By Susan Miller
Missourian Staff Writer
It was a true victory celebration Tuesday night as the Franklin County Area United Way saluted top corporate and individual donors who helped raise a record $1,040,723 in the annual campaign.
This year’s goal was $1,000,060 in honor of the United Way’s 60th anniversary here.
“Thanks to your generosity, we will be able to continue helping over 70,000 people in Franklin County,” David Strubberg, United Way board president and campaign co-chair, told the 100-plus in attendance at Jesuit Hall in Downtown Washington.
“We knew when we set a $1 million-plus goal it was going to be a challenge, especially after not reaching the goal last year until well past the end of the campaign,” Strubberg said. “Never before in our history has this lofty of a goal been met on time.
“We realize that many requests and demands are made of you, and we are grateful to you for supporting the United Way,” he said.
A leading force behind the success of the campaign was the board of directors, said Strubberg, who also recognized his campaign co-chair Stephen Trentmann, the United Way staff, office volunteers, and others.
A special guest at the victory reception was Orv Kimbrough, president and CEO of the United Way of Greater St. Louis.
Board members and advisory council members in attendance were introduced, along with staff and volunteers. Campaign representative Janet Hubbard also was given special recognition for her work on the campaign.
Trentmann said the five pilot companies that spearheaded the drive, holding their in-house campaigns early helped to motivate other companies to do the same. They include Clemco Industries, Heritage Bank, Homeyer Precision Manufacturing, Schnucks in Washington and the Union School District.
“We recognize and appreciate the efforts of these five to set the standard for other companies to follow,” he said.
Combined, the pilot companies raised a total of $75,469.
The top corporate donor this year is Melton Machine & Control Company in Washington with a total donation of $114,010, a 35 percent increase over last year.
Melton edged out Ameren Missouri for the top spot. The power company came in second with a donation of $110,828.
Rounding out the Top 5 corporate contributors are Bank of Washington, $65,200; Mercy Washington, $42,405; and Parker Hannifin-Sporlan Division, Washington, $40,593.
Trentmann said the Top 5 brought in a total of $373,036, which represents 36 percent of the campaign attainment.
“All five of these companies should be commended for their great leadership and outstanding commitment for providing health and human services for the citizens of our region,” he said.
Completing the Top 10 are CG Power Systems USA Inc., Washington, $30,010; Clemco Industries, Washington, $23,225; The Missourian Publishing Co., Washington, $22,997; Bank of Franklin County, $20,950; and NuStar Energy LP, Hermann, $19,010.
Individual leadership donors who made significant donations through the Henry Hartbauer program also were recognized. Membership in this program is based upon annual individual giving at five levels beginning at $1,000.
In all, 141 people participated in the leadership program, which is named after the founder of the United Way.
Trentmann said the leadership gifts “truly shows” what the power of one person can do.
“This group sets the bar high and encourages others to follow,” he said.
There were 116 individual leadership givers in the Feltmann Circle, $1,000-$2,000; 17 in the Vossbrink Circle, $2,500-$4,999; four in the Bodenweiser Circle, $5,000-$7,499; one in the Kruel Circle, $7,500-$9,999; and three in the Louis B. Eckelkamp Society, $10,000-plus.
In honor of Henry Hartbauer, the United Way presents a $1,000 community service grant to one of its agencies or programs each year. This year’s recipient is Grace’s Place in Washington.
Each year, three traveling trophies are awarded to companies for outstanding performance during the campaign.
Melton Machine received the Largest Contributor Award, which was started 18 years ago.
United Way officials said Melton has been a strong supporter for many years. This is the first time the company has landed in the No. 1 spot.
“Please accept our gratitude for all you do for the United Way and the people of our community,” Strubberg told Melton representatives.
The Greatest Percentage Increase in Giving Award was presented to Heritage Community Bank which raised $11,033 — a “spectacular” increase of 221 percent, United Way officials said.
The Red Feather Award was presented to the Union School District which had an increase of $10,378 this year.
The United Way board also saluted Strubberg and Trentmann for chairing the campaign.
United Way Executive Director Kim Strubberg, who stepped into the role this summer, said directing her first campaign has been a memorable experience.
“I’ve always believed the people of Franklin County are some of the most generous, caring people around, but I don’t think I really understood the caliber and reach of that generosity until the last few months,” she said. “I’m truly humbled, and even more proud, to call Franklin County my home.”