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United Way Honors Steel of WV

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By JAMES E. CASTO

For The State Journal

HUNTINGTON – Steel of West Virginia and its workers have been honored for making the largest pledge to the 2012 fund-raising campaign conducted by United Way of the River Cities. The company and employees pledged $104,787.12.

United Way Executive Director Laura Gilliam said this was the first time in recent memory that the organization had received an annual pledge of more than $100,000 from a single business and its workers. Gilliam noted that the company, a long-time United Way donor, had a perfect record of fulfilling its previous pledges.

Steel of West Virginia Vice President John O'Connor and Patrick Combs, representing Local 37 of the United Steel Workers of America (USWA), were presented recognition certificates at a United Way luncheon April 5 at Savannah's Restaurant. Their certificates were among a number awarded at the luncheon, dubbed a "Celebration of Excellence."

Bloss & Dillard insurance was honored in the mid-sized company category, while Basic Supply won honors in the small company category.

The Trendsetter of the Year award was presented to St. Mary's Medical Center, recognizing a revitalized campaign it conducted last year. Gilliam said the hospital increased its pledges from $69,000 in 2011 to $88,554 in 2012.

Merle Core was recognized as Volunteer of the Year. Gilliam said Core, a retired ACF Industries employee, had served in a number of key United Way roles over the years, frequently going "above and beyond" in whatever task he undertook,

Stephanie Rigsby of Jenkins Fenstermaker PLLC was honored as Campaign Coordinator of the Year.

Founded in 1922 as the Huntington Community Chest, United Way of the River Cities serves two dozen partner social service agencies in the Huntington region.