United Way kickoff luncheon Thursday

The United Way of Wise County will kick off its 2014 fundraising campaign with a luncheon Thursday, Sept. 4, at the Decatur Civic Center.

The group hopes to raise $450,000 this fall for Wise County charities.

Those agencies will set up display tables at the Civic Center from 10:30 to 11:45 so those in attendance can drop by and see what they do. The United Way in Wise County helps support 28 agencies that focus on basic needs, health, youth development and victim services.

The luncheon program begins with an invocation, posting of the colors by the Wise County Veterans Group and the singing of “America, the Beautiful” by the entire crowd.

After lunch, catered by Uniquely Wise Catering, event sponsors and providers will be recognized and United Way president Mike McQuiston will offer some remarks. The program continues with a review of the allocations by Vice President Michael Petty, an overview of the campaign by Vice President Sabrina Easley, and a brief message from Executive Director Martin Woodruff.

Tickets for the luncheon are $15 at the door. To be billed, fax the United Way office at 940-627-3684.

For information, visit wisecountyunitedway.org.

BASIC NEEDS AGENCIES

  • American Red Cross/Chisholm Trail Chapter
  • Salvation Army
  • Southeast Wise County Community Services (operated by seven supporting churches, partnering with Tarrant Area Food Bank)
  • South Wise Services (food pantry, clothing and other assistance)
  • TAPS (Texoma Area Paratransit System, a demand-response transportation system for all ages)
  • Texas Ramp Project (builds wheelchair ramps for needy disabled/elderly)
  • TNS Community Services (Texas Neighborhood Services, emergency intervention and energy assistance)
  • Trinity Habitat for Humanity (builds affordable homes)
  • WARM (Wise Area Relief Mission, largest food pantry in Wise County)
  • Wise County Committee on Aging (operates Meals on Wheels and provides transportation)

HEALTH AGENCIES

  • Wise County Community Health Center (Wise County’s only federally qualified Community Health Center)
  • Child Study Center/Fort Worth (diagnosis, treatment for children with developmental problems)
  • Raquel’s Wings for Life (flies patients to medical treatment facilities)
  • ReadyStart/Launchability (early childhood intervention)
  • Southwestern Diabetic Foundation (rehabilitation/education for boys and girls with diabetes)
  • Texas Neighborhood Services Children’s Services (operates Head Start programs)
  • Wise Choices Pregnancy Resource Center (free services, direction and support for women facing pregnancy)
  • Wise County Christian Counseling (individual, couples and family therapy)

YOUTH DEVELOPMENT AGENCIES

  • Boy Scouts of America/Longhorn Council (Scouting activities, character development, leadership and service)
  • Camp Fire USA/First Texas Council (activities for boys and girls)
  • Communities in Schools of North Texas Inc. (drop-out prevention, stay-in-school services to at-risk and economically disadvantaged students in schools in Denton and Wise counties)
  • Girl Scouts of Texas Oklahoma Plains Inc. (Scouting activities for girls)
  • Wise County 4-H (youth educational, leadership development)

VICTIMS’ AID AGENCIES

  • CASA of Wise County (Court Appointed Special Advocates representing abused, neglected children)
  • STAR Council (empowering individuals, families and communities to choose a substance-free lifestyle)
  • Voices for Youth and Family Services (trained volunteers to serve children in CPS custody, children whose families are in the CPS program, youth in the juvenile probation system and children whose parents are incarcerated)
  • Wise County Domestic Violence Task Force (seeks to curb domestic violence and sexual assault by empowering victims, operates a 24-hour hotline)
  • Wise Kid Care Inc. (care for abused/abandoned children)

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McQuiston elected United Way president

Mike McQuiston, human resources director for Wise Regional Health System, was elected president of the Wise County United Way at the organization’s annual meeting at the Decatur Civic Center Thursday.

He succeeds Andrew Rottner, president of North Texas Bank.

United Way Executive Director Martin Woodruff said the campaign had raised $410,000 of its $450,000 goal during last year’s fund drive.

“We’ll probably end up at $420,000 or $425,000 before its over, and that is better than the past couple of years,” Woodruff said.

Devon Energy Corp., its employees and suppliers were presented the Diamond Recognition Award. The combined groups gave $236,000 to last year’s campaign, Woodruff said.

Platinum Awards for gifts between $25,000 and $49,000 were presented to Entergis Corp. and Poco Graphite employees and WC Challenger Charities, producers of the annual Professional Bull Riders (PBR) event. Woodruff said the $25,000 gift from PBR helps defray office expenses.

“We remain at about 10 percent expenses against revenue raised,” he said.

Other new officers elected included Sabrina Easley of Oncor, vice president and campaign chairman; Michael Petty of Devon Energy, vice president and allocations chairman; Barbara Haley, vice president of communications; Steve Summers, treasurer; and Kim Lawson, nominating committee chairman.

New and returning directors include Laura Abseck, Wendell Berry Jr., Bob Fothergill, Wayne Harveson, Karolyn Kinsey, Stacie Meadows, Dorothy Shepherd, Rod Townsend, Carey Williams, Haley, Lawson, Petty and Summers.

Also elected were Chico Mayor J.D. Clark, Leah Geeslin of Pipeline Plastics, Noel Ruddick of GTG Solutions, Steve Sims of First Financial Bank and Ted West of Boyd ISD.

In addition to Rottner, Andrew Sandford is retiring as head of the allocations committee. Both will remain on the United Way board.

“It’s simply an honor to serve as your new president,” McQuiston said. “I want to thank you all for loving your neighbors. You make this a great place to live and work.”

United Way allocations to 29 “partner agencies” totaled $436,120 in 2013, with the largest amount, $67,000, going to the Wise Area Relief Mission (WARM). South Wise Services received $34,000 and the Wise County Committee on Aging $27,000. Receiving $25,000 allocations were the Wise County Community Health Center, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Wise and Jack Counties and a program called Launchability.

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