Blue Collar Comedy Tour’s Bill Engvall performs at Georgetown High School

Bill Engavall. Courtesy of Google Images.

This past Thursday, in the Klett Performing Arts Center at Georgetown High School, the United Way of Williamson County awarded the 2011 Janet Engvall McTigue Advancing Excellence Award (JEM) to the Samaritan Center for Counseling and Pastoral Care.

The award was presented by the Engvall family in memory of Mctigue, who passed away in 2007. The Engvall family presenting the award included her parents and two sisters, as well as brother Bill Engvall, Jr. who is best known for his part on the Blue Collar Comedy tour.

McTigue was the executive director of the Georgetown Area United Way from 2002 until 2005, and continued to be involved until her passing. The JEM award is an annual award of $10,000 to a local non-profit organization that has been recognized as “advancing excellence” in the past year.

This year’s winner, the Samaritan Center, has provided mental health care and counseling services within a spiritual context for 30 years. The majority of the Samaritan Center’s clients have no health insurance and receive assistance in paying fees. The award will enable the Samaritan Center to continue helping people who would not otherwise be able to afford such care.

After the award was presented, Engvall performed his show, “Live in Georgetown,” to a sold-out crowd. Georgetown High School allowed the use of their auditorium for free, so that all proceeds of ticket sales went to the Williamson County United Way.

United Way has roots as a charitable organization going back as far as 1887, as many faith-based charitable groups began to form Community Chests. These Community Chests began to organize and allocate funds for identifying and building on community strengths.
United Way helps individuals and groups with their specific areas and specialties to work with service programs, community change efforts and to advocate public policy changes.

The United Way of Williamson County identifies its specific goals as a focus on education, income and health. Education is listed first and has two parts. First, to increase the percentage of children who enter school ready to learn, with pre-school programs. Second, to increase the percentage of children who graduate high school on time.

The Samaritan Center has been in Central Texas for 35 years as an “interfaith counseling ministry whose mission is to promote health, healing and wholes through accessible services for the child, adult, family and community.”

The Janet Engvall McTigue Advancing Excellence Award will go to recognizing outstanding volunteers through the Samaritan Center, as well as helping people afford the health care assistance the center has built an outstanding reputation providing.

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