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United Way of South Texas Announces the South Texas Hero of the Year

March 29, 2023


The United Way Board of Directors announced Tyler Stone, RIOCO Partners and United Way Board Member, as the 2022 South Texas Hero. Mr. Stone was surprised with the award on February 24th, while surrounded by his family and United Way Board members and staff. His children, ages 6-11, were particularly delighted and proud of their father’s honor.

The South Texas Hero Award is presented to an individual that demonstrates commitment and leadership in the community, through extraordinary engagement in year-round service projects. The award was established in 2008 in honor of Ray Alexander, retired General Manager of KRGV TV 5. Mr. Alexander played an essential role in establishing the Rio Grande Valley’s “211” Information and Referral program, when it was launched by United Way of South Texas in 1996.

Tyler Stone is a key player in the success of RIOCO Partners and the United Way. He has served in several leadership roles during his ten years of service as a UW Board Member, including being Board Chairman, and Campaign and Finance Co-Chair. He is a passionate advocate of the Spirit of Christmas program (formerly 12 Days of Christmas), which was re-launched in 2019. The Spirit of Christmas project is a partnership between United Way of South Texas and The Monitor, which provides critical and life-changing financial support to vulnerable families during the holidays.

“It was such an unexpected honor to be selected to the receive the 2022 South Texas Hero Award, especially when I think about the amazing group of prior recipients,” Tyler Stone said. “We have done so much positive work for the Rio Grande Valley and I am tremendously flattered to be in their company, but none of our effort would be meaningful without the tireless and dedicated work of the entire United Way of South Texas staff and our partner agencies.”

United Way has always been able to count on Mr. Stone for support of the General Campaign, Back-to-School “In Style” Shopping Spree, the Day of Caring, Spirit of Christmas and much more. His dedication to the United Way and community is commendable. “I look forward to continuing working with these incredible organizations for years to come, to improve the lives of those most in need in our community, and hope to continue living up to the standard of citizenship that this award represents,” he said.

Former South Texas Hero recipients include the following: John Herrera, Magic Valley Electric Co-op; Dr. Marla Guerra, South Texas ISD (retired); Adrian Villarreal, IBC Bank; Lee Jones, AEP Texas; Jeanette Ahlenius, Wayland Baptist University; Steve Ahlenius, McAllen Chamber of Commerce; Joe Vera, III, City of McAllen; Commissioner Eduardo “Eddie” Cantu, Hidalgo County Precinct 2; H-E-B; and Dr. J.A. Gonzalez, McAllen ISD.

About United Way:

United Way of South Texas invests in programs that address critical services in the areas of Health, Education, Financial Stability, and Safety Net. The organization supports over 21 non-profit agencies in Hidalgo and Starr Counties that serve a minimum of 178,500 local residents annually. Services provided by United Way of South Texas through Partner Agencies include emergency shelter, family violence counseling, character building programs, child victim advocacy, and infant stimulation classes. To learn more, visit www.unitedwayofsotx.org. If you would like to support United Way programs with a monetary donation, you may mail a tax deductible check to United Way of South Texas at P.O. Box 187, McAllen, TX 78505-0187 or pledge online at https://unitedwayofsotx.org/donate-now/. For volunteer opportunities, visit volunteersotx.org.