By Special to the Daily World
United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta announced recently that the organization is poised to exceed its 2010 campaign goal by $24,500. The announcement came at Campaign Celebration on Friday, March. 11, by campaign Chair John Somerhalder, president of AGL Resources Inc., in front of a crowd of about 300 staff, volunteers and corporate supporters at Morehouse College.
The fundraising total was $80,224,500.
“Admittedly, it was sometimes rough. We had a good outcome in 2009 even though we ended short of goal,” says Somerhalder, who chaired the campaign for two consecutive years. “But by sticking to our principles in a tough economy and keeping the momentum high, these past two campaigns demonstrated how resilient we are as a community.”
The celebration kicked off with a busy morning of volunteering for hundreds representing such organizations as UPS, SunTrust, Marriott, Delta Air Lines, Enterprise Holdings, Bank of America, Georgia Power, Accenture, Combined Federal Campaign, AGL Resources Inc., Gas South and more. Volunteers were then treated to an afternoon luncheon with a live DJ, the Frederick Douglass High School marching band, games and an awards ceremony.
“This year’s celebration was a testament to us turning the traditional model on its head and taking a bold, meaningful — and successful — approach that we’ve never tried before by engaging donors in our work in such a major way,” says Milton J. Little Jr., president of United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta. “We owe John Somerhalder a great deal of thanks for insisting we try something new.”
Publix Super Markets Inc. had the top campaign this year, raising more than $5 million. UPS was recognized for being the first company ever to reach $1 billion in giving to United Way nationally. SunTrust saw an increase in its employee campaign of more than $300,000.
Paul Garcia and Global Payments’ gift of $1 million to United Way over four years was also recognized during the celebration, which all helped United Way meet its campaign goal in 2010. Richard Anderson of Delta was also acknowledged as the 2011 campaign chair.
“I am looking forward to reaching goal in 2011 with an even more robust, committed, creative and involved campaign,” says Little. “With Richard in the captain’s seat and with metro Atlanta’s compassionate, dedicated volunteers and donors, I know our upcoming campaign will be another success.”