Area employees find incentives to give

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 17, 1999

Grab a dictionary and start looking for superlatives like "awesome" or "terrific" or "fantastic.

Wednesday, November 17, 1999

Grab a dictionary and start looking for superlatives like "awesome" or "terrific" or "fantastic."

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In three weeks, the United Way of Mower County, Inc., fund drive has gone from the 55 percent mark to 93 percent.

The reason, in large part, a record-setting $64,577 contribution from Quality Pork Processors, Inc.

Seventy-six percent of the QPP work force contributed to the campaign. That’s three of every four employees at the second-largest employer in Mower County.

But there were other reasons.

Mower County government, led by Joy Kanne, Jeff Weaver and Al Cordes has reached 120 percent of the section’s goal. Meanwhile, Joyce Reynen and Tami Oldfather reported the health care section is at the 119 percent mark.

Want more good news? Julie McHugh reported the real estate section is at the 114 percent mark.

Reynen said Austin Medical Center – Mayo Health System’s participation rate jumped from 37 to 61 percent.

"I think one of the reasons is we offered more incentives to the employees, prizes for different levels of giving, and there was an increased awareness this year among the employees," Reynen said.

The third report meeting Tuesday overflowed with positivity.

Twenty-five agencies depend upon the annual United Way fund drive for funds. The goal of this year’s campaign is $600,000 and at this point – nine weeks in – the campaign is at the $556,847 or 93 percent mark.

That prompted Randy Kramer, campaign chair, to announce, "The Victory Party will be held Dec. 7, beginning at 5 p.m. at Holiday Inn of Austin."

For the last 19 years, the annual United Way campaign has met or surpassed its goal. Setting a record for the 20th consecutive year would be unprecedented for United Way campaigns anywhere.

The friendly rivalry between the two divisions of the United Way campaign intensified with Tuesday’s report. Jerry Adwell’s blue team has raised $312,663 compared to Kris Johnson’s maroon team which has raised $244,184 or 90 percent of its goal.

Both Kramer and Amy J. Baskin, executive director of the United Way organization, credited with the creative campaigns being run by individual businesses for helping push the fund drive toward its goal.

Nowhere was that more evident than at QPP.

Quality giving happens at Quality Pork

With money provided by Local 9 of the United Food and Commercial Workers union and time off provided by QPP, the employee pledging $2.50 per week could earn one-full week of paid vacation in 2000.

Two dollars a week earns one day of vacation in 2000 in the kill and cut departments individually and one day from all other departments.

A pledge of $1.75 a week qualified two donors from the day and night shifts each to a pair of Minnesota Vikings or Minnesota Timberwolves tickets. Three employees making $1.75 per week pledges could earn special parking stalls and $1.50 per week gave employees on the day and night shifts the opportunity to be "supervisor for a day."

A dollar a week pledge earned 10 donors free lunch at the QPP cafeteria.

In all, 54 prize incentives were made available this year to QPP employees.

This is the 10th anniversary of the birth of QPP in Austin, which marks the United Way campaign success even sweeter.

The $64,577 from QPP is more than 10 percent of the entire campaign’s goal. Last year, the company raised $56,855, an average of $83 from each employee. This year, the $64,577 amounts to an average contribution of $90 per employee.

The goal of this year’s campaign at QPP was $57,000.

Dennis LeBarron, business agent for the Local 9 unit at QPP, was joined by Butch Laack, a QPP employee and vice president of Local 9’s board of directors, plus workers, Carrie Silva and Norma Hauschildt. David Drommerhausen, QPP’s controller, represented the employer’s salaried workers.

"We’re very happy with our workers," said LeBarron. "It shows the willingness of the employees to give back to the community that has helped them so much," said Laack. "The United Way has helped a lot of QPP employees and it’s obvious they appreciate that help," said Drommerhausen.

Silva and Hauschildt praised the 18 employees who canvassed the Austin plant for donations and said the campaign was helped by choosing solicitors who know the QPP employees and can better explain how giving once helps 25 different charities.

With only three weeks left in the campaign, Kramer and Baskin reminded all United Way volunteers to turn in their pledge cards as quickly as possible.