The United Way of Southeast Missouri announced Thursday it exceeded its 2006 campaign goal by more than $50,000.
An estimated $1.17 million has been raised, with a few campaigns still underway and pledges continuing to come in.
"The United Way is fortunate to serve communities that have generous, charitable people," said Jean Mason, 2006 campaign chairwoman. "Without this generosity, the United Way could not reach its goal year after year, and would not be able to support the needs of so many people."
Donors, volunteers and businesses were recognized at the campaign victory celebration, which was held at Wehrenberg's Cape West 14 Cine.
Volunteer coordinators were recognized by the United Way's executive director Nancy Jernigan for going "above and beyond" in leading their company's or organization's campaign. Danielle Poyner with Drury Southwest, Linda Horrell with Montgomery Bank, Sam Duncan with Jackson School District, and Melissa Scholle with Target, were all recognized for their work with the 2006 campaign.
Several local companies were also recognized for significant increases over their 2005 campaign results.
Federal Express increased its employee campaign participation by 301 percent. Nestle Purina Petcare Co. donated $269 per capita -- the highest among companies with 10 or more employees. Procter & Gamble increased its number of members in the Lorimier Society Membership for donors contributing more than $300. The Salvation Army was recognized as having the largest increase of employee participation.
The priorities for the 2007 campaign will focus on strengthening families. The United Way of Southeast Missouri wants to ensure that children will grow up to be successful in life, families are financially independent, the elderly and disabled can live independently for as long as possible and citizens reach out to help the community.
The United Way's 2007 campaign goal will be announced later in the year.
"These dollars will go a long way to continue the work we've started, which is to strengthen families in our community," Mason said. "Strong families are the key to a strong future. I applaud everyone who worked so hard to reach our goal this year and encourage your continued support."