By GREG RUSSELL
Register Staff Writer
Steady effort among nine area organizations provided a boost to the Cooke County United Way (CCUW) 2014 campaign during its first month, putting the endeavor at 31 percent of its fundraising total.
Thursday’s luncheon at Gainesville Civic Center included a report that the outreach organization is now $120,271 strong — provided in full by employees and administrators of those nine “pacesetter” sources.
The $400,000 campaign goal is the organization’s highest since 1954, and results tallied in November will show where the chips land.
“We only have three months to raise $400,000, and I think we will,” said CCUW Executive Director Angie Hare. “The success in it is that we get in, get it done and get out.”
The $120,271 garnered thus far is comprised of money raised by local pacesetter companies that were announced and cited, one by one, during Thursday’s luncheon. In the campaign’s first month, Gainesville Independent School District raised $7,460; Callisburg Independent School District raised $10,000; First State Bank raised $51,097; Muenster State Bank raised $4,260; Nortex Communications raised $5,150; North Central Texas College raised $6,801; North Texas Medical Center raised $20,675; the City of Gainesville raised $9,834; and Walmart raised $10,638.
Once concluded, campaign gatherings will benefit Abigail’s Arms Family Crisis Center, American Red Cross, Boys Scouts, Boys & Girls Club, Boys Baseball, CASA, Cooke County Youth Fair, Girl Scouts, Home Hospice, Meals on Wheels of Texoma, Muenster Youth Council, North Texas Youth Connection, PRIDE, Reading & Radio Resource, SW Diabetic Foundation, Texoma Area Paratransit System, Texoma Sr. Citizens/Area Agency on Aging and Volunteers In Service To Others. The luncheon included recognition of those agencies plus hundreds of “Chisholm Trail Club” members, county residents who privately donate amounts ranging from $500 to more than $2,000.
It also included a spotlight on beneficiary agency Meals on Wheels of Texoma and its mass of local clients in need.
“Of course, we receive funding dollars, just like every other agency here,” said Greg Pittman, Meals on Wheels executive director, who added that CCUW offerings comprise only 5 percent of his budget — but this amount annually triggers matching funds from other benefactors. “That 5 percent enables 30 or 40 percent of our budget. For every dollar we get from United Way, we’re eligible for another 10.”
One notable remark came from CCUW member Rhonda Beam; in one of the luncheon’s addresses, she quoted Great Britain Prime Minister Winston Churchill in citing the importance of generosity.
“We make a living by what we get,” Beam quoted Churchill. “We make a life by what we give.”
For more information about CCUW, visit www.cookeuw.org or call (940) 665-1793.