United Way expected to reach $1.2 million

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 20, 2000

LEONARD GRAY / L’Observateur / December 20, 2000

LULING – Last year at this time the United Way of St. Charles was creepingalong, trying to meet its $1.2 million goal but fell short. This year, the samegoal is within reach.

“It’s been a good campaign,” Executive Director George Williamson commented Monday. “We’ve had tremendous cooperation from the majorindustries, government and schools, who did a yeoman’s job of putting together creative and innovative campaigns.”This year’s campaign, under the direction of Larry Palme of Montell Polyolefins of Norco, has the theme – “The Way St. Charles Cares.”Last year, the campaign ended in mid-December with $1,158,802.80, or96.57 percent of its goal. As of Dec. 7, 90.12 percent has been raised, andthe total campaign has only $118,546 to go. Potentially, with severalbusinesses still to report, this year’s campaign could overshoot the mark by at least $300,000.

“We’re ahead of where we were last year at this time,” Williamson said.

Williamson is just one small cog in the machine of a United Way campaign, he is quick to point out. At its heart are the agencies, those organizations whoinspire the volunteer fund-raisers to greater efforts year after year.

The people who run these agencies are the unsung heroes,” Williamson said.

The assortment of agencies range from emergency services, senior services, counseling services, education and recreation services, youth services and health services.

Causes from adult literacy to stuttering and from poison control to sickle- cell anemia are helped through United Way of St. Charles funding.United Way of St. Charles itself went through a face-lift itself, relocating toa new headquarters in Luling through the generous donation of a bank building from First American Bank. “This building is a godsend,” Williamson said.At present, a new roof is being installed on the building, and Williamson plans to lease out part of the building to help cover annual upkeep costs. Once theroof is completed, in three or four weeks, the entire building will get a face- lift with a new coat of paint and logo on the side of the building. A lighted signis also planned.

Meanwhile the United Way of St. Charles, finally out of its cramped quartersacross from the courthouse, has room to spread out as it strives to keep up not only with the ever-growing needs but the work required to provide the means to maintain those agencies.

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