Athens Review, Athens, Texas

December 18, 2013

United Way fundraisers planned

Chad Wilson
The Athens Review

Athens — The Henderson County United Way campaign for 2013-2014 is well underway and a couple of fundraising events are planned for the new year.

Chairman Tony Kalawe said the organization has received close to $40,000 in donations towards its goal of $185,000.

While donations are still rolling in, two events are planned to start the new year that will help the organization reach its fund-raising goal.

The Harlem Ambassadors will challenge area business leaders, political figures and other members of the community in basketball action at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 16.

Played at Trinity Valley Community College, the game will pit the Ambassadors against members of the community 19-years old and above.

While all the details have not been set, tickets for the game will be $10 while player fees are $200 per player.

United Way secretary Mary Waddell said players are encouraged to get sponsors for the event. Members of the Athens team can not be a part of a college or professional team.

“We are looking for members of the community to play on our team,” Waddell said. “We need 20 people on the team.”

According to its website, the mission of the Harlem Ambassadors is to deliver a quality basketball show to its audiences throughout the United States and internationally.

The show is designed to be fun for customers of all ages, with youngsters being awed for the first time and older folks enjoying the tried-and-true gags like a rerun of a favorite comedy movie.

“The Ambassadors’ operation is professional in all aspects. In addition to having a wholesome family entertainment product, we are also good citizens and willing role models for youth, promoting the values of staying in school, staying off drugs and fostering racial harmony,” the site reads.

While they are in Henderson County, the Ambassadors will speak to students at Athens Middle School and LaPoyner ISD about the importance of staying in school and away from drugs.

Event sponsorships are available at different levels. For $1,500, an event sponsor will receive six tickets to the game, have its name on the T-shirts and flyers while being publicly recognized at the event. Quarter sponsorships, player sponsors and school assembly sponsors are also needed.

Sponsors will be invited to join the Ambassadors for dinner after the game. Holiday Inn of Athens has sponsored a hotel room for the Ambassadors.

For more information on the Harlem Ambassadors appearance, or to play in the game, contact Mary Waddell at 903-670-3324 or email

A second event in the planning stages for the United Way is the luau on March 1. Details of that event have not been released.

There are 21 agencies in Henderson County that receive support as part of the 2013-14 campaign. Those agencies are Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), East Texas Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, East Texas Crisis Center, Family Resource Center, Labor of Love, Disciples Clinic, Girls Scouts of Northeast Texas, Henderson County Teen Court, Boy Scout Troop 11, Cain Center, American Red Cross, Meals on Wheels, Cedar Creek Library, Henderson County 4-H, United Way Help Line, Child Advocacy Program, New Beginnings/After Baby Comes, UW Children’s Emergency Fund/Assistance for the elderly, Salvation Army, Family Peace Project and Boy Scout Troop 342.

The deadline for the 2013-14 campaign is August 31, 2014.