NICHOLSON — Fundraisers from Williams Energy hope to double their money, that is, money raised for United Way groups across Northeast Pennsylvania.
At last year’s BBQ Cook-Off in Nicholson, the pipeline company raised $40,000 to be spread around United Way chapters in the Wyoming Valley, Susquehanna County and Wyoming County. The Broome County, N.Y., chapter received money, as well.
Organizers are attempting to double that contribution during their BBQ Cook-Off today at Nicholson Carnival Grounds in Wyoming County.
Williams Northeast Spokeswoman Helen Humphreys said they invite their neighbors and subcontractors to compete in the cook-off. Many contributions come as large donations from their partners.
United Way of the Wyoming Valley received $5,000 from last year’s fundraiser, according to chapter President Bill Jones.
Williams, headquartered in Texas, operates the Transco pipeline and its extensions, which run from the Gulf of Mexico to New York City. They manage infrastructure for many natural gas wells and compressor stations in the Marcellus Shale region, as well.
Williams matches each dollar raised for the United Way groups. The eating’s pretty good, too, Humphreys said, who is a board member of the United Way of the Wyoming Valley.
“One of the things the Marcellus has done, it has brought people from other parts of the country,” Humphreys said. “They’re bringing bits of the culture with them. You’ll hear them boast about their BBQs. People take a great deal of pride in their BBQ.”
The event opens up new revenue streams for the United Way, Jones said. Donors get involved who normally don’t contribute to charity.
“This … is a unique event that people have really responded to. And they’ve brought new resources to the United Ways through this innovative fundraising,” Jones said.
“There are businesses (in Luzerne County) that are suppliers, that are a part of the gas industry. It’s another way for those suppliers to get an idea of what the United Way does.”