Dr. Rick and Anita R. White

Dr. Richard B. “Rick” White and Anita R. White will co-chair United Way’s Charmaine Chapman Leadership Society once again in 2019, which is the 25th anniversary for one of the nation’s top philanthropic programs for African Americans. The society is comprised of African Americans who pledge an annual gift of $1,000 or more to United Way.

Members will celebrate the society’s anniversary with the co-chairs at a fundraising kickoff event at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, August 29 at The Coronado, 3701 Lindell Blvd.

The spouses also led the society’s 2018 fundraising campaign efforts, when they raised $3.9 million for United Way.

Dr. Rick White, who is executive medical director of health plan affairs for SSM Health Care, said society members “embody a culture of caring and generosity.” Anita White serves as treasurer of The Archway (MO) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated. She spent her career in IT and finance, including serving as faculty at California State University Fresno and as an adjunct assistant professor at University of Missouri-St. Louis’ School of Business.

Since the society was founded in 1994 by Donald M. Suggs, publisher of The St. Louis American and president of the St. Louis American Foundation, it has raised more than $42 million, according to Michelle Tucker, president and CEO, United Way of Greater St. Louis. Tucker called the society “a true testament of the generosity and commitment to our community.”

The society is named after Charmaine Chapman, the first woman and first African American to head United Way of Greater St. Louis as its president and chief executive officer from 1994 until 2001.

Wayman Smith III was the society’s first chair in 1994 and served three terms. Other co-chairs in its 25-year history include David B. Price; John and Barbara Jacob; Dave and Thelma Steward; Arnold and Hazel Donald; Johnny and Minga Furr; Larry Thomas; Deborah Patterson; Michael and Gail Holmes; Richard Mark; Maurice and Brenda Newberry; Reuben and D’Anne Shelton; Keith Williamson; and Ann Marr.

At the fundraising kickoff event on Thursday, August 29 at The Coronado, Ptah Williams will perform and there will be a panel conversation featuring Adrian Bracy, president and CEO of YWCA of St. Louis; Johnny Furr Jr., former corporate vice president of Anheuser-Busch; Emily Pitts, principal of diversity and inclusion with Edward Jones; and Suggs. Andre Stevens, principal at Slalom, will serve as moderator.

United Way of Greater St. Louis helps one in three people in the region it serves, which includes 16 counties in Missouri and Illinois. Its mission it to help build a foundation for a good quality of life through basic needs, financial stability, education, health and strong communities. For more information, contact 314-421-0700 or visit www.HelpingPeople.org.

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