United Way Says Thanks for Being the 1

The Franklin County Area United Way announced Tuesday it exceeded its goal by 10 percent, bringing in a total of $1,229,878.37. This year’s theme was Improving Lives Together — Will You Be the 1 to Help. United Way officials asked people to consider gifts in multiples of 1. United Way board members and staff gathered at one of the fundraising gauges to celebrate and thank people for being the 1 to help reach the goal. Front row, from left, are Mary Trentmann and Gregg Wilson, board members; Kim Strubberg, executive director; Whitney Livengood, board president and campaign co-chair; Dustin Jasper, board vice president and co-chair; Jeff Holtmeier, Nadine Aitch and Phillip Kleekamp, board members. -- Missourian Photo.

The Franklin County Area United Way raised a record $1,229,878.37 in its annual fund-raising campaign.

Campaign officials made the announcement Tuesday.

“This is just a phenomenal amount of money and a big win for the community,” said Kim Strubberg, United Way executive director.

The money raised exceeded the goal by 10 percent or $118,767.

Proceeds will be used to support 53 United Way agencies and communities. This past year, more than 65,000 people in Franklin County and the surrounding area were touched by these services.

The two-month drive — the single largest annual campaign in Franklin County — kicked off Sept. 1 and ended Oct. 31.

“We are so thankful to the community for coming through once again to improve the lives of their neighbors,” said Whitney Livengood, United Way president and campaign co-chair.

Officials said the campaign was a bit of a roller coaster this year.

“We started out so strong thanks to the pilot companies and our school districts,” said Livengood. “But then we had a couple of company reports come in that were significantly down. It seemed like those ups and downs continued, but once we were in the homestretch we were optimistic we would hit the goal and even hopefully exceed it.”

Top 10 Companies

Strubberg noted the Top 10 companies brought in a total of $610,218.90, which is almost 50 percent of the attainment. 

The top corporate contributor again this year is Melton Machine & Control/Computech Manufacturing, Washington, which brought in $154,038.40.

The second-highest donor is Ameren Missouri with $127,898.02, followed by the Bank of Washington at $71,052.

Rounding out the Top 10 are Purina Animal Nutrition, $51,664.98; Parker Hannifin, $46,306; Mercy, $40,225.76; WEG, $36,371.41; The Missourian, $31,363.33; Bank of Franklin County, $29,819.00; and Clemco Industries, $21,480.

Strubberg said eight of the Top 10 companies increased their donations this year.

School Districts

Strubberg said the public school districts and parochial schools in Franklin County all ran successful campaigns, bringing in a total of $70,196.76.

“The total includes over $9,000 raised from Penny Wars held at various schools,” she said.

Participating school districts include Washington, Franklin County R-2 New Haven, Meramec Valley, New Haven, St. Clair, Union and Sullivan. Union is still holding penny wars.

Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Francis Borgia grade schools, and St. Francis Borgia Regional High School also participated.

“The generosity of Franklin County residents year after year is amazing,” said Strubberg.

“Everyone knows someone who is helped by the United Way and its agencies,” she said. “We thank every single person who helped us reach our goal. Whether you threw in your change at our coin collection, donated through your company, volunteered at an event — it all made the difference.”

Allocations

With all of the pledges and gifts counted, the United Way board will now turn its attention to allocations.

“This is the really fun part, and so rewarding — distributing the money to our agencies and programs,” Strubberg said.

The first of two allocation meetings will take place Tuesday, Nov. 21. The allocations committee will review agency applications and determine the amount each will receive. The allocations will then be voted on by the entire board at its January meeting.

Also on the agenda is a victory celebration scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 12, at 5 p.m. at Jesuit Hall, Washington. The Top 30 donors, leadership givers and volunteers will be recognized.