The grand total, $4,153,921, was revealed top-secret style at the conclusion of its annual meeting Tuesday at the Augusta Convention Center.
The event had an Italian flair, set against the backdrop of the Italian Riviera while guests dined on Italian cuisine and were entertained by dancers from Italian American Club of the CSRA and The Ballroom Dance Center.
The money raised will support a variety of area agencies that serve the needy.
In his speech on leadership, Dana Atkins, the president of The Augusta Chronicle, recommended that managers and business leaders help the needy in ways that go beyond money. If leaders take time to listen to the people they lead, they could perhaps inspire them to improve their own lives, he said.
“I would ask you today, for those that are in leadership positions, to go back, spend time, have a cup of coffee, drink a Coke, sit down with the people that you lead. Ask them what’s going on in their life. Know their story and help them find their dreams,” he said.
Christine “Chris” Edenfield received the 2012 Alvin W. Vogtle Volunteer of the Year Award for her volunteer work with Rape Crisis Sexual Assault Services of Augusta.
Since her first case in 2001, she has provided advocacy for at least 60 sexually assaulted women and children, spending an average of four hours with victims and their families.
She volunteers 60 to 100 hours each month, although she’s required to volunteer only 12.
“Ralph Waldo Emerson said the purpose of life is not to be happy,” said Randy Johnson, of Southern Nuclear Operating Co., who presented the award. “It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate and to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well. Chris Edenfield’s life exemplifies that purpose.”
Georgia Bank & Trust received the 2012 Spirit of Community Award for strong participation in leadership giving, high employee giving and overall volunteerism.
Georgia Regents University received the Per Capita Award and the Leadership Award for giving in a friendly competition among the area hospitals.
University Health Care System won the Overall Hospital Competition Award.
The Award of Excellence was bestowed on Savannah River Nuclear Solutions for its efforts that included everything from bake sales to a $200,000 corporate donation, and Savannah River Remediation was recognized for raising more than $349,000 in employee contributions.
“To all of the companies who participated in the 2012 campaign, we extend our heartfelt thanks,” said Mike Hogan, the 2012 United Way campaign chairman.