United Way kicks off 2023 fundraising season
By LYNETTE SOWELL
The Tri-County United Way recently held a kick-off luncheon at the Killeen Civic & Conference Center.
The local United Way encompasses Coryell, Lampasas, and Bell Counties and raises funds which go to organizations in the local area.
The Copperas Cove Independent School District showed their support in a big way with the CCHS JROTC Color Guard posting the colors, CCHS student Emily Kimball singing the national anthem, and the CCHS Copperettes and Varsity Cheerleaders performing.
Likewise, the drumline and choir from Killeen Ellison High School also provided entertainment.
A plated lunch was served up by representatives of organizations that benefit from United Way contributions annually, with the meal prepared by Great Western Dining Services of Central Texas College.
This year’s United Way fundraising theme is “Don’t Be Left in the Dark.”
Copperas Cove’s own Sherry Hoffpauir chaired the campaign for 2022. She passed the baton to the chair of the 2023 campaign, Leslie Hinkle.
Hinkle shared the importance of what the fundraising will do for the community.
“Our Chamber of Commerce has always said shop local. Well, we say, support local,” Hinkle said. “The camaraderie and the challenges and competition between schools or banks, or whomever, makes a difference in this community. Bringing everyone together and serving that common purpose is so good.
“You may not think your $5 that you send your kid off to school get put in that classroom. The campaign is important. It’s very, very important. I just encourage everyone to have fun with the campaign, make it exciting, do something unique and something different and just encourage each other.
“We are all in this together, we can make a difference together and it is so nice to see faces again.” Hinkle said that if there are groups that would like someone to come speak, she would love to.
“I see the work that the agencies do every single day. Keep up the good work and keep the excitement up as well.”
Prior to Hinkle’s introduction and speech, emcee Lauren Adams asked those assembled to pause for a moment of silence, in honor and memory of “Big” Joe Lombardi. Lombardi, who passed away in March of this year, had served as the emcee for the United Way campaign for at least two decades.
Hoffpauir recognized the Copperas Cove Leader-Press and other media outlets to include CCISD’s Bulldawg Radio, 93.1 FM KNCT, KXXV Channel 25, and the Killeen Daily Herald, for their support of the United Way’s fundraising efforts.
The event recognized United Way pacesetters, with the City of Killeen, H-E-B stores of Copperas Cove, Harker Heights and Killeen stores #2 and #3, all receiving the Platinum award, of $25,000 or more; the Carlson Law Firm, City of Copperas Cove, First National Bank Texas, and First Heroes National Bank, all receiving the Gold award, fort setting a goal of $5,000 or more; Communities in Schools of Greater Central Texas, with the Silver level, $2,000 and up; and the Bronze level for $1,000 and above going to Copperas Cove ISD, Mr. & Mrs. Terry Gandy; Lott, Vernon & Co.; Mrs. Sue Mayborn; JWC Rentals & Property Management; and Ernest & Angenet Wilkerson.
Tri-County United Way contributions go directly back to the community to help local organizations continue their impact.
Some of those organizations had representatives on hand at the event, organizations such as like Cove House Emergency Homeless Shelter and Hill Country Community Action Association, which prepares and delivers Meals on Wheels every weekday to elderly Copperas Cove residents.
Locally, the United Way funds go right back to the community to support programs that help those in need, such as Habitat for Humanity, Heritage House of Central Texas, Families in Crisis, Cove House Emergency Homeless Shelter, American Red Cross Heart of Texas Area Chapter, Bring Everyone In The Zone, Central Texas Youth Services Bureau,Inc., Cenikor Foundation, Communities In Schools of Greater Central Texas, Inc., Greater Killeen Community Clinic, Hill Country Community Action Association, The Refuge Corporation, Armed Services YMCA, Children’s Advocacy Center of Central Texas, Inc., CASA of Bell and Coryell Counties, Food Care Center, Girl Scouts of Central Texas, Heritage House of Central Texas, Longhorn Council Boy Scouts of America.