Victoria United Way shatters 2011 goal

Sonny Long

March 6, 2012 at 6:02 p.m.
Updated March 5, 2012 at 9:06 p.m.

The 2011 Victoria County United Way campaign topped $900,000 for the first time in its history, beating its goal of $871,000.

"We did what we set out to do," campaign chairman Russell Janecka said in a news release. "I am proud to be a part of such a vibrant and caring community that shows its strength through giving of time, talent and donations."

The $902,506 raised will help children realize their potential, develop strong families and safe neighborhoods, help seniors sustain their independence and support those who are rebuilding their lives, Janecka added.

The Victoria County United way serves Victoria, DeWitt and Lavaca counties.

Janecka also said many contributors played a role in surpassing the 2011 campaign goal.

"This victory was won with the support of major employers in Victoria County, individual donors, campaign volunteers and a campaign cabinet that worked hard to deliver results," he said.

In addition to announcing the campaign total Tuesday afternoon, several businesses were honored with awards during a reception at the 77901 Wine Bar.

Award winners included LyondellBasell, which won the Spirt of Texas Award for campaign excellence and community commitment.

"LyondellBasell employees recognize that their contributions to United Way are the most efficient way to address the needs that exist in this community," said site manager David Schrutka. "Each dollar that LyondellBasell employees give in Victoria is matched dollar for dollar by the company. There is not a better investment that we can make to help meet the needs of our neighbors. We know that we have made a difference when we support United Way."

The Rising Star Award went to Seadrift Coke for achieving sizeable campaign growth in participation and percent increases.

"At GrafTech, we believe in giving back to the communities where we operate. Our team members around the world are passionately involved with service organizations that are near and dear to them, such as the United Way," said Craig Shular, chairman and chief executive officer of GrafTech International, the parent company of Seadrift Coke.

"Our Seadrift Coke team truly embodies the GrafTech spirit of community service and we congratulate them on this achievement," Shular said.

First Victoria National Bank also received the Community Spirit Award for strong philanthropic philosophy in its business practices and community endeavors and corporate support of volunteerism

Board chairman Gary Worsham, in the news release, expressed pride in the generosity of the people and businesses in the United Way service area.

"Like many cities across America, Victoria faced some of its toughest challenges over the past year," Worsham said. "Many families in our community struggled to meet their basic needs like access to shelter, medical care, buying groceries and paying utilities.

"Yet thanks to United Way, we came together like never before, leveraged every resource at our command and found smart new ways to gather more," Worsham said. "We lifted our neighbors and, in the process, became stronger as a community."

Allocations of the funds will be announced in May, said executive director Clifford Grimes.



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