Two million dollars raised by United Way

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 26, 2005


Managing Editor

DESTREHAN – Two million dollars – the amount raised in the 2004-2005 United Way of St. Charles fund-raising campaign – was a delightful surprise to many in attendance at a victory celebration held Thursday.

The event was held at the Destrehan Plantation Ole Mule Barn, behind the main house.

However, it came as no surprise to the campaign’s co-chairmen, Dr. Rodney Lafon, superintendent of St. Charles Parish public schools; and Joe Venable, vice-president of operations for Waterford 3.

Both expressed their thanks to the hard work of the scores of volunteers at the event and called it a tribute to the commitment of those volunteers and the generosity of the community, which has historically flown past fund-raising goals set by United Way.

This was the largest fund-raising effort in the organization’s 50-year history, said Executive Director George Williamson.

Singled out for special recognition was Valero-St. Charles, which contributed in pledges totalling slightly more than $600,000 from employees and the corporation. This earned Valero the Community Impact Award for holding the largest company campaign in United Way of St. Charles history.

To achieve the $2 million total, pledges came from the following sources: $1.77 million from major industry and contractors; $60,000 from St. Charles Parish Hospital, government employees and the St. Charles Sheriff’s Office; $66,000 from St. Charles Parish public schools; $29,800 from the United Way Bridge Run; $16,800 from local business; $8,900 from retirees and landowners; and $74,000 from companies and employees located outside St. Charles Parish.

Several campaign awards were presented at the evening’s event. Luling

(See Millions, Page 3A)

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Elementary School was awarded a certificate for its 70 percent increase of employee giving over the previous campaign. Kellogg Brown & Root celebrated its 1,634 percent increase of employee giving over the previous campaign, joined by Resolution Performance Products with its 324 percent increase.

The highest, per-capita giving in a non-industry sector was at A.A. Songy Kindergarten at $66.32, earning the school a certificate. The industrial site with the highest per-capita employee giving was at Valero at $705.87 each. Valero also made the highest corporate gift per employee at $352.93.

Valero also led the way with the highest percentage of employees donating at the one-hour level at 80 percent

Campaign team members in this year’s effort included: Fay Caire for parish government, Greg Mollere for business and commerce, Brandt Dufrene for financial institutions, Fred Martinez for the hospital and doctors, Regina McMillan for education, Clyde “Rock” Gisclair for major landowners, Ricky Cheramie (who chaired the annual jambalaya/gumbo cookoff) and Mark Phair (who chaired the annual Hale Boggs Bridge Run).