I went to a great party last week. It was held outdoors, in nearly 100-degree heat on an asphalt parking lot and everyone had a great time!

It was for MUFFY. MUFFY! The Montgomery United Fund For You. 

The party was the "kickoff" for Valero's 2014 fund drive but it was really a celebration for what Valero employees at the Linden plant had already accomplished. 

The 60-some who work for Valero in Linden were on track to give more money to MUFFY than they gave last year by thousands of dollars. 

The company celebrated the employees' accomplishment by having a dunk tank, a corn hole tournament and lunch on a Wednesday in the middle of a work week. 

A corporate big wig flew in from San Antonio, Texas, to present plant manager Rob Malnight with a plaque honoring the plant for its 100 percent participation in MUFFY last year. 

Lisa Cooper, who organized the drive for the Linden plant, said that was nothing extraordinary; she had been to similar kickoffs this year in other states. 

Bill Day, a company spokesman, told me that Valero has always been supportive of the United Way since the company began. 

Employees can designate where their contribution goes and since there is no United Way in Montgomery County, Montgomery County employees usually designate their gift for MUFFY, Lisa said. 

Everywhere I go, I hear the same tired song: This economy is bad. Our company is barely holding on. I can't afford anything. 

But here is an energy company, Valero, in a terrible economy They buy corn; anyone notice the price of corn lately or that Valero has had to stop production more than once in recent memory? But the company bought lunch for its employees and planned a great time for them during a work week. No wonder the employees give so much!

You know what MUFFY does. Dozens of wonderful agencies are able to serve their thousands of clients in Montgomery County because of your gift. If you are an employer, what are you doing to motivate your people to share? They may be waiting for your example.