United Way Kicks off fundraising campaign

Published 8:57 am Saturday, August 26, 2017

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader


Live United is the theme for the upcoming fund raising campaign for the United Way of Orange County.

An annual breakfast with the industry management and their campaign chairs and co-chairs as the fast start numbers were announced as well as this year’s goal.

“Between 2006 and 2016 we have had an up year and then a down year,” Board Chair Brian Beach said. “We are breaking the trend this year.”

The $825,000 goal is $25,000 higher than last year’s.

2018 Fast Start Contributors are: 



Bridge City Bank

DuPont Sabine River Works



Granger Chevrolet

First Financial Bank

International Paper



Sabine Federal Credit Union

Steirman Whitfield, CPA’s

United Way of Orange County Staff

With the contributions made by these companies, the United Way has raised $160,000 towards the goal.

United Way Orange County is also presenting Pete’s Dueling Pianos at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9 at the VFW Hall located on Hwy. 87 in Orange.

“The meal will be provided by Old Orange Cafe,” United Way President and CEO Maureen McAllister said. “Tickets will not be available at the door.”

Monday will be the final day to purchase tickets for the event. Tickets may be purchased by call 409-883-3591 or email mmcallister@unitedwayorangecounty.org

Dueling pianos, also known simply as “sing-along”, is a form of entertainment, usually on stage with two grand pianos, each played by a professional piano player who sings and entertains; humor and audience participation are prevalent. Usually these types pianos to go have substantial sound systems, and most of the songs performed are rock and roll, “classic rock”, Top 40, R&B, or country, and today hits played primarily by request.

A typical dueling piano show normally features two – four piano players. They work in teams throughout the night, taking audience requested songs. Patrons can also request that an audience member be brought on stage.

“Bits” are comedic routines or audience participation, many woven in the songs themselves. A commonly used bit can be found in the song Joy to the World by Three Dog Night as one piano player will teach the crowd “sign language” that accompanies the song, then bringing up an audience member to demonstrate, according to the official website.

During the event, there will also be a silent auction and an auction. Items for the auctions are available for preview at the United Way Facebook page.

“We would not be able to do this without our sponsors,” McAllister said.

United Way of Orange County Presents Pete’s Dueling Pianos event sponsors are:

We Are The Champions Sponsor

  • International Paper

I Love Rock N’ Roll Sponsor

  • Sabine River Ford

Don’t Stop Believin’ Sponsors

  • Sabine FCU
  • Complete Staffing

Walk This Way Sponsors

  • Cowling and Burtsfield Wealth Management
  • Innovative Air Solutions
  • Bridge City Bank
  • Granger Chevrolet
  • First Financial Bank
  • Sherry Hommel / ReMax
  • DuPont SRW
  • Wells Fargo Bank
  • Claybar Funeral Home
  • Golden Triangle Emergency Center
  • Mid-America Mortgage
  • Lamar State College – Orange
  • Nine +

Eye of the Tiger Sponsors

  • Heather Montagne / State Farm
  • Camp Fire
  • Firestone
  • Johnson Mini-Storage
  • Community Bank
  • G&G Enterprises Construction Corp.
  • Chevron Phillips
  • Spine & Sports Medicine
  • Best Hospice Care of Southeast Texas

Additional Sponsors

  • Printpack
  • Moreaux Transportation
  • The Houseman Companies


The United Way of Orange County helps provide funding for 22 non-profit organizations whose existence help benefit Orange County residents.

McAllister, who took the position as President and CEO in January, said she spent time learning about the many agencies the organization works with.

“The one thing that stands out is something one of the director of an agency said to me, ‘You can’t put a price on saving a life.’”