Barbara and Wally Weitz were named the United Way of the Midlands’ 2019 “Citizens of the Year.”

Wally Weitz first heard of United Way when he was 8 years old.

His mother, who volunteered at the Travelers Aid Society, which partnered with the United Way in New Orleans, explained the organization to him.

“She said ‘Well, thousands of people downtown all pool their money, and United Way gives it out to other agencies,’ ” Weitz said. “And well, that seemed like a good idea to me.”

Weitz and his wife, Barbara Weitz, were honored as the 2019 Citizens of the Year at United Way of the Midlands’ annual luncheon on Friday.

More than 500 donors and partner agencies attended the event aimed at honoring local businesses’ support and sharing United Way’s annual progress and future goals, communications manager Brayton Hagge said.

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