The United Way of Central Texas raised $1,864,795 during 2016 campaign, the largest campaign in the local organization’s history.
Stephanie O’Banion, United Way of Central Texas executive director, said she wanted to reveal the campaign total at the beginning of the organization’s campaign celebration on Wednesday so those attending would know what their hard work made possible.
“You all made this happen,” she said.
O’Banion asked Eyal Kayzur, campaign chairman for the past two years, and the campaign coordinators to come to the front of the room unveil the amount.
“I see you out there,” she said.
The campaign amount is made up of work place campaigns, individual donations and grants. It will impact 27 partner agencies and seven impact programs.
“All will be used directly here in East Bell County, every penny of it,” O’Banion said.
The 2016 Partner of the Year was Ralph Wilson Youth Club.
Partner of the Year is an agency or a community organization that has provided sustained support for the United Way of Central Texas.
This partner is available whenever United Way has called for assistance, she said.
Charlie Kimmey has headed the Ralph Wilson Youth Club for 15 years and today is his last day.
Kimmey announced that Andrew Lambert is the new executive director of the Ralph Wilson Youth Club.
Kimmey was presented the Legacy Award, which recognizes a person who has left a permanent mark on the community, has changed the fabric of the community through their selfless service and unwavering commitment and passion to love and help people, O’Banion said.
At a later date, the United Way will plant a tree at the Ralph Wilson Youth Club in Kimmey’s honor.
Sheila Riggins with PDI received the Individual Partner of the Year award. She volunteered 80 evening and weekend hours in three months to the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program that is sponsored by the United Way. She also volunteered with reading programs sponsored by the United Way.
The Chrome and Carols Committee, lead by Seleese Thompson, received the group Volunteer of the Year award.
“In six years this group has made Chrome and Carols a premier event and fundraiser,” O’Banion said.
Thera Rhodes with Baylor Scott & White’s West Campus, was named Campaign Coordinator of the Year.
Give More Hugs, an organization that supports underprivileged children with educational materials, supplies and more, was named community partner.
Kevin Francis, with Baylor Scott & White outpatient, was named Impact Champion for his advocacy for the Bridges to Health program.
Rucker Preston, former director of Helping Hands Ministry, was recognized for his work with local payday lending issues and financial literacy and was named Impact Champion.
Kayzur was named board member of the year.
“He has been critical to the success of our campaigns,” O’Banion said.
Kayzur announced the campaign awards, which were broken down into small, medium and large.
Small organizations have less than 50 employees, medium, 50-499, and large 500 plus.
The Most Improved Campaigns, the largest increase in money raised year over year were: Central Texas Children’s Center, small; Wal-Mart of Belton, medium; and McLane Co., large.
Largest Campaigns of the Year, the most amount raised: small, Central Texas Bank; medium, Extraco Banks; and large, Wilsonart International.
Outstanding Employee Campaign, the largest number of leadership givers who have invested $500 or more: small, Brockway, Gersbach, Franklin and Niemeier; medium, Extraco Banks; and large, Wilsonart International.
Community Builder is a new award that recognizes an organization that has increased its campaign, but has stepped up to a new level in volunteer involvement. Don Ringer was the awardee.
Eric Tovar with H-E-B Plus in Belton is the new campaign coordinator.