The United Way of Southeast Missouri raised more money this year than ever before in the agency's 50-year history.
The 2004 campaign goal, set at $1 million, was a first for the United Way which provides funding to 40 local programs in Cape Girardeau County and Scott City, Perryville and Marble Hill. But the goal was easily surpassed.
The United Way has raised $1,021,000 to date. The donations come from contributions made by individuals, employees and business groups.
Some employee campaigns are still being reported, so the total could increase. A final tabulation is expected by early January.
During a victory party Wednesday at Cape West Cine, United Way leaders announced the agency had surpassed its goal.
When the United Way began in this region in 1954, the campaign goal was $53,000. In its history, the United Way has raised more than $15 million for the community.
Several companies and key volunteers for the 2004 campaign were recognized during the party. Three volunteers recognized for outstanding service were Mary Hiler of Nordenia, USA Inc.; Willie Cunningham of United Parcel Service; and Dusty Rhodes of Saint Francis Medical Center.
Donations from 90 employee campaigns raised 93 percent of the United Way's goal. The top 20 companies include Procter & Gamble, Saint Francis Medical Center, Southeast Missouri Hospital, Southeast Missouri State University, Nordenia USA Inc., Southeast Missourian, DANA Corp., Schnucks, KFVS-12/UPN The Beat, Jackson public schools, AmerenUE, Cape public schools, city of Cape Girardeau, SBC, Nestle Purina PetCare Co., BioKyowa Inc., Union Planters Bank, United Parcel Service, J.C. Penney Co. and Famous Barr.
Sam's Club was recognized with the WOW award, which honors the largest percentage increase in an employee campaign. Wood and Hutson Bank received the highest per capita giving award for its campaign and also was recognized for the largest increase in giving among the Lorimier Society members.
The Gibson Recovery Center showed the largest increase in giving from a United Way-funded agency, with a 202 percent increase.
335-6611, extension 133