The United Way of the Greater Fort Hood Area celebrated a record-breaking fundraising season Thursday.
Ann Farris, Killeen’s assistant city manager of internal services, announced Thursday that the United Way topped its campaign goal to raise $650,000 in 2012. In total, the organization raised more than $680,000.
The organization acts as a conduit for charitable giving to local organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America and Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Twenty-five area nonprofits are considered member organizations that depend on United Way fundraising to continue operations.
“Let the hugging and kissing commence,” Farris said as she invited representatives of the top fundraisers to be congratulated during their annual luncheon at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center.
More than 80 organizations and individuals donated at least $1,000 to last year’s “Living United” campaign. Thirty-four groups gave more than $2,500, 20 gave more than $5,000 and seven donated more than $25,000.
The whirlwind of organizing and fundraising was a new thing to Central Texas College Chancellor Thomas Klincar. But in the end, he said he enjoyed the effort.
“I’m so happy and proud to be a part of this,” Klincar said.
Klincar honored the city of Killeen, which turned in a record-breaking $139,700. That number did not include the tens of thousands of dollars given by individual departments within the city and the more than $25,000 raised by the Killeen Police Department.
Killeen Director of Public Information Hilary Shine has organized the city’s fundraising efforts for the past 10 years. What was once an effort incentivized by prizes has now become a well-oiled machine, Shine said.
“It has become part of our culture,” she said.
H-E-B Food Stores and the Killeen Independent School District were the second highest fundraisers, each giving more than $90,000.