United Way chapter breaks fund-raising record

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 1, 2002


DESTREHAN – United Way of St. Charles achieved yet another record-breaking year in fund-raising, with a total of $1,448,200 pledged in its 2001-02 campaign.

Campaign chairman was Jas Gill of Cytec Industries, who handed over his chairmanship to successor Mike Rio of Dow-St. Charles Operations, who served as this year’s Industry Chairman.

The fund-raising goal for this year’s campaign was $1.3 million, the same as last year, where $1,247,915.35 was raised.

This is the first year the drive has exceeded its goal since 1997.

This will present a challenge to next year’s drive chairman, Mike Rio, who said, “We’ll find a way.”

United Way president Jim Adams of American Express Financial Advisors Inc., called the local United Way organization “a wonderful group to be the president of” and added, especially in the wake of uncertainties following Sept. 11, “it’s just awesome the way the community responded.”

“What you did, words can’t describe the joy I feel,” Gill commented at a victory dinner held at the Destrehan Plantation Mule Barn Thursday.

Pledges came from the following sources: $3,000 from organizations and employees of non-profits; $3,408 from companies and employees located outside St. Charles Parish; $6,235 from personal, retiree and landowner contributions; $16,548 from business and commerce; $41,046 from the golf tournament and bridge run; $47,922 from the St. Charles Parish Public School District employees; $73,769 from government employees, the St. Charles Parish Hospital and the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office; and $1,256,271 from major industry and their employees and contractors.

Several achievements were also recognized. St. Charles Parish Hospital had the greatest increase in total campaign giving in the government sector with 117 percent increase.

Norco 4-6 Elementary School was the school with the greatest increase in total campaign among school sites, giving with 233 percent.

AM-PM Services was the business with the greatest percentage of increase in total giving over last year with 296 percent.

Major industry also excelled in giving this year, with a 76.78 percent increase in contributions from Dow-St. Charles Operations and a 79.9 percent increase from Bunge North American.

Nexen Chemicals received both a Corporate Leadership Award and a Community Leadership Award for being the industry with the highest per-capita giving, with $230.75.

Community Leadership Awards also went to those schools and companies with the highest percentage of employees giving at the one-hour level.

The Alternative Programs of the school district gave at the highest per-capita at a school site with $94.

Nexen Chemicals had the highest per-capita employee giving with $230.75.

Good Neighbor Awards recognized those school and companies with the highest percentage of employees who give at the one-hour level. New Sarpy Kindergarten had 22 percent.

Carter Chambers had 90 percent.

Finally, Community Impact Awards recognized outstanding achievement in the campaign.

AM-PM Services was recognized for their 296 percent increase over last year’s contributions, from $2,948 to $11,665. St. Charles Parish Hospital likewise had a 117.7 percent increase, from $17,567 to $38,082.

And Dow-St. Charles Operations’ contributions went from $171,843 to $303,790, representing 21.21 percent of the total United Way campaign results.