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Oxnard, Sprague families make lead gift
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The Oxnard and Sprague families have made a lead gift of $250,000 to the United Way of the Coastal Empire to expand efforts to assist those affected by the sugar refinery explosion in Port Wentworth.

This contribution to the Dixie Crystals Family Relief Fund created by the Sprague and Oxnard families is in honor of all former and current employees of the Savannah Sugar Refinery.

The donation is being given through The Chatham Foundation, formed by the two families and Savannah Sugar. The Savannah Sugar Refinery was founded by Ben Oxnard in 1917 as a public company and purchased by Imperial Sugar Company, the current owners, in 1997. The Sprague and Oxnard families each had a hand in managing the refinery for generations.

These families hope that this gift will inspire others to contribute to the fund, which will be administered by the United Way of the Coastal Empire. The fund will be used to help the victims and their families who are affected by the destruction caused by a massive explosion and fire at the Imperial Sugar refinery in Port Wentworth on Feb. 7.

One hundred percent of the contributions will go to assist employees and their families during this time of need.