TSYS employees donate record $1 million to United Way

It has been a record-breaking day of giving by TSYS employees today.

The credit-card processor, headquartered in Columbus, presented a check for just over $1 million to United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley.

It's the first time a company in the area has given a seven-figure donation during the annual campaign, said Scott Ferguson, president of the local United Way operation.

The presentation was made this morning in the main rotunda at TSYS headquarters, with dozens of employees looking down from the circular rafters above.

"I would have never thought, frankly, in today's economic climate that we would break every record we've ever thought about with United Way, and it's really because of you," said Phil Tomlinson, chairman and chief executive officer, glancing up at the staffers.

TSYS, using the slogan "Live United," had a goal of raising $850,000 for United Way going into the campaign and easily shattered that mark, bringing in $1,030,865 alone from its corporate work force in Columbus. Adding in its local affiliates and offices in Atlanta, Boise, Idaho and Canada, the number topped $1.1 million.

"I'm overwhelmed, but I knew they were going to do a great job," said Abbott Turner, who is chairman of this year's United Way campaign. "It is record-breaking. It's kind of a historic event."

United Way has a goal of raising $6.9 million overall this year. Turner said 58 percent, or slightly more than $4 million, of that goal has been reached.

More than two dozen local agencies rely on United Way to help them stay afloat and assisting area residents, including Easter Seals, the Family Center and Open Door Community House.