The United Way of the Greater Fort Hood Area celebrated its volunteers and donors at its 2018 Campaign Celebration Luncheon at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center on Thursday.

This year’s theme was “The Magic In Life is Giving.”

2018 Area Campaign Chairman Scott Preshun said Valentine’s Day was the perfect time to reflect on what the organization and the donors had done during the campaign.

“Valentine’s Day is a day of love,” Preshun said in brief remarks to a crowd of about 350 people at beginning of the luncheon. “Let’s pass that along through our communities for the rest of the year.”

The goal for the 2018 campaign was $650,000, according to local United Way Executive Director Aaron Montemayor.

“We’re still counting,” Montemayor said, adding that some sizable outside accounts that will affect the total are still pending. “We want to celebrate the volunteers who are here locally, the organizations that are here locally, and then we’ll get a final count we can put on paper.”

This year’s event moved quickly from lunch to recognition of the campaign’s outstanding fundraising efforts.

Platinum Awards went to organizations that gave $25,000 and above: Central Texas College, Killeen Police Department, the Copperas Cove Independent School District, H-E-B Copperas Cove, H-E-B Killeen No. 2 on West Stan Schlueter Loop, and H-E-B Killeen No. 3 on Trimmier Road.

Two organizations received Double Platinum awards for giving $50,000 or more: the city of Killeen and the Killeen Independent School District.

The Mega Platinum award for $100,000 or more went to H-E-B Food Stores. This year, local H-E-B locations raised more than $148,000. The organization has contributed more than $500,000 over the last six years.

For the third year in a row, Williams/Ledger Elementary School in Copperas Cove received the Most Per Capita award raising $101 per employee. The Biggest Improvement award was presented to the city of Copperas Cove. Thank You awards went to Tammi Holloway, Micheal Keefe and Scott Preshun.

The Spirit of Greater Fort Hood Area was given to Terri Jernigan of Williams/Ledger Elementary in Copperas Cove.

“It’s very exciting,” Jernigan said after the event. “I had no idea that was going to happen.”

She shared the award with all those who helped raise money for the United Way.

“I don’t do this by myself. I have tons of people who help me out.”

As for her school’s three-year run raising the most money per employee, Jernigan said the key is just having fun.

“We do a lot of different fun events, we include our students and our parents and our staff. We just really have a good time and encourage eveybody to help those who can’t help themselves.”

The next United Way campaign will begin in September. A theme for that campaign is still being discussed.

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