WICHITA — United Way of the Plains raised more than $15.8 million in pledges this year, the group announced at a luncheon this afternoon.
The total fell short of the $16.36 million United Way raised in pledges last year and this year's goal of $16.4 million. But staff and volunteers were energized by how much was raised despite the economic downturn and rise in unemployment throughout the past year.
"Our campaign started with a strong head wind, and it has been tumultuous," United Way president Pat Hanrahan said during the luncheon at the Century II Convention Hall.
Because of the declining economy, nonprofits in Wichita are seeing increased need and expenses, according to a United Way survey of local charities released last month.
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Craig Anderson, campaign chair, said 73 new businesses and 13 new people giving at the $10,000-plus level helped contribute to the total.
Spirit AeroSystems contributed $2.2 million _ $1.9 million from employee contributions. Hawker Beechcraft added $1.45 million and Cessna $1.17 million.