Community Awards

Fred Knipling Spirit of Caring Award

Since 1957, the United Way of Calhoun County has been impacted by the work of hundreds of individuals that have helped shape our community. The core of our service is the spirit of caring. To honor and celebrate those who embody this spirit, the United Way of Calhoun County established the Spirit of Caring award in 2012. The purpose of this award is to recognize the person(s) whose spirit, enthusiasm, and dedication embodies the mission of the United Way of Calhoun County and serves as a role model for service and community involvement.

Creating this prestigious award, the board of directors wanted to recognize and name the award after a person whose passion for the people of Calhoun County was exceeded by their own personal commitment of service through kindness, compassion, and active participation in their community, qualities embodied in the United Way movement. A Port Lavaca native and banker, honored as “Citizen of the Year” twice, “Man of the Year”, and named “One of the 25 Most Influential People in Calhoun County for the Past 100 Years”, Mr. Fred Knipling was honored as the namesake and inaugural recipient of the award in 2012. We honor his continuing legacy and inspiration.


2012 - Fred Knipling

2013 - Mike Elgin

2014 - Laurel Cahill

2015 - Herb Wittliff (posthumous)

2016 - Russel Cain

2017 - No award was given this year due to Hurricane Harvey

2018 - Carolyn Adrian

2019 - Johnny Todd

2023 - Dodie Stuart