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Special to The Community News
Cheers and applause erupted during the January board meeting of the United Way of Parker County as Charlie Martinez, 2010 campaign chair, announced that campaign pledges had exceeded the $200,000 goal by 20 percent.
“We have raised the most money in the history of the United Way of Parker County,” said Dennis Clayton, board president. “In this economy, that’s incredible!”
Martinez credits the campaign’s success to a corps of community volunteers and division chairs, and generous residents of Parker County who contribute to United Way through workplace campaigns.
“Parker County is an amazing community full of caring people who want to make a difference in the lives of friends, neighbors and family members in need,” he said. “The United Way helps them to achieve that goal of improving lives.”
United Way of Parker County (UWPC) Executive Director Susan Sodek echoed the enthusiasm of Martinez and Clayton. “Each year we head into our campaign with cautious optimism — hoping to meet our goal,” she said. “Yet this year meets and exceeds my wildest dreams. This increase is truly a blessing.”
This year’s campaign, Sodek explained, was especially critical. Parker County has seen about a 40 percent increase in population since 2003
“Our increased population, compounded by a rise in unemployment, has created a real strain on our local health and human service providers,” she noted. “The additional funding from this campaign will help our local programs meet the needs of their clients.”
Employee campaigns at Weatherford Regional and other employers constituted 54 percent of the overall giving to the 2010 campaign. Employee campaigns that reported significant increases included the City of Hudson Oaks; City of Weatherford; Devon; First Financial Bank; George, Morgan and Sneed; Plains Capital Bank; Snow, Garrett and Company; and Parker County employees.
“We are so thankful for the awesome response from employee campaigns, and for our 2010 Campaign Chair, Charlie Martinez, for his leadership and efforts,” Clayton said. “And we thank our pacesetters, division chairs, and our executive director, Susan Sodek, for leading this campaign.”
Division Chairs are volunteers from the community, Sodek explained, who paved the way for this increase. “Danielle Felts and Teri Stout really outdid themselves this year with a chili cook-off and baking contest.”
This year’s campaign also saw a shift in direct giving from some companies that employ Parker County residents. “UWPC saw tremendous increases in our Burlington Northern and Texas Health Resources employee campaigns,” Sodek said. “Those employee campaigns will have a huge impact on our ability to meet the needs of our community.”
Since 2001, UWPC has raised more than a million dollars benefiting Parker County residents. United Way annual campaign funds are allocated to local health and human service services. During 2010 UWPC allocated funds to more than 22 local health and human service programs.
United Way of Parker County (UWPC) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to community impact. The mission of UWPC is to improve lives and build a stronger, healthier community by funding effective programs within UWPC’s programming areas: Income & Crisis, Education &Youth, Health & Wellness and Senior Citizens.
For more information or to donate: UWPC, P.O. Box 1476, Weatherford, TX 76086; 817-596-5986; firstname.lastname@example.org or www.unitedwayofparkercounty.org
Each year, community volunteers play a critical role in the success of the United Way campaign. Division Chairs for the 2010 campaign included:
Danielle Felts – City of Weatherford employees
Teri Stout – Parker County employees
Sheri Campbell Husband – City of Hudson Oaks employees
Richard Aguiree – Weatherford Regional Medical Center employees
Charlotte LaGrone – WISD employees
Tanya Hodges, Corey Tucker, Kim Laws – Local/Professional Business Division
Brittany Jones & Teri Smith – Healthcare Division
Campfire USA, CASA of Parker County, CPS Board/Rainbow Room, Child Study Center, Crossroads Youth Ministry, Hannah’s House, Head Start, Parker County Chapter of the American Red Cross, Center of Hope, Manna, Texas Neighborhood Services, Freedom House, AIDS Resources of Rural Texas, Star Council, Dental Health of Parker County, Kingdom Smiles, Cancer Care Services, Swan View Therapeutic Riding Center, Parker County Meals on Wheels, Preventative Health Care for Seniors, Transportation program for Seniors and the Disabled.