Members and supporters of the United Way of Etowah County were back at The Venue at Coosa Landing on Thursday to reveal the latest numbers on their 2019 campaign.
The “Back to the Future” themed campaign began Aug. 29 with an event during which campaign officials dressed as characters from the 1985 film.
Bob Guyton, this year’s campaign chair, had dressed up as Doc Brown during the kickoff event, but he joked on Thursday that he didn't have to dress up again because they had raised enough money to meet their goal.
In total, the campaign brought in $1,300,088.
That number was reached through the hard work of agencies, companies and volunteers who made the campaign possible, according to Tena King, president of the United Way board of directors.
She said Thursday’s event was held to celebrate those groups, adding, “We are also celebrating the individuals who make a difference in our community by meeting the unmet needs.”
Division chairs then came on stage to share contributions from the sectors they oversaw.
The largest contribution came from the industrial division, which contributed $419,423. The largest single giver was Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., whose employees donated $208,469.
While some divisions were still a little shy of their goal, most had reached 100% of their target donation amounts, with some of them surpassing the goal by more than 10%.
The second largest industry was Honda, which gave more than $71,000. Spire Energy, which gave $10,386, increased its giving by 111% this year.
The leadership division brought in $373,530 in funds given, which was a 3.1% increase. The leadership division is made up of individuals who donate at least $1,000 to the campaign. Their contributes made up 27% of the entire campaign.
Alexis de Toqueville givers, which King said were the leaders of the entire campaign, are those who contribute more than $10,000. Those givers include Hilda and the late Devan Lowe, and Bill and Marian Stone.
The financial division brought in $194,832, including 100% participation amongst their members. Exchange Bank contributed the most in that division with a $31,500 donation.
School systems brought in $137,511 for the education division, with Attalla City Schools increasing their giving by 23% to a total of $7,739. Gadsden City Schools brought in $39,021 and Etowah County Schools donated $47,712, a systemwide increase of 23%.
Gadsden State Community College increased their giving by 5%, as well, with their donation of $38,028.
In the health institutions division, Gadsden Regional Medical Center raised $77,224 and Riverview Regional Medical Center raised $37,301. A number of other health care facilities in the community contributed as well to bring the division total to $136,229.
The retail division raised $98,221 with Publix and Comcast Cable being amongst the top contributors in the division.
Local government agencies donated a total of $83,238, with the City of Gadsden increasing their giving by more than 4% for a total of $45,784. The local Department of Human Resources contributed $9,783, which is the largest contribution from a department of human resources in the state.
The commercial division saw a total of $55,768, with contributions from a number of car dealerships, distribution companies and more.
The health professional division brought in $52,183, the residential and retiree division contributed $38,078, the professional division brought in $34,669 and the nonprofit group raised $28,989.
“I’m liking the way these numbers look,” King said. “This community never ceases to amaze me.”
Throughout the 2019 campaign, 80 companies increased their giving and 27 new accounts began supporting the cause.
As the grand total was being revealed, King said that this year, the United Way has served 59,574 people through the 28 partner agencies it supports.