Oct. 3, 2004 — The United Way of St. Thomas-St. John raised nearly half of its 2004-2005 goal Saturday morning at the kickoff of the organization's 26th annual fundraising campaign. Donations of $335,055 were pledged at the 2004-2005 Campaign Kickoff and Appreciation Breakfast held at The Ritz Carlton St. Thomas.
The goal for this year's campaign is $800,000.
Juanita Young, president of the United Way board of directors, welcomed the many donors, volunteers, agencies representatives, and other of friends of United Way, in attendance saying, "By working together as a community, we were able to achieve, in fact surpass, last year's rather ambitious goal of $800,000." She added, "Our agencies are still challenged with having to do more with less governmental resources provided, making it necessary for us to maintain that goal for this year's campaign."
In response to Young's call of "Let's Do It Again," more than 77 companies, organizations and individuals came forward to announce their donations, helping the United Way raise 42 percent of its goal on the first day of the campaign, according to a press release from United Way.
Steve Baker and Cornel Williams, campaign co-chairmen, praised the generosity of the campaign's early supporters and thanked them for their confidence in the United Way. "The record-breaking amount of $335,055 in kickoff donations is a phenomenal showing of commitment to our community," Williams said.
Leading the group of kickoff donors were the members of the Alexis de Tocqueville Society, which was launched at last year's kickoff event. The society is a United Way major giving program for individuals who contribute at least $10,000 annually to the United Way. Ira Lubert, Joe Papa and John Fries each pledged $15,000, Hurdle (Trip) Lea, III, Stuart Myers, Bob Schmidt, Ricardo Charaf, Paul Engler, and Dr. Seshagiri Alla each pledged $10,000.
The Prosser ICC Foundation followed with a maximum pledge of $25,000. West Indian Company gave $15,000; International Capital & Management Co., LLLP pledged $10,000; Dudley, Topper and Feuerzeig, LLP gave $10,000; the Bank of Nova Scotia with $8,000; FirstBank Virgin Islands pledged $7,000; and A.H. Riise came forward with $6,000. Making $5,000 pledges were Joanne Bozzuto, Randy Knight, Baker Magras & Associates, Caneel Bay, J. Epstein V.I. Foundation, Mr. Tablecloth, and Topa Properties.
Other early contributors were Andrea and Steve Martin with $4,000; Banco Popular de Puerto Rico with $4,000; George Dudley and Susan Laura Lugo, ADT Security Systems, Knight Quality Stations, Marriott Frenchman's Reef, and Theodore Tunick & Co. with $3,000 each. Contributions of $2,500 each were pledged by Caribbean Auto Mart, Cornerstone Strategies, Globalvest Management Company, and Rotary Club of St. Thomas II. Also pledging $2,500 were Carole DeSenne, Adriane Dudley, Henry and Penny Feuerzeig, and Richard and Carolyn Lacombe. Donations of $2,000 were made by John and Joan Amerling, Dr. Garfield Less and Helen and Dr. Lawrence Goldman. Businesses pledging $2,000 were Guardian Insurance, Investment Security Services, LLLP, Jewels/Colombian Emeralds, St. Alban's Global Management, LLLP, Starfish Market, Tom Bolt & Associates, V.I. Taxi Association, and the Westin Resort.
Kate N Design pledged $1,750; and the remaining contributions were Scott and Judy Barber, Katherine Gibson, Christine Lloyd, M.D., Dr. and Mrs. George Rosenberg, and the deJongh Group each pledging $1,500; Avis Rent-A-Car and Captain Nautica each pledging $1,200; and 19 contributors of $1,000 each Pamela Berkowsky and Dr. Adam Shapiro, Soren and Grace Blak, Drs. Sidney Comissiong & Ruth Watson, Michael Kelleher, Ellen MacLean, Dr. Frank Odlum, Henry Wheatley, Albert and Lonnie Willis, Alton Adams Inc., BetterRoads Asphalt Corp, Birch, deJongh, Hindels and Hall, Maho Bay Campgrounds, Miller Properties, Lisa DePrimo, LLC, Stryker, Duensing, Casner and Dollison, Toyota, United Health Care, the V.I. Urologic Center and the Yssis Group.
The balance of the kickoff contributions, $18,405, came from the United Way board of directors and staff members.
The money raised by the campaign supports the following local, human service agencies: American Red Cross, V.I. Council of Boy Scouts of America, Catholic Charities of the Virgin Islands, Civil Air Patrol, Downstreet People's Youth in Action, Dial-A-Ride St. John, Dial-A-Ride St. Thomas, Ebenezer Gardens, Girl Scout Council, Legal Services of the Virgin Islands, Lutheran Reformation Summer Program, St. Thomas Reformed Church Summer Program, V.I. Institute for Teaching and Learning, and the Yellow Cedar Group Home. Funds raised will also support United Way's Venture Grant program.
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