Sue Fleming, The Freer Press

President of United Way John Ulbricht along with Executive Director Peggy M. Duncan and Norma Lozano, Campaign Director which are based in Laredo bestowed Community Initiative Venture Grants totaling $35,000 to three local organizations in Freer last Thursday.

Receiving grant awards during a special noon luncheon held at the Best Western were the Freer Rotary Club for a check for $12,700, which will be used to renovate the Rotary Park building, and First Baptist Church for a check totaling $14,400 to purchase food for the local food bank and pay for DASH youth center repairs.

Also a check for $7,900 was given to the Freer Volunteer Fire Department/EMS to purchase a UTV skid unit.

Marvin Hensley, ConocoPhillips Philantrophic Team Chairman, began the presentation with an update regarding the company's strong fundraising efforts. He announced a goal of more than $400,000 had been reached during last fall's campaign.

Ulbricht then addressed those gathered, "We are grateful to ConocoPhillips, Texas Energy, Dorsal Services, Freer Iron Works/Duval Lease for their commitment to the United Way. We are blessed to give it back to the community."

The United Way, in partnership with companies such as these, have been fortunate to be able to raise monies each year in an effort to help provide funds for the needs of communities located in the south Texas area, and certainly hope to continue to do so for many years to come, Albricht said.