United Way campaign exceeds goal with $6.9 million in pledges

The United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley fundraising campaign exceeded its $6.8 million goal it was announced Thursday, Feb. 21.

Raised in pledges was $6,940,213. It is the most ever raised locally by the United Way.

The United Way also manages the Combined Federal Campaign at Fort Benning which raised an additional $763,943.86.

The announcement was made at a celebration held at the DoubleTree Hotel on Sidney Simons Boulevard.

“We set the bar high this year,” president and CEO of United Way Scott Ferguson, said. “After a very successful campaign last year, we began to immediately work throughout the summer on this campaign. Staff and volunteers met with countless leaders throughout the Chattahoochee Valley in order to determine an achievable goal. We were realistic, but optimistic at the same time. We set out to challenge ourselves and challenge our community. Thank you sometimes doesn’t sound like enough, however, the gratitude that I feel towards the staff, Board of Directors, hundreds of volunteers and most importantly over 20,000 donors is difficult to put into words – together we are making sure people in need are getting help. Help is provided by 26 agencies with 50 programs that are getting results, filling a need and are good stewards of the communities’ gifts. We would not be successful with the outstanding support of our partners.”

Rodney Mahone, 2012 Campaign Chair, president and publisher of the Ledger-Enquirer, said, “I am amazed at the generosity of our community. Particularly in these challenging economic times, to exceed goal is a reflection of our caring community and the work of the United Way staff and volunteers. From my perspective, this means there is a commitment from the community to serve people in need.”

Next year's chairman Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor said was thrilled with the result of this campaign and is ready to work hard.

Awards were presented.

Small, Mid-Size, & Large Companies of the Year Award recognized three companies who ran model. Campaigns in which employees are engaged and educated about United Way. Each of these companies stood out in their category. MeadWestvaco (large), Phenix City Government (midSize), and Brookstone School (small).

The Live United Award was presented to Pratt & Whitney. Ferguson said the company demonstrates a collective “team spirit” for United Way, exceeding expectations every year.

The Chairman’s Award of Excellence was presented to St. Francis Hospital for exceptional campaign performance, volunteer commitment and support and for raising more this year for United Way than ever before.

The President’s Award was presented to Publix Supermarkets. Ferguson said Publix has shown year after year an increased commitment to the United Way Campaign.