Angelina County (KTRE) - As the paint on the barometer inched upward, the crowd waited anxiously knowing that the final stroke of the brush would send it through the top. Campaign Chairman Trent Ashby received the honor of painting the final strokes, a job he's been waiting to do for five weeks.
The customary spraying of the campaign chairman with silly string was next. Then there was the customary photo of the division chairs and volunteers, culminated by a photo of the group raising the most money.
Lufkin Industries raised 302-thousand dollars, a new record for the company. L-I's coordinating team is called the "Magnificent Seven," seven ladies who go out and solicit the funds from fellow employees. "We're like a big family and I think because we realize especially the economy as it is now and the fact that our company is doing well, it's the fact that they go out there and they want to give for people that are in need," said Doug Holland, L-I spokesman.
"This year we have knocked it out of the ballpark. This year our employees have given from the depths of their heart. Every time there's a need in this community, our employees seem to always want to help, as well as our company, we always stand behind Angelina County and others as well," Holland added.
The United Way numbers support those statements. Lufkin Industries and its employees raised half of this year's United Way goal.
It was a good campaign year all around. Seven of the divisions surpassed the 100% mark, including the Media Division, as always, the Insurance Division was first to reach 100%.
"As we engaged in the campaign, there was a little bit of hesitation for a little while there about the first few weeks when we saw the dollars coming in about whether or not we would be successful, but we knew that the hearts and the wallets would open here in Angelina County from its Citizens to meet our goal," said Chairman Ashby.
Ashby said, "It speaks to the character of this community that in a tough economic time, we not only met, but exceeded our goal." This is 61 years of successful United Way campaigns in Angelina County.