Community volunteers honored during United Way appreciation dinner


United Way of Eastern Utah held its second annual volunteer appreciation dinner Tuesday at the Tuscan Event Center.

The United Way honored several individuals and gave thanks to the many businesses who step up and help keep United Way a big part of the community.

Ralph Escamilla was one of three community members recognized at the event. He was presented with the Community Service Award for his tireless dedication to the community. Escamilla is always the first to ask, “What can I do? Put me to work.”

“Time is a precious commodity, and one of the challenges of getting something done isn’t always the money and materials, but individuals willing to spend their time physically investing in their community,” said United Way Executive Director Bill Maikranz.

Maikrannz aslo added “We appreciate the service that Ralph has not only given for the United Way, but to several aspects of our community. He is one of the master gardeners that is helping the community garden at the food bank become successful. He also belongs to the Utah Friends of Paleontology as well as is a regularly volunteer at the Prehistoric Museum, among several projects he takes on as he sees the need.”

Fresh Market Manager Dick Raich was recognized for the significant contributions and partnership that Fresh Market makes to the efforts of United Way of Eastern Utah. Raich continues to step up to any task ask of him and his business.

“A true leader will always teach by example, for not only has Mr. Raich set a standard of volunteerism with his employees of Fresh Market, but also in his home life,” said United Way Board Member Ethan Migliori. “One of his daughters is currently serving with the Teach for America Program, which places educational professionals in poverty stricken area of our country with the hopes improving the quality of education for children in poverty.”

Community businessman and community leader, Tony Basso, was honored for his philanthropy in the community. Board member, Debra Dull took a few minutes to spotlight a few of the many ways he contributes to the success of United Way.

Dull stated, “Our community is very fortunate to have a person who truly cares,” said Dull. “He does not ‘beat his own drum’ or try to bring attention to himself. In many cases, this individual gives generously, but anonymously.”

She added, “his compassion to humanity is exemplified in his support of the United Way of Eastern Utah; through reduced office rent, matching employee contributions, angel tree participation and sponsoring this appreciation dinner to name just a few things.”

In addition to the awards, Campaign Coordinator Carol Wright gave a short PowerPoint presentation of the various projects, activities and grants that United Way has done in the past year. These include their involvement with the Sun Center, Active Re-Entry, Soles for Souls and the Angel Tree, among others.

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