QPP workers help United Way over top for campaign

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 1, 2000

Quality Pork Processors Inc.

Friday, December 01, 2000

Quality Pork Processors Inc. has put the 2000 United Way of Mower County Inc. campaign over the top for the second year in a row.

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The $625,000 goal was officially reached and surpassed with Tuesday’s announcement of the QPP pledges.

The QPP campaign came through with pledges of $81,650 this year. The campaign goal was $65,000, or the amount reached by QPP workers a year ago. An amazing 81 percent of the QPP work force has pledged contributions to the United Way fund drive this year.

How did they do it? Answer: by involving everybody.

Controller David Drommerhausen said the hands-on approach of QPP campaign volunteers were the key.

"The solicitors cared and it showed," Drommerhausen said. "They deserve the credit. They went to everyone one-on-one and explained what United Way does and how they can help."

President and CEO Kelly Wadding agreed.

"It was a great team effort," Wadding said. "They did a sensational job."

The key volunteers were a group of 15 QPP employees, including Georgina Barnett, Norma Hauschildt, Marco Oliverez, Anne Lynch, Nick Pool, Cruz Torres, Frank Karnes Jr., Carrie Silva, Angela Viet, Duoc Nguyen, Mireya Hart, Yamileth Cantu, Juan Garcia and Laura Doty.

Dennis LeBarron, business agent for Local 9 of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union in the plant, said incentives also helped inspire the QPP workers’ generosity.

Atop the list was an offer by the "boss" himself, Wadding, to do a worker’s job for a Heart Club – $500 or more pledged – for a day. But the most coveted prize was one full week of paid vacation next year donated by Local 9 for pledges of $2.50 or more.

One day of vacation in the kill, cut and all other departments next year went to someone who pledged $2 or more a week.

Six pair of Minnesota Vikings, Wild or Timberwolves tickets, United Way parking stalls, the opportunity to be a supervisor for a day and free lunch in the QPP cafeteria were other incentives.

In all, 59 prizes will be given away to QPP workers when the drawings are held.

LeBarron echoed the sentiments that the campaign solicitors helped make the fund drive such a huge success.

"It was the solicitors. There’s no question about that," LeBarron said. "All the team workers did a great job explaining the campaign and what the United Way does and they showed how our workers could give back to the community through the United Way.

According to Drommerhausen’s tabulations, there are 924 United Way givers among QPP’s work force, the second largest in all of Mower County. The production workers’ solicitations accounted for a 26 percent increase over last year’s $64,928 in pledges. There are 210 Heart Club members – $500 or more pledged – among the QPP total or 23 percent of all givers.

Eleven of 12 production departments exceeded their goals as well as QPP management.

When Jerry Adwell, campaign chair, and Amy Baskin, executive director of United Way of Mower County Inc., adjusted the donations thermometer along Fourth Street NW Thursday afternoon to show the campaign had reached its goal, representatives of the QPP soliciting team watched and cheered.

Two solicitors, Hauschildt and Torres, praised their fellow QPP workers.

Torres, a loin bonder for six years at QPP, said, "The workers all did a good job in giving. This is our way of giving back to the community."

Hauschildt, now in her third year on the kill floor, said having bilingual members on the soliciting team helped.

"We were able to explain one on one to everybody just what the United Way does and how they can help the United Way to help others."

A victory party has been scheduled for noon Tuesday at Holiday Inn of Austin for the United Way fund drive division leaders, section leaders and other volunteers to celebrate surpassing this year’s $625,000 goal.

Just how far beyond the goal the campaign has gone remains to be seen.

Still to come is Hormel Foods Corp.’s plant workers campaign report – said to be in the $80,000 range also – as well as the company’s corporate drive.

Twenty-seven United Way agencies providing more than 70 programs and services will benefit from the funds raised.