The co-chairs of this year’s Franklin County Area United Way campaign said there’s a lot to be thankful for this season.

Although the drive fell short of its $1 million goal, a record $969,709 was raised which will go a long way toward touching the lives of those people in Franklin County who need it the most, said Becky Buhr, who spearheaded the campaign with Brad Mitchell.

The total is an 8.9 percent increase, or $79,196 over last year’s attainment of $890,513.

“I think when you set a goal and you fall short of that goal it is only natural to feel disappointment,” said Mitchell. “However, any feelings of disappointment that I have are easily outweighed by how thrilled I am with what we were able to raise.”

Buhr said the United Way board is “absolutely thrilled” with the results.

“We were incredibly fortunate to have so many companies and individuals in Franklin County really step up to answer the call this year,” she said. “With over $1 million in funding requests from our agencies, this nearly $80,000 increase will make a huge difference.”

Buhr said the past four campaigns have been very tough, so a nearly 9 percent increase and a record-setting campaign are phenomenal given that there is still a lot of economic uncertainty here in Franklin County.

“An increase at this level, in this economy, is tremendous,” Mitchell added. “This shows what a wonderful, caring community Franklin County is.”

The current and future success of the United Way campaign is not about a few people giving a lot, but it is about a lot of people giving, he stressed.

“So, from the bottom of our heart, we want to extend a sincere thank you to everyone who made this campaign the success it was,” the co-chairs said.

Top Contributors

Paula Obermark, executive director, said the entire community of businesses, individuals and organizations should take great pride in what they accomplished.

Leading the campaign this year is Ameren Missouri with a donation of $105,035, which represents a 2 percent increase over last year.

“This is an amazing feat in light of the fact of its voluntary separation program that reduced its number of employees,” Obermark said.

The second highest corporate contributor is Melton Machine and Control Company, Washington, she said, which increased its donation a “phenomenal” 20 percent to $84,354 with just 88 employees.

“Coming in third is the Bank of Washington, a strong and steadfast supporter, with a donation of $65,057, an increase of 10 percent,” she said. “Fourth is Sporlan, a division of Parker Hannifin, with a huge 38 percent increase in giving, totaling $48,973.”

New to the Top 5 is Mercy Hospital Washington with gifts and pledges of $36,394.

Rounding out the Top 10 in order are CG Power Systems, $30,000; Clemco Industries, $21,189; Missourian Publishing Co., $21,000; NuStar Energy LP, $20,119; and Bank of Franklin County $17,538.

“Historically, approximately 68 percent of all contributions come from a combination of 30 companies, individuals and organizations,” Obermark said.

In the United Way’s final push, the Moog family of St. Louis pledged nearly $21,000 to the drive. This is in addition to a previous contribution of $5,000.

“Their generous gifts to support the delivery of critical United Way health and human services in Franklin County were donated by the Hubert C. and Dorothy R. Moog Charitable Trust, the Trio Foundation of St. Louis and individual family members,” Obermark said.

Agency and program funding applications will be reviewed in November and December by the United Way allocations committee with funding recommendations made to the full board Jan. 8, 2013.

Obermark said over $1,039,000 in 2013 funding requests have been submitted to the Franklin County Area United Way.