United Way of the CSRA exceeds fundraising goal

The United Way of the CSRA marked the end of its yearlong 75th anniversary celebration by announcing Tuesday that it exceeded its campaign goal.

“This year has been really fantastic,” said Zack Daffin, the organization’s 2011 campaign chairman. “In August, we announced a campaign goal of $4.1 million. There were great successes, but there were challenges as well.”

Rina Powell, the senior resource development director, said the amount raised in the fundraiser was $4,129,623.

The previous year, the organization raised $4,128,208.

With a black-tie theme, the annual meeting at the Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center was a celebration of the organization’s past with a look toward a “future so bright I’ve gotta wear shades” as danced to by members of the Augusta West Dance Company.

The organization thanked its donors and gave recognition to University Health Care System, which won the annual hospital competition award, based on total per capita giving.

Savannah River Nuclear Solutions received an award of excellence for its support of the United Way of the CSRA and 10 other United Ways in the region. SRNS employees donated more than $1.7 million, which is spread out among the 11 United Ways.

Elanco received the Spirit of Community award for having the most “comprehensive, creative and innovative United Way campaign.”

Richard Bush, a longtime volunteer for the Salvation Army of Greater Augusta, was named the Alvin W. Vogtle Volunteer of the Year.

The United Way began as the Community Chest in 1933 with an inaugural fundraising campaign of $41,000.

“Seventy-five years later, we see an organization with a history and track record of giving back to the community,” said Jim Hull, grandson of James M. Hull Sr., one of the Community Chest’s founding members.

United Way officials are launching an initiative with the ultimate goal of creating an endowment.

“Planned giving is going to be very important,” said Dr. J. Michael Ash, the 2011 board chairman.

The United Way distributes money to support 24 health and human service agencies in the Augusta area.

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