UW crowd

Local businesses and volunteers gathered Wednesday at the Gainesville Civic Center to celebrate a successful 2022 fundraising drive by the Cooke County United Way.

The Cooke County United Way celebrated a successful fundraising effort Wednesday, honoring participants in its 2022 campaign with an awards luncheon at the Gainesville Civic Center.

The volunteers in charge of the campaign weren’t sure they would hit their goal of $350,000; however, they stuck to their guns, and the community will benefit more for that.

“Our goal was $350,000,” said Eric Holquin of First United Bank, who chaired the campaign. “We are so blessed that with COVID and with so many people hurting, we still were able to get enough to continue to help our agencies.”

Holquin admitted that the campaign committee considered lowering its target, due to concerns about the uncertain business climate and a possible resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We were talking about maybe even lowering it to like $250,000, but we thought, ‘No, we’re going to go ahead and push forward and really, really just try to see if we can make it happen … we didn't want to have to go down on our grants through our agencies.”

The United Way supports several non-profits agencies across Cooke County, including VISTO (Volunteers in Service to Others), Home Hospice of Cooke County, Cooke County Fair Association, American Red Cross – Texoma Chapter, Abigail’s Arms Child Advocacy Center and several others.

Those agencies will now put together grant applications for help in 2022, and Holquin and his fellow volunteers will start visiting those agencies and making funding decisions early next year.

“We'll start awarding those funds in the second quarter (of 2022),” Holquin said.

Anyone who wants to help out with the 2023 campaign can learn more by visiting www.cookeuw.org/get-involved, calling 940-665-1793 or emailing info@cookeuw.org.​

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