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Nonprofit helps thousands with grants, donations

By BY JOHNATHAN SILVER - JSILVER@VICAD.COM
July 3, 2014 at 2:03 a.m.

From left: Dan Easton,Victoria Advocate publisher and Victoria County United Way 2013 campaign chairman, holding a momento for his service, stands with Jennifer Yancey, chairwoman of the Victoria County United Way Board of Directors. The Eastons were presented with Victoria County United Way's Community Spirit Award, which the Victoria Advocate won.

New board members

The Victoria County United Way has announced new board members, officers and executive committee members.

Board officers and executive committee members are:

• Chairwoman, Board of Directors: Jennifer Yancey, Victoria College

• Chairman, 2014 Community Campaign: Greg Westbrook, DuPont

• Chairman, Community Investment Committee: Dale Jones, klean corp international

• Secretary: Amy Hodges, Invista

• Treasurer/Finance Committee Chairwoman: Mary Kay Janssen, O'Connor & Hewitt Foundation

• Officer: Charmelle Garrett, city of Victoria

• Officer: Geri Schroeder, Prosperity Bank

• Officer: Kelly Park, Prosperity Bank

• Officer: Roy Boyd, Victoria County Sheriff's Office

Officer: Kevin LaPierre, Seadrift Coke LP

Members of the Board of Directors are:

• Glenda Bennett, Citizens Medical Center

• Heather Bland, Dow Chemical Co.

• Roy Boyd, Victoria County Sheriff's Office

• Tiffany Carroll, DeTar Healthcare System

• Lola Castro, Wells Fargo

• Taner Drake, city of Victoria

• Dan Easton, Victoria Advocate

• Joe Farias, H-E-B

• Charmelle Garrett, city of Victoria

• James Guynes, LyondellBasell

• Amy Hodges, Invista

• Mary Kay Janssen, O`Connor & Hewitt Foundation

• John Jones, Caterpillar Inc.

• Dale Jones, klean corp international

• Jeb Lacey, Victoria County

• Kevin LaPierre, Seadrift Coke L.P.

• Craig Lieber, Caterpillar Inc.

• Geri Schroeder, Prosperity Bank

• John Quitta, ReMax Land & Homes

• David Vacek, Dow Chemical Co.

• Greg Westbrook, DuPont

• Bruce Woods, State Farm Insurance

Jennifer Yancey, Victoria College

Members of the Board of Trustees:

• Sally Aman-Barnes, community volunteer

• Gary Burns, Victoria County

• Mike Cavazos, Invista

• Rhonda Fotiades, Pioneer Oil

• Mark Loffgren, community volunteer

• Kelly Park, Prosperity Bank

• Omar Rachid, Rachid Consulting

• Terry Robinson, Hospice of South Texas

• Jon Paul Sourdellia, SCOR Golf

• Rob Van Zant, Spartan

• Jimmy Zaplac, Coldwell Banker

PHILANTHROPY AWARDS

Spirit of Texas Award

The top award, which recognizes campaign excellence and community commitment.

• Recipients: Citizens Medical Center, Dow Seadrift Operations, Invista

Rising Star Award

The award recognizes companies that use Victoria County United Way's "Campaign Best Practices" and excel in campaign growth in participation and percent increases.

Recipients: Formosa Plastics Corp., Seadrift Coke LP, Wal-Mart

Community Spirit Award

The award recognizes companies that practice a strong philanthropic philosophy, work in the community through their Victoria County United Way and support volunteerism.

• Recipients: Caterpillar Inc., H-E-B, Victoria Advocate

Community Leadership Award

The award recognizes corporations and entities that exhibit civic leadership felt in every sector of the community.

• Recipients: KBR, Victoria College, AEP Texas, Victoria ISD

2014-15 Community Investment Grants

Billy T. Cattan Recovery Outreach$34,500 (-4%)

Court-Appointed Special Advocates $33,500*

Mid-Coast Family Services$105,000*

STARS$44,000*

Community Action Agency of Victoria, Texas$4,000

American Red Cross$25,000 (-17%)

Gulf Bend Center$25,000*

Food Bank of the Golden Crescent$15,000 (-14%)

Habitat for Humanity, Victoria$27,000*

Perpetual Help Home$40,000*

Victoria Christian Assistance Ministry $50,000*

Victoria Senior Citizens$72,500 (-3%)

Boys and Girls Club$70,000*

Communities in Schools $30,000*

Girl Scouts$6,000 (-27%)

Victoria Adult Literacy Council$26,00*

YMCA$36,500*

GRAND TOTAL $644,000 (-$10,000 from last year)

*Same as last year.

Decreases in funding for some agencies were not related to performance but less money overall being available for the upcoming year.

Ginny Stafford and her staff at Mid-Coast Family Services kept a family off the street Wednesday, thanks in part to Victoria County United Way's financial support.

Stafford - CEO of the nonprofit that works to eliminate family violence, homelessness and substance abuse - said her agency had depleted resources from the state, and United Way's financial support makes it easier to say yes to people seeking immediate shelter.

"If we only got $1 from them, it means everything," said Stafford, whose agency is getting $105,000 from United Way during the next fiscal year to fund homelessness prevention efforts and sexual assault crisis services.

It's a relief, she said, adding that fundraising is very time-consuming.

"That's time that we're not serving people," Stafford said.

And those people need much attention, she said. Her agency serves people who need immediate housing and refuge from domestic violence, she added.

"For a lot of folks we serve, we're their last chance," she said. "They're at the end of their resources."

Mid-Coast Family Services is one of 17 charities receiving community investment grants from Victoria County United Way next fiscal year. Other charities include Billy T. Cattan Recovery Outreach, Food Bank of the Golden Crescent and Victoria Adult Literacy Council.

Community Action Committee of Victoria is one of the newest agencies to receive funding - $4,000 - from United Way. The group delivers meals to seniors living in rural Victoria County.

United Way's grant is covering more than 2,000 meals at $1.55 each, said Clifford Grimes, executive director of Victoria County United Way, who explained via news release that 30 volunteers reviewed grant proposals for about 300 hours collectively.

Also, United Way announced that it raised $945,645.

Dan Easton, United Way's 2013 campaign chairman and publisher of the Victoria Advocate, said it wasn't just United Way or his team who made the difference, noting individuals, large area companies and their employees alike helped.

"Ultimately," he said, "it's the community that stepped up and understood the importance of funding United Way."

Help from the community and United Way can make a huge difference in any community member's life, he added.

"On any given day," Easton said, "anyone can be in need of their resources."

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