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Williamson’s Notes: Goodbye, Henry

Henry Ebel knew what it meant to Live United.

Henry was a Loyal Contributor to United Way for more than 50 years, and for as many years as any of our staff members can remember, he oversaw the United Way employee giving campaign at The Reily Companies, even as a retiree from the organization. Like clockwork, Henry would call us at the beginning of each campaign year, ready to plan out the presentations and volunteer activities for all of their workplaces. And when a new United Way staff member would join the team, the first call they received was from Henry.

Year after year, Henry would attend Employee Campaign Coordinator trainings at United Way, learning new things about our work in the community and bringing everything he knew back to his co-workers, encouraging them to increase their annual contributions. Because of his leadership and the incredibly generous support from the Reily Foundation and its corporate leaders, The Reily Companies have contributed more than $5 million to United Way since 1995.

Henry was a dedicated volunteer outside of United Way’s fundraising efforts as well. He was actively engaged in his community, both in St. Bernard Parish and in St. Tammany, where he moved following Hurricane Katrina. He loved working with children and giving what he could to keep each one on a path to prosperity.

Throughout his years of service to United Way, we tried to think of new ways to recognize and thank Henry for his selfless contributions of time, talent, and treasure. Awards and certificates were never enough to show our gratitude. Three years ago we came close when we had the great honor of spotlighting his generosity and his dedication to United Way on a larger scale by featuring him in our 2015 United Way video and sharing his story with more than 40,000 individuals across our region.

We have lost a beloved member of our United Way family, and are deeply saddened by his passing. Henry Ebel’s impact on our community will be forever appreciated and will continue through every Loyal Contributor within The Reily Companies, through the children and families prospering because of his support, and through every individual who gives, advocates or volunteers in service of others because of the example he set. 

Michael Williamson 
President & CEO
United Way of Southeast Louisiana