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Dave Olson, Published January 08 2011

United Way exceeds $5 million fundraising goal

The United Way of Cass-Clay announced Friday it has exceeded its 2010 fundraising goal of $5 million. The total the agency expects to receive is $5,001,059, which is a 2.5 percent increase over the amount raised the previous year.

United Way campaigns across the country are looking better than they did in 2009, said Melinda Haun, president of United Way of Cass-Clay.

“We’re feeling very positive about the philanthropic climate,” Haun said at a news conference announcing the agency’s fund­raising efforts for 2010.

Officials said 99 cents of each dollar raised locally stays in area communities.

“Every donation was important, large or small,” said Tammy Miller, CEO of Border States Electric and the 2010 United Way of Class-Clay campaign chairwoman.

She said the campaign struggled to makes its goal as it entered its “ninth inning.”

At that point, Miller said, a number of companies pitched in and pledged dollars over and above what they had already promised.

Scheels and State Bank and Trust donated an additional $50,000 each, while Border States Electric donated an extra $25,000, Miller said.

American Crystal Sugar donated an additional $10,000, she said.

Sanford Health also made an additional pledge, bringing its total for 2010 to $78,000.

Money from the campaign will support more than 42 local non-profit agencies and 66 programs.

Haun said some money is specifically targeted at education-based initiatives, including Success By 6, which focuses on early childhood development, and an initiative designed to increase graduation rates of local students.

Donations came from about 14,000 donors, including individuals, organizations and businesses, Miller said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555