Area Wide United Way exceeds 2003 goal

Monday, December 8, 2003

The Area Wide United Way held its 2003 Campaign Victory Party at Cape West Cine Tuesday with an encore performance by the Blues Brothers.

2003 campaign chairman Don Fisher recognized key campaign volunteers, significant employee campaigns and campaign cabinet members including Jon Rust, Southeast Missourian education/marketing chair, who was effective in supporting the United Way's work through media coverage, and Steve Bjelich for his work in organizing corporate giving from the start.

Fisher said, "The Blues Brothers, Dan Berry and Jeff Crain, said, 'Give me some money,' and you did."

The campaign goal of $935,000 was surpassed by $55,773, with a total to date of $990,773.

"Campaign contributions are still coming in," Fisher said. "The final figure will not be announced until 2004. We're talking about a potential million-dollar community. I know the extra $10,000 will come in."

Plaques were presented in recognition of successful 2003 campaigns and WOW awards were received by outstanding increases in giving or new campaign participants.

"WOW is not an acronym for anything," said Marla Mills, Area Wide United Way administrative assistant. "The awards are just that -- they make us say wow."

SEMO Network Against Sexual Violence received the WOW award for the largest increase from a United Way-funded agency, 117 percent. Fru-Con Construction received the award for the highest per capita giving for companies with more than 10 employees. Union Planters Bank received the award for the largest percent increase in an employee campaign that raised over $1,000. Drury Southwest received the award for an outstanding first-year campaign. St. Francis Medical Center received the award for the largest increase in Lorimier Society membership, with an increase of 31 members.

Nancy Jernigan, executive director of the Area Wide United Way, singled out a Cape Girardeau kindergartner from Blanchard Elementary School, Nathan Yancey, for epitomizing what it means to help. He told his mom, "I want to give to kids with no hair on their heads." Nathan gave a total of $165 -- a $100 contribution from his dad's place of business and $65 from his own savings.

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