United Way givers deserve our thanks

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 4, 2000

Item No. 7 of The Natchez Democrat’s mission statement is &uot;to take an active leadership role in our community.&uot; And Democrat employees continue to do just that as top per-capita givers and participants in the second-largest campaign in this year’s United Way of the Greater Miss-Lou fund drive.

The Democrat and its employees pledged $20,500 overall, second only to International Paper in total giving.

The Top Per Capita Giving award goes to the organization that contributes the most money per employee during the campaign. And, including The Democrat’s corporate gift, our employees contributed an average of $353.45 each. Now that’s leadership.

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Most of us pay lip service to the idea of contributing to our community and helping our neighbors. But the UW is one of the few opportunities we have to really contribute, to know that our contributions are being used wisely and that they will help people right here at home.

And the United Way is an opportunity for us to stop talking about serving our community and actually do it, an opportunity to put our money where our mouth is. And that’s exactly what our staff set out to do.

As a result, our staff was recognized with the UW’s Gold Award. And they should be proud of their accomplishment.

Other Gold Award winners (companies with contributions totaling more than $15,000) were International Paper at an astounding $72,320 (they also won the UW’s Top Contributor award), Supermarket Operations at $16,719 and Johns Manville at $16,536.

It’s interesting to note that, despite a recent workforce reduction, International Paper raised even more money this year than last. Talk about community leadership; the commitment of the folks at IP is obviously very strong and is to be commended.

Silver Award winners (companies who contributed over $10,000) were the Natchez-Adams School District, Natchez Community Hospital, Zachary Construction Company, Britton & Koontz First National Bank and Ethyl Petroleum Additives.

Bronze Award winners (companies who contributed more than $5,000) were Natchez Regional Medical Center, Deposit Guaranty National Bank, Alcoa and McRae’s.

Zachry Construction took the award for Top Percent of Participation with 100 percent of their employees contributing to the campaign. Honorable mention winners in that category were Mississippi Valley Gas, Entergy, Jordan Auto, The Natchez Democrat, Supermarket Operations, United Parcel Service and Gardner Motor Company.

Honorable mention winners in the Top Per Capita Giving category were Ethyl Petroleum, Zachry Construction Corporation, Entergy, Deposit Guaranty National Bank and Jordan Auto.

Natchez Community Hospital took home the Charles H. Adams Memorial Award for largest increase over 1998 in a total campaign.

Others recognized among the top 25 campaigns were Wal-Mart, Callon Petroleum, J.C. Penney, Louisiana Hydroelectric, Louisiana Central Bank, Concordia Bank and Trust, Natchez Coca-Cola, Wal-Mart (Ferriday) and BellSouth.

My hat is off to campaign chairman Kevin Smith, co-chairman Cliff Merritt and everyone who contributed to the 1999 campaign and to the United Way leadership for another successful year.

And, I’m especially proud of the employees of The Natchez Democrat whom I have the privilege of working with every day. They’re a group that believes in our mission, in taking a leadership role in our community and … in putting their money where their mouth is.

Todd Carpenter is publisher of The Democrat. You can reach him by telephone at 446-5172, ext. 218 or by e-mail at todd.carpenter@natchezdemocrat.com.