Mission accomplished

United Way exceeds $1.9 million goal for 2009

United Way of Blount County 2009 campaign cabinet exceeded their goal for this year and raised $1,900,389.

The original goal for the 2009 campaign was $1.9 million.

Campaign chair John Hinkle made the announcement today as the campaign finished “on goal and on time.” The celebration luncheon was held at First United Methodist Church of Maryville. “I’m very proud, honored and humbled to report this cabinet and this community have raised $1,900,389,” Hinkle said. “And it’s not over. We still have money coming in.”

Hinkle said when the campaign started in August, the cabinet had two goals. “We wanted to meet our goal, and we did; and we wanted to finish on time, which we did,” he said.

Hinkle also praised the community for their work. Before the campaign began, the cabinet worked to establish goals in the face of tough economy that would be attainable but still try to meet the needs of the agencies that depend on United Way to meet the needs of their programs and clients, Hinkle said. He added that the cabinet members chose to be optimistic and listed far more opportunities than challenges in preparing the goal. “They never once wavered in their work,” he said.

Reports from each campaign chair talked about how creative and optimistic Blount businesses, industries and individuals were in approaching the 2009 campaign, often coming up with company and community-wide events to help raise funds to supplement a decrease in employee or individual donations due to cutbacks and salary decreases. Each of the 2009 special events -- Gas Day, Public Service Hamburger Luncheon, Golf Tournament, Motorcycle Ride and others -- exceeded last year’s totals.

During the luncheon, Hinkle took time to praise the loaned executives, those individuals that employers paid to spend time away from work representing the United Way campaign.

“You did a fantastic job,” he said of the loaned executives. “This campaign can’t function without loaned executives working with companies.”

The campaign chair also praised those individuals working at agencies or programs supported by United Way because people in the community need their services. “They do the work every single day, and that’s why we do what we do,” he said.

Hinkle then thanked the United Way of Blount County for their efforts throughout the campaign and throughout the year. “The staff - seven folks who just never quit,” he said.

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