By Jade Ortego

Killeen Daily Herald

The United Way of the Greater Fort Hood Area celebrated surpassing last year's goal of $650,000 at a luncheon Wednesday.

The nonprofit group collects money and distributes it to local service agencies, including Aware Central Texas, the Food Care Center and Peaceable Kingdom Retreat for Children Inc.

State Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen, thanked local residents and groups for their donations to the organization.

"There are sad faces, terrified faces. … There are some of these faces that have been scarred by life. And many of them worked with these faces. … And what does it take to meet the needs of those faces? In this case, it took $650,000. And you met and exceeded your goal. You have stepped forward and acted in a great and mighty way," Aycock said.

Organizations that donated at least $25,000 were given the platinum award. They included Central Texas College, Fort Hood Area Combined Federal Campaign, H-E-B No. 3 in Killeen, H-E-B Harker Heights, Metroplex Health System and Sallie Mae Servicing.

The Copperas Cove Independent School District, which raised at least $50,000, received a double platinum award, and H-E-B Food Stores got a triple platinum award. The city of Killeen and the Killeen Independent School District received a mega-platinum award.

KISD won the biggest contributor award, mobilizing staff, students and parents to raise $135,000, one-fourth of the total community campaign.

United Way presented CCISD with the biggest improvement award, and the most per capita award to H-E-B No. 3 in Killeen.

Killeen City Manager Connie Green won the Spirit of Greater Fort Hood Award.

At the end of the ceremony, president Dale Koebnick announced that she is leaving the United Way board after six years of service.

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