Local United Way Announces 2010-2011 Turnaround Campaign Results of more than $25 million | Business

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Local United Way Announces 2010-2011 Turnaround Campaign Results of more than $25 million
Local United Way Announces 2010-2011  Turnaround Campaign Results of more than $25 million

United Way of Northeast Florida announced today 2010-2011 Annual Campaign results of over $25 million – a turnaround campaign with a three percent increase over the previous year. This marks a significant improvement in giving since the economic downturn began in 2008.  These strong results will help address the human service needs across our community including United Way’s focus on keeping more than 10,000 students on track to high school graduation.

The campaign was led by Scott Brubaker, VP of operations for Publix Super Markets, Inc., Jacksonville Division. “We set an inspirational goal for this year’s campaign, but one that we believed was attainable,” said campaign chair Scott Brubaker, “Because of the generosity of Northeast Florida residents, United Way works everyday to move our community and our economy forward, by supporting initiatives and programs that prepare children to enter school ready to learn and stay on track to graduation which will increase their chances of earning a living wage, or going on to college.”

During the economic downturn of the last three years, United Way and its partner agencies have seen an increase in calls for service and increase in need in our community. In 2010, calls to United Way’s assistance line, 2-1-1, increased by 24 percent. Suicide prevention-related calls increased by 32 percent and emergency financial assistance calls grew by a whopping 61 percent over 2009. This increase put a strain on resources and made the call for support even more critical this year.

“As our economy slowly recovers, this community stepped up and responded to the needs of our neighbors,” said United Way of Northeast Florida President Connie Hodges. “Every gift is important, and together, we will search for solutions to our community’s most critical needs. Too many people in our community are lacking what many of us take for granted, a strong foundation to allow them to finish their education, a job that pays enough to support a family and the tools to make healthy choices and be productive.”

At a breakfast celebration this morning at the Wyndham Hotel on the city’s Southbank, United Way announced that its community partners, volunteers and supporting companies raised more than $25,014,192 for the 2010-2011 campaign. Hundreds of volunteers and supporters paid special tribute to longstanding community partners and award-winning companies as the final campaign results were revealed. Funds raised during the annual campaign go to sustain and strengthen United Way’s community initiatives in Northeast Florida, including funding for 87 programs.

More than 1,000 companies and organizations led campaigns that touched more than 100,000 individuals. Results included Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, CSX Transportation, Inc., Publix Super Markets and Vistakon, all million dollar companies which raised a combined total of more than $5.1 million.

Friday’s event also recognized the top supporting companies and organizations in this year’s campaign, the organizations and employee campaign chairs that led the way with outstanding campaign results. Other awards presented included New Business of the Year, Small Business of the Year, and the Summit Awards.

The Tocqueville Society, made up of donors giving $10,000 or more annually exceeded its goal, raising more than $4.6 million. “What a win for the children and families of Northeast Florida,” said R. Travis Storey, Tocqueville Society chairman.

“Through the generous support of our donors and community partners, United Way remains focused on our long-term goal – to create sustainable positive change for children and families in our five-county region,” said Hodges. “We are grateful for the tremendous outpouring of generosity that made this success possible for our community.”

As the celebration concluded, Terry West, president and CEO of VyStar Credit Union was announced as the 2011 Campaign Chair.  West served for seven years on United Way of Northeast Florida’s Campaign Cabinet, from 2001 through 2005, and again in 2009 and 2010. He is chair of United Way’s Strategic Planning Sub-Team, Mobilizing Resources and, as the 2011 Campaign Chairman, serves as a member of both the Board of Trustees and Board of Directors.

United Way also announced at the event that Greg Smith, Florida market president for Bank of America has agreed to lead the 2012 annual campaign, and Lucy Talley, publisher of the Florida Times-Union will lead the 2013 annual campaign.

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