United Way tops campaign goal, raises $15.6 million

11/15/2013 2:13 PM

11/15/2013 7:16 PM

Spurred by an increase in donations from smaller companies in the area, United Way of the Plains topped its fundraising goal of $15.4 million.

The total raised – $15,611,289 – didn’t just top this year’s goal, it exceeded last year’s goal of $15.6 million as well.

Mindful of Boeing’s departure from Wichita, United Way president Pat Hanrahan said, the agency lowered its goal this year.

But contributors came through.

“We had a great year,” Hanrahan said after the luncheon at Century II announcing the final results of the fundraising campaign. “It’s really good news for the community.”

Aircraft companies were the largest donors. Spirit donated $2.15 million, for instance, and Cessna contributed $1.5 million.

But aircraft companies give less than half the total amount, Hanrahan said.

“It’s the small companies that make a huge difference,” he said. “We had a lot of smaller campaigns that did really well. They really got behind the wheel and pushed, and it really made a difference.”

Hanrahan said this year’s campaign leaves him confident about the future – not just for the United Way but also for the local economy.

“I think we’re starting to come out of the recession,” he said. “It’s been a long, hard slog” since 2008.

Allocations will be announced next week. United Way gives money to 37 different agencies, and Hanrahan said two more will be added to the roster this year.

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