The top corporate contributor in the United Way campaign again this year is Ameren Missouri.

Ameren and other major donors were recognized Tuesday night at a special reception at Jesuit Hall in Washington.

The power company has been the top donor in the annual drive for many years, United Way officials said.

“They are truly wonderful corporate citizens who bring the very best to our community and the citizens of our region,” said Becky Buhr, campaign co-chair.

This year, Ameren Missouri raised a total of $105,105. The donation includes a corporate gift, employee donations, 21 leadership gifts of $1,000 or more and 47 community investor gifts of $500 to $999.

Donations came from the Labadie Power Plant and the Meramec Valley Division in Union.

“Since 1953, Ameren has been with the United Way every step of the way,” said Buhr.

“You have guided and supported us, and we have walked side by side with you to bring good things to the residents of our region,” she added. “We are grateful to you for the good things you do to improve the quality of life for all of us.”

Ameren Missouri, formerly Union Electric, was the catalyst for forming what is now the United Way. Buhr said Union Electric had a program called Planned Progress which encouraged communities to come up with a project that would enhance their area.

The Washington Chamber of Commerce decided to take up this challenge, she said, and formed a communities charities program aimed at building better communities.

Three people, Henry Hartbauer, John Feltmann and Kenny Kruel, from the Chamber, teamed up to establish the Community Chest to help people in need, Buhr said.

“Although our names have changed, the mission of the United Way and Ameren Missouri is the same: building better communities for our families, co-workers and neighbors,” she said.

Buhr recognized those at Ameren who were instrumental in the success of the campaign — Mark Nealon, Meramec Valley Division manager; David Strubberg, Labadie Plant manager; and employee campaign co-chairs, Greg Vasal, Jason Kober, Jeff Brown, Amy LaBoube, Mike Maniaci and Larry Shroth.

Ameren also was presented with a traveling trophy for being the largest contributor in the annual drive. This award was started 17 years ago and Ameren has won it 11 times.

Melton Second

The second largest contributor is Melton Machine & Control Company, Washington, which raised $84,354 for the United Way.

“The employees of Melton Machine are passionate about fulfilling the United Way mission of building better communities,” said Buhr. “Can you believe their donation from a company with only 87 employees and 100 percent participation?”

Melton’s donation is up 20 percent over last year. The company matched employee donations of $42,177. There were nine individual leadership gifts and 17 community investor gifts.

Rounding out the Top 3 is the Bank of Washington, a longtime anchor for the United Way and community, Buhr said.

The bank brought in $65,057, a 9.6 percent increase over last year.

“The bank has been one of our greatest supporters from our inception,” Buhr said.

The Bank of Washington donation included employee donations matched by a corporate gift, nine leadership gifts, six community investor gifts and special events proceeds.

“Their success is based on a long history of excellent and outstanding campaigns,” said Buhr.

In fourth place again this year is Parker Hannifin-Sporlan Division, Washington, with donations of $48,974, an increase of 38 percent.

Sporlan’s donation included a corporate gift, five leadership gifts and six community investor gifts.

“We congratulate Sporlan for recognizing and responding so generously to the great need in our community,” Buhr said.

Mercy Washington came in fifth with contributions totaling $36,550, including 12 leadership gifts.

“Mercy is to be applauded for its generous support,” Buhr said.