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United Way drive tops $100,000

The Unicoi County United Way 2011 campaign has pushed past its goal, topping the $100,000 mark.
Local United Way President Jim Stevens said Wednesday that the campaign has raised $100,419.30, surpassing its goal of $95,000.
Stevens did not try to hide his excitement, saying, “It’s just terrific,” and joking the six-figure total “sounds pretty good.”
The United Way held a victory luncheon Wednesday to celebrate reaching and exceeding the $95,000 campaign goal.
The 2011 campaign, titled “Live United,” set a goal 7 percent higher than last year’s, and, according to campaign chairman Lee Brown, the organizations’ board always believed the target would be met and exceeded.
“It is a great reflection on the community,” Brown said.
During the luncheon, it was announced that more than $99,000 had been raised, and after the meeting, Brown said he expected the total to grow.
He said funds were still being collected from donors, and he said the total would come in well over $100,000.
Grow it did, as Stevens said, the total rose to more than $5,400 above the original goal.
Funds from this year’s campaign will go to more than 17 charitable agencies, such as the Unicoi County Family YMCA and the Boy Scouts, and Stevens said United Way will now be able to provide even more services this year.
Brown also said he was impressed with the participation area students have shown throughout the project, and he said it is a trend he hopes to see continue.
“It’s great – the kids have done a good job,” Brown said.
Local students were also given awards for winning entries in the Unicoi County United Way’s annual poster contest, and Stevens said it was important to have students participate in the future of the United Way.
“We’re pretty sure we’ll continue that,” Stevens said.