Three Rivers Valero oil refinery’s 310 employees raised $300,000 for United Way last year, and so far $190,075 in pledges was raised in the first week, and fundraising continues through until Sept. 20.
Their goal is to raise $205,000, and once the goal is reached the match fund from the company would double it.
“We are well on our way, and I’m confident we will more than meet that goal because we have very caring and giving employees here at the Three Rivers refinery,” Vice President and General Manager Harry Wright of the Three Rivers Valero Refinery said.
Valero raised $9,103 with the barbecue competition, games, bake sale and silent auction, said Stacie Farrell, HR director for Valero of Three Rivers.
“And that doesn’t even go towards our $205,000,” Farrell said.
Nearly all of Valero’s employees donate to United Way, typically through payroll deduction pledges said Catrina Wilson, president and CEO of United Way of the Coastal Bend.
Wilson said the United Way takes the funds that are raised and invests them in education, income and health programs throughout the Coastal Bend; all of which are reviewed before grants are approved.
“They are trusting us to do that research and get the most bang for their buck,” Wilson said. “Valero and United Way have a strong relationship; it’s part of their culture.”
Wright said Valero has been fundraising for United Way since 2002, and its employees often take agency tours to see where their funding goes.
Wilson said Valero consistently “goes over the top” with the company’s fundraising.
“It’s wonderful, they are so generous, and everyone comes together to raise funds for United Way,” Wilson said. “Everyone is over the top.”
This year’s fundraiser also included a talent show to go along with this year’s theme, “Valero’s Got Talent.”
“As most people know, Valero is very committed to serving the communities in which we operate. We take that very serious, and a part of that commitment is our support to United Way,” Wright said. “This week’s activities were part of our United Way campaign in an effort to raise money while having fun at the same time.”
Winners of the rib cook-off were:
• First place – Mark Roznovsky
• Second place – Robert Arciba, Robert Rogers and Aldo Morin
• People’s Choice – Lee Benham, Jeff Howerton and David Brown
Winners of the chicken cook-off were:
• First place – Gilbert Ruiz and Dion Seratta
• Second place – Marshall Gonzalez, Josh De La Torre and John Chaney
• People Choice – Marshall Gonzalez, Josh De La Torre and John Chaney