Valero aids children’s groups

WELCOME – Five local youth-oriented groups received $6,400 donations Wednesday from the Valero ethanol plant in Welcome.

The funds were raised through the 2013 Valero Texas Open and Benefit for Children Golf Classic in San Antonio, where Valero is based. This year, a record-setting $10 million was raised. Valero will donate the money to children’s charities in communities where the company is located.

“We have chosen and honored five great local agencies, and we appreciate the work you do for our area’s children,” said Nicole Gries, plant manager of Welcome plant. “They’ve been chosen because of the success in their missions.”

The five organizations are:

o Fairmont Area Kinship

o Martin County Youth For Christ

o Minnesota Valley Action Council-Martin County Head Start Program

o Youth First-Services for Challenging Youth of Martin County

o Fairmont Kids Kamp/Stepping Stones Child Care Center.

“This is a great contribution from your company,” said Char Kahler of Fairmont Area Kinship. “You’ve done so much for us.”

Kahler later added that the funds have helped with a “Best in Elementary” program, by working with the families of elementary students.

“It also brings younger children into the program,” Kahler said.

Martin County Youth for Christ reported the funds will go toward scholarships for summer camp, while other groups were not quite sure how the funds will be used.

“We are getting more kids and more classrooms,” said Shea Ripley, a mentor and teacher at Stepping Stones Daycare. “This will help.”

“These gifts give our community agencies the ability to continue their good work for the children they serve,” Gries said. “We appreciate all that these agencies do to improve children’s lives. With an uncertain economy and continued financial pressure around our nation, it gives us great joy to support the children of our local communities once again.”

Valero has made donations to local children’s charities since acquiring its ethanol plant near Welcome in 2009.