By Don Bolding
Killeen Daily Herald
About 400 people attending Wednesday's kickoff luncheon of the United Way of the Greater Fort Hood Area heard challenges to exceed last year's receipts of $638,000.
Dr. Ann Farris, campaign chairwoman for the second consecutive year, said many of the 26 member agencies would have to close without the United Way's support.
"The most we've ever raised was $651,000 in the years before the current troop deployments," she said. "We hope we can get there again, but we need to reach as high as we can."
Dr. Farris is a professor in the graduate program at Tarleton State University-Central Texas.
United Way board chair Robin Gies said, "Seated at each table are representatives of the various United Way agencies – the agencies that benefit from your hard work and generosity. Their charge today is to give you an overview of their programs and additional insight into the importance of their United Way funding. We hope you all talk together to understand how important the funding is."
Attendees saw performances by the cheerleading teams from Copperas Cove High School, Ellison High School, Killeen High School, Harker Heights High School and Shoemaker High School. A panel of judges picked the Cove team to represent the United Way during the campaign.
Volunteers presented pins to the Pacesetters and representatives, individuals and organizations who have made large gifts to the campaign before the kickoff. These included:
n Gold level, $5,000 and above: the city of Copperas Cove, the city of Killeen, Copperas Cove Independent School District, Embarq, First Community Services, First National Bank Texas, Fort Hood National Bank, the H-E-B stores in Copperas Cove, Harker Heights, Gatesville, Killeen (Gray Street and Trimmier Road), Killeen Daily Herald, Killeen ISD, "Administrator Leadership Team," Metroplex Health System, Sallie Mae Servicing Corp. and Time Warner Cable.
n Silver level, $2,500 and above: Communities in Schools, Bell and Coryell counties, Extraco Banks, First Texas Bank and TESCO.
n Bronze level, $1,000 and above: Dr. and Mrs. James Anderson, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Hemingway Sr., Mr. and Mrs. Jack Hemingway Jr., Hunter Rentals and Property Management, Mr. and Mrs. Terry E. Gandy, Ledger Furniture, Lott, Vernon & Co. P.C., Sue Mayborn, Dr. and Mrs. Henry A. Mayer, Modern TV & Appliances, Dr. and Mrs. Larry W. Moehnke, R.K. Bass Electric Inc., Mr. and Mrs. Ed Rhode, Judy Van Riper, retired Gen. Robert M. Shoemaker, Union State Bank, and Mr. and Mrs. James Wilson.
Member agencies of the United Way this year are:
n Youth and elderly services, including Central Texas Armed Services YMCA, Girl Scouts-Bluebonnet Council Inc., Boys & Girls Clubs of Coryell County, Boy Scouts/Longhorn Council, Camp Fire USA-Tejas Council Inc., Communities in Schools of Bell and Coryell Counties Inc., Central Texas Youth Services Bureau, Hill Country Community Action Association Inc. of Copperas Cove and HCCAA of Killeen, Peaceable Kingdom Retreat for Children Inc.
n Emergency services, including the Heart of Texas Chapter of the American Red Cross, Cove House Emergency Homeless Shelter Inc., Families in Crisis, Food Care Center, Home and Hope Shelter, Bell County Human Services/Killeen Help Center and Refuge Corp.
n Family and health services, including Children's Advocacy Center of Central Texas, Christian Farms/Treehouse, Central Texas Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, Central Texas 4C's Inc., Fort Hood Area Habitat for Humanity, Fort Hood Child and Youth Services, Greater Killeen Free Clinic, Lone Star Legal Aid and Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
Dr. Farris said the campaign's Plans and Operations Committee will start equipping team leaders in businesses and schools to conduct branches of the campaign, which will last until a celebration luncheon to be scheduled next spring.
Contact Don Bolding at email@example.com