United Way of St. Charles hits record $3.34 million campaign

Valero St. Charles Refinery is highest contributor – again

Marking 12 percent growth over last year’s already impressive fundraising, the United Way of St. Charles’ Victory Celebration unveiled its historic $3.34 million record campaign total.

“We are overwhelmed by the support of our community, allowing United Way of St. Charles to see 12 percent growth over last year’s campaign,” said John Dias, United Way executive director. “This truly is a testament to the generosity of the folks who live and work in St. Charles Parish. Thanks to them, we will be able to assist not only with major disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes, but also the quiet, everyday disasters, like feeding hungry second-graders, assisting cancer patients with transportation to treatment and building wheelchair ramps for residents with accessibility challenges.”

Eric Dishongh, 2016-17 UWSC campaign co-chair, praised the substantial increase, as well as announced “the largest campaign in the organization’s history.”

Dishongh, of Creative Family Solutions, along with Anthony Ayo, of the St. Charles Parish Government, and Loyd Bourgeois Jr., of Louisiana Disability Law, served as campaign co-chairs.

The Victory Celebration was held at Cypress Lakes Country Club in Destrehan.

Of the numerous companies that contributed to the campaign, Valero St. Charles Refinery was awarded the highest honor of the event, receiving UWSC’s Spirit Award. The company raised $1.1 million this year, and also ranked as last year’s top contributor.

“I am proud to be associated with the most giving employees any company could wish for,” said Ralph Phillip, vice president and general manager of Valero St. Charles Refinery. “They willingly gave of their time, energy and funds for the most worthy cause.”

Valero was followed by Norco Manufacturing Complex as second highest contributor at $1.06 million, followed by Dow St. Charles Operations at $422,275.

In recognizing total campaign improvement, St. Charles Parish Government’s participation was up by 104 percent as the highest non-industry contributor. In education, SCPPS Transportation Department hit the top spot with 135 percent greater participation. In the industry category, Norco Manufacturing Complex and the Zachry Group were recognized, both up by 37 percent.

Melissa Frederick, UW campaign and marketing manager, said the funding will support many existing and some new programs.

“Our Community Investment Review Teams will meet in April and May to determine where the funds raised in this campaign will be allocated to in the next fiscal year,” Frederick said.

She added, “New programs we are currently funding include a Workforce Development Project with Catholic Charities, another session of Get Fit United (Spring 2017), adding additional schools to the Backpack Program, and funding the Luling Elementary School Running Club.”


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