Local Schools Donate $$$ to United Way

The following is a news release from the Grayson County United Way:


A different Battle of the Axe played out Friday at the weekly United Way campaign meeting, but the winners are kids and their families.

Al Hambrick, superintendent of Sherman Independent School District, and George Hatfield with the Denison Independent School District, turned the classic fervor between their athletic teams into a challenge between faculty and staffs to benefit United Way of Grayson County.

Although he anticipates an additional check from the middle school, Hambrick celebrated the SISD staff as he presented a check for $23,000 to David Cortinas, United Way CEO and Chuck Kraemer Campaign Chair. The check reflected a ninety percent increase over last year in SISD support for United Way agencies.

He explained much of the increase to the involvement of United Way and community agency representatives visiting each school to highlight their services and the key role those services have on many students being ready for school.

Hatfield echoed much the same view, saying their friendly competition was not to challenge Denison or challenge Sherman, but ‘so we can help more kids and families’.

Denison High School faculty and staff increased their giving by $1,000 over 2005 to a total of $7,000, marking them as the school with the highest percentage increase. Hatfield and Denison High School principal Cavin Boettger turned over a jumbo check for $47,027.61 to Chuck Kraemer, 2006 campaign chairman.

Debbie Magouirk, chairperson for the financial sector, reported donations for Raymond James/ Moseley & Associates and an informal group of realtors ‘asked’ to contribute by Norman Gordon. ‘Just ask’ has been Kraemer’s mantra throughout the campaign.

Magouirk did not have final results for the American Bank of Texas campaign, but was able to report that the goal was met the first week and donations continue to roll in.

John Kyker, evening HR supervisor at Tyson Foods, tantalized the report meeting in anticipation of next week’s official report. He explained that Tyson supports United Way, including a United Way presentation in new employee orientation. Of 12 new employees this week, 11 chose to be fair share – one hour per month – donors for a total of $2,030. Last year, Tyson had 200 employees on the payroll, making a donation of $10,000. Kyker wouldn’t hint at how much the 1,100 employees this year have pledged.

Tyson and Landmark Bank are two of the larger donors reporting their employee and corporate donations at next week’s meeting. CIGNA, scheduled to report Oct. 27th, has already reached 90 percent participation.

Kathy Crenshaw, executive director of the Crisis Center, gave the report meeting a grim view of the violence and abuse facing many families in Grayson County. Texas statistics show that 143 mothers and children were killed by the woman’s partner in 2005. The women ranged in age from 15 to 94 years old.

She spoke graphically of the explosion in the incidence of domestic violence in Texas and in Grayson County. She described numerous changes showing up in the cycle of violence, especially the involvement of much younger girls and women and the change of younger women from victim to batterer.

“Statistics used to show that 70 percent of women who grew up in an abusive home became victims as adults and 70 percent of men who grew up with family violence became batterers,” she explained. “We are seeing more and more young women admitted to the batterer program – three of the four participants in the August session.”

The Crisis Center has expanded services not only to the women and children traumatized by family violence, but also to the abusers through Batterers Intervention programs.

“If we make the difference in one life, then all our work is worth it,” she said. “We are in the business of life and death.”

Any individuals or employee groups seeking more information on United Way of Grayson County or the services available through United Way partner agencies are invited to contact the office at 903-893-1920.