United Way of Nacogdoches County surpasses yearly fundraising goal

United Way of Nacogdoches County surpasses yearly fundraising goal

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - United Way of Nacogdoches County is celebrating reaching its yearly fundraising campaign.

United Way set a $275,000 goal for the 2019-20 campaign. As of Thursday, organizers said the program more than exceeded that goal.

“Last year we set a goal of $250,000, which we reached,” said Robert Rasberry, campaign chairman. “So we wanted to go a little higher this year... and I’m happy to announce we surpassed it.

“We just got out in the community and talked to more people. We explained what the Nacogdoches County United Way does, and I think it had a huge impact.”

It happened despite some hiccups in the road. One being the announced Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages plant closure.

“They’re very long-term, many years, supporters by campaign pledge deductions and other funds,” said Gary Lee Ashcraft, president/CEO of United Way.

Collectively, the 74 employees pledged about $1,500. Some employees may choose to fulfill their pledge, but for those who don’t, United Way shows complete understanding.

“The reality is that when an employee leaves a company, we have some companies that have turnover, larger companies, we’re not going to see that pledge,” Ashcraft explained.

Ashcraft said loss pledges are made up in other ways. He attributed United Way leaders for building relationships with employers and their employees. The partnership pays off according to United Way board chairman Dustin Beavers.

“We were short just a little bit from our goal this year and we had a business come in, Parker Hannifin, that came in, found out that we were short and they came in, donated to the United Way which got us north of our goal,” said Beavers who advances to campaign chair for 2021.

The volunteers say individual donations, the Rex Perry car give-a-way incentive and loyalty from long time corporate donors are what helped make the Nacogdoches County campaign drive successful.

Operational costs are covered by an underwriting program sponsored by corporate donors. The bulk of the donations serves about 21 non-profit agencies, including the award-winning Nacogdoches Treatment Center for individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia. Each program is allotted a percentage of every penny raised, rather than a pre-determined dollar amount.

“The more people that we can bring in to what we’re doing, and make them knowledgable about what the United Way does, and how it impacts the community, it’s better for everyone involved here in Nacogdoches and the surrounding county,” said Dustin Beavers, United Way board chairman.

The agency has already started to raise money towards the 2020-21 fundraising campaign. Fundraising happens year-round. The next United Way event is the Do-Dat Barbecue on May 2 at the Nacogdoches Exposition Center.

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