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Valero donates $570,000 to children’s charities

Valero Energy Corporation is fulfilling their promise to support children’s charities with the presentation of $570,000 in grants to 19 charities on Wednesday.

Scott Ferguson, a founder of Adaptive Sports for Kids, explained the grant is necessary to the non-profit organization that allows children and young adults with special needs the opportunity to play in sports at no cost.

“All of our programs are free to families,” Ferguson said. “The children receive uniforms, trophies and we also must pay for insurance. This donation is a huge, huge thing for us.”

Approximately 500 children per year do through ASK programs in a variety of sports.

“We started this with the goal not to charge families. A lot of children have expensive medications and at the same time we want all kids to have the opportunity to play sports,” he said. “We are fortunate and blessed and we are thankful for Valero and the hundreds of organizations that help sponsor us so we in turn are able to do this.”

YMCA CEO Bud Oliver is also counting his blessings. The Valero donation will help the YMCA with youth sports, afterschool programs and Y Reads Literacy program.

“Without the partnership from groups like Valero we would be turning kids away,” Oliver said. The sponsorship of Valero helps keep the programs that benefit about 600 children, up and running.

Research shows that children who read will excel over children who don’t through the school years. The goal is to get books into the hands of children, he added.

The Y also works with students on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, or STEM. Oliver noted the U.S. is behind other countries in these courses hence the reason for focus on the subjects.

Barbara Phillips, Valero public affairs spokesperson, thanked the various agency representatives for their work with children as well as the supporting businesses that helped raise $10.4 million this year and more than $100 million since the inception of the drive in 2002. The goal, Phillips said, was to reach $100 million but that doesn’t mean they will stop their work.

The children’s charities included: Adaptive Sports for Kids, Communities in Schools, Girl’s Haven, Boy’s Haven, Buckner Children and Family Services, CASA of Southeast Texas, IEA- Inspire, Encourage, Achieve, YMCA of Port Arthur, LAW (Love at Work), First Tee-Golden Triangle, Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council, Southeast Texas Senior Volunteer Programs (Foster Grandparents), Boy Scouts of America, 578 Three Rivers Council, Family Services of Southeast Texas, Hope Women’s Resource Center, Special Olympics Texas Inc., Southeast Texas Food Bank and Catholic Charities- Elijah’s Place, Christus Health Foundation-Children’s Miracle Network.

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