February will be remembered as a historic month for the United Way of St. Charles, and February 15th will be remembered as a daylong celebration of the agency’s past, present and future with the kickoff set for 10:15 a.m. at the United Way of St. Charles offices at 13207 River Road in Luling.
That’s when the UWSC commemorates its 50th anniversary by honoring the memory of its founders, the late George J. Bleakley and the late Aubin A. Songy with their installation as inaugural members of the United Way of St. Charles new “Wall of Success.”
Bleakley and Songy founded the United Givers’ Fund, forerunner to United Way of St. Charles in 1957. The occasion will be commemorated by the installation of a bronze plaque creating the Wall of Success, and a reception to be attended by the families of the honorees as well as the public.
“As we move forward in our work to improve human conditions for the entire region, we cannot forget our rich history and the individuals who created the very foundation from which we’ve grown,” said UWSC Executive Director Denise Brodsk.
“United Way of St. Charles ‘Wall of Success’memorializes our founding fathers and the legacy they left behind so that generations to come shall never forget the importance of giving.” Here’s some history:
George J. Bleakley
George J. Bleakley, affectionately know as “Mr. George”, was born in St. James Parish 98 years ago. George attended Lutcher High School and received his teaching degree from Louisiana State Normal.
George taught science and math at Romeville High School and Destrehan High School. After taking a summer job with Shell, he became the assistant personnel manager 13 months later.
George was also instrumental in starting the Shell Employee Club and served several years as chairman and athletic director of the club.
Under George’s leadership and encouragement, the club provided swimming pools, summer recreation programs, movies, a baseball diamond, a gymnasium, a golf course, and all types of entertainment. SEC’s summer recreation program attracted children from both sides of the river. While still teaching at Destrehan, George started the Progress Club, was instrumental in boosting local school sport programs and building the first football stadium in St. Charles Parish.
Aubin A. Songy, Sr., a biography
Aubin A. Songy, Sr. was born in 1903 at Evergreen Plantation in Wallace, Louisiana. He graduated from St. Stanislaus High School and from Loyola University in New Orleans.
He spent the majority of his professional life as an educator in the public school system of St. Charles Parish. At the time of his retirement in 1968, he was assistant superintendent of education.. Active in scholastic and athletic arenas, both on the state and national levels, Mr. Songy served as president of the Louisiana Teachers Association and the Louisiana Athletic Association. Mr.
Songy was also active in church and civic affairs. He was a 50-year lifetime member of the Knights of Columbus, during which time he served as grand knight.
He served as an officer in the Holy Name Society and the St. Vincent de Paul Society. In 1958, Pope Pius XII acknowledged Mr. Songy’s work through a special papal citation. The St. Charles Parish School Board recognized Mr. Songy’s contributions by naming one of their schools after him. Two of his 58 great-grandchildren had the joy of attending the A. A. Songy, Sr. Kindergarten Center in Luling.
MORE United Way of St. Charles NEWS
The United Way of St. Charles has completed its 2006-07 Annual Campaign and once again, the community has responded in fine fashion by committing pledges and receipts totaling $2,346,171.01.
This exceeded the Agency’s goal of $2.3 million and represents a 10.3% increase over last year’s total.
Also included in this figure are pledges to other United Way organizations, made by employees working in St. Charles Parish but living in surrounding parishes.
“This campaign was undoubtedly one of the most challenging and exhilarating in the history of the United Way of St. Charles,” declared Brodsky.
“Thanks to the spirit and generosity of our community, we have surpassed all of our expectations.”
Ron Guillory of Valero St. Charles Refinery served as Chairman and Jeff Funkhouser of Motiva Enterprises LLC, served as Co-Chair of this historic campaign. “Their leadership, dedication and commitment to the success of this year’s campaign cannot be overstated,” declared UWSC President Dennis Nuss. UWSC also recognizes with great appreciation the hundreds of hours that volunteers have given to make this achievement possible.
Companies and organizations integral to the campaign’s success will be honored and recognized for outstanding achievement at the Victory Celebration and Banquet February 15 in the Ormond Plantation located on 13786 River Rd, Destrehan starting at 6:30pm .
“We know all contributors will be proud of the investment that they are making to insure vital services to those in need are made possible in the upcoming year,” said Nuss.
United Way of St. Charles is committed to achieving an impact on the greater community through expert volunteers and community leaders who assess local needs and distribute funds where it can have the greatest effect. Those community impact areas are as follows:
United Way of St. Charles will distribute funding to agencies and programs that help to achieve designated goals in these impact areas during the coming year. Funding applications are currently being submitted for review by the volunteer community teams.