Middletown United Way exceeds campaign goal

Middletown Area United Way campaign chair Anita Scott Jones compared the last year to riding a roller coaster.

There were times, she said, when it appeared the $1.2 campaign goal was out of reach, when she wanted to get off the coaster. Throughout the campaign, much like a when she rode Space Mountain at Disney World in the dark, she felt scared and unsure what was next she told those who attended the campaign finale Friday morning at Atrium Medical Center.

But the campaign raised $1,314,000, exceeding its goal of $1.2 million by 9 percent, she announced.

“What a wonderful ride,” she said with a bright smile.

She said the campaign benefited from a push the last week from donors.

“It took off,” said Jones, hospital relations manager at the hospital.

United Way Director Terry Sherrer called the $1.2 million campaign goal “a stretch” during these unsettling financial times.

After the last balloons was unveiled — a bright red 3, as in 3 million — Sherrer admitted: “It wasn’t easy.”

This was the sixth consecutive year the Middletown campaign has surpassed its goal and it has fallen short just once, in 2010, since 1986, according to United Way financial records. In 2010, the United Way raised $21,873 less than its $1.2 million goal.

Jones said those on the campaign committee met one-on-one with company representatives and she felt that personal touch may have led to businesses exceeding their goals.

Some of the money raised will be used to initiate a youth program. Sherrer said he has participated in three “speed mentoring” programs in the Cincinnati area. He wants to bring that idea to Middletown, then expand it to Madison, Monroe and Edgewood schools.

In the program, company representatives meet with students for three minutes to discuss their careers and achievements. Then the students rotate to another table and meet with more employees. Sherrer said all students possess different skill sets and it’s important for them to be introduced to various careers.

Several people at the campaign finale told Sherrer they were interested in participating in the “speed mentoring” program. He hopes to begin the program this year with sophomores at Middletown High School.

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Top 10 donors to the Middletown Area United Way campaign:

1. AK Steel

2. MillerCoors

3. Spurlino Materials

4. Contech Engineered Solutions Inc.

5. Akers Packaging Service

6. Cohen Brothers

7. Middletown Community Foundation

8. Frost Brown Todd

9. Atrium Medical Center

10. West Chester Protective Gear

Source: Middletown United Way