $57,000; 4-H Club, $3000; Teen Court, $1,500; Girl Scouts, 2,500; United Way of America, $1,500; Hopkins County Community Action Network, $8,500; East Texas Council on Alcohol/Drug Abuse, $3,000; Hopkins County Christian Alliance, $11,000; Family Haven, 3,000; administrative expenses, including the salary for the part-time secretary, supplies, utilities and campaign materials, $15,500; Lake Country Court Appointed Special Advocates, $9,000; Northeast Texas-Southeast Oklahoma Trails Council of Boy Scouts of America, $2,500; Hopkins County Boys & Girls Club, $5,000; Northeast Texas Food Bank, $5,000; Heritage Outreach Ministry Foundation, $5,000; North East Texas Child Advocacy Center Inc., $4,500; Meal A Day Center, $5,000; Our Place $4,500; and SAFE-T (Shelter for Families in East Texas), $3,000.

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