Although the United Way of the CSRA fell short of its 2002 campaign goal, there was still cause to celebrate Tuesday.
Balloons rained on the crowd gathered at Radisson Riverfront Hotel Augusta as officials announced the organization raised $4,050,579.
"This is the single largest amount of money we have raised," said outgoing board Chairwoman Marci Burdick at the annual meeting. The goal had been to raise $4.2 million.
"It was a tough year," said Jo Endres Maypole, the United Way president. "Our community felt some economic pressure, but they really seemed to have a resolve to make this campaign a success."
Other highlights of the year included the addition of 70 business campaigns and an increase of 9.5 percent in leadership gifts of $500 or more.
The money raised through the United Way benefits 21 agencies, including the American Red Cross of Augusta, the Salvation Army, the Georgia-Carolina Boy Scout Council and the Central Savannah River Girl Scout Council.
These agencies provide services to people in 15 Georgia and South Carolina counties.
Also at the meeting, Tom Coghill, the president of SouthTrust Bank of Augusta, received the Alvin W. Vogtle Volunteer of the Year Award. He was nominated by the American Red Cross of Augusta, where he serves on several committees.
The United Way honored two of its agencies' executive directors who are retiring this year. Carolyn Maund, of the American Red Cross of Augusta, is retiring after 20 years. Jerry Noland, of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Augusta, is retiring after 23 years.
LaVerne Gold, a United Way staff member, was recognized for 25 years of service to the agency.
In other business, the United Way elected new board members, and Dan Blanton was named the 2003 board chairman.
Reach Charmain Z. Brackett at (803) 441-6927 or firstname.lastname@example.org.