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Goals reached, topped, for Metro United Way

Campaign chairs from Harrison, Floyd and Clark counties, members of Metro United Way and staff and supporters gathered Thursday morning at the new Floyd County branch of the YMCA of Southern Indiana in New Albany to tout the successes of the 2008 fundraising campaign.
In a year when the economy slumped, so did the potential for donors to increase, or even match, their previous giving.
‘As we all know, the 2008 campaign year saw gas prices soar, the economy start to slip and people in our communities lose their jobs,’ Soni O’Bannon, Harrison County 2008 Campaign chair, said. ‘It is really hard to increase resources in this type of environment. However, the needs in a down economy don’t go away. Just the opposite; more people need our help.’
The goal for Harrison County’s campaign was $324,084, and the top five campaigns in the county raised a total of $145,850 alone. However, as the campaign went on, the goal seemed too far out of reach.
‘I am especially grateful to so many people, but there is one organization in particular that I would like to personally thank and publicly recognize,’ O’Bannon said. ‘That organization is the Harrison County Community Foundation. Seeing that our resources were not going to come close to meeting the needs in Harrison County, the Harrison County Community Foundation wanted to ensure that the Harrison County agencies would not see (a decrease) in their Metro United Way funding, so the Foundation awarded Metro United Way with a grant of $45,000.’
O’Bannon said Harrison County has raised, to date, $315,648, or 97 percent of the original goal. She said she expects to reach 100 percent.
The top five campaigns in Harrison County were Regions Bank, $12,652; Tyson Foods, $19,655; Blue River Services, $22,993; First Harrison Bank, $24,217; and Horseshoe Southern Indiana, $66,333. Highest per capita business total went to Bennett & Bennett Insurance. ‘Wow! What an amazing year we’ve had,’ Jim Wheatley, 2008 Regional Campaign chair, said.
‘Our Southern Indiana region total to date is $1,802,098, with more dollars coming in.’
With the 4Community2 matching grant, which matched all new donations in 2008, the total increased to $2,003,248, 101 percent of the original goal. ‘That’s a reason to celebrate,’ said Ken Johnson, COO of Jewish and Saints Mary and Elizabeth Hospital, the new chairman of the Southern Indiana Advisory Board.
The 2008 campaign runs through February.