Workers at Hormel top their goal

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 6, 2000

On the same day the United Way of Mower County Inc.

Wednesday, December 06, 2000

On the same day the United Way of Mower County Inc. reached a successful conclusion to its fund drive, Douglas Charron and co-workers at Hormel Foods Corp.’s flagship plant were basking in media attention.

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Charron, chairman of the Hormel Foods Austin plant United Way fund drive this year, announced employees pledged $80,209 to this year’s campaign.

Charron credited the "generosity of the people" with the record-setting total, but also said a better-organized fund drive and offering incentives helped set the record.

This year’s Hormel Foods Austin plant goal was to raise $54,530, so the $80,209 in pledges represents 137.7 percent of that goal.

Last year, the plant workers were challenged to raise $54,000 and came through with pledges of $58,251.

Charron and his campaign staff recruited 923 workers to pledge to the United Way this year, compared to 770 a year ago.

Charron and committee members held a brief news conference Tuesday afternoon at the Austin plant to present a symbolic check to Amy J. Baskin, executive director of the United Way, and Jerry Adwell, general campaign chairman.

Baskin and Adwell expressed their appreciation to Charron and the committee members for their efforts.

Charron said the successful effort began with the support and encouragement of plant manager Jeff Nuytten. Then, came a series of meetings beginning in September to plan canvassing the plant’s 52 departments and more than 1,800 workers.

"Three weeks into the campaign we had already exceeded this year’s goal and things just got better after that," Charron said.

Charron’s committee included Jennifer Wampler, Chad Soukup, Chris Shaw and Scott Oakland.

He credited John Morrison, Dan Bartel and Gary Morgan, Local 9 bargaining unit representatives, with conceiving the idea of offering an incentive: one week of paid vacation. The lucky employee whose name was drawn among the contributors was Jerome Rickerl.

Nuytten congratulated Charron and the committee members for their efforts and the plant workers for their generosity.

"The generosity shown was exemplary. The workers came through with a very strong effort," Nuytten said.