United Way reaches fall campaign goal

Economic woes have taken a toll on many within the region, but in keeping with its proud tradition, a late surge has enabled the United Way of Southeast Arkansas to exceed its Fall 2013 Campaign.

Relyance Bank Senior Vice President Steven Brown chaired the effort and expressed his gratitude at United Way’s end-of-campaign gathering Thursday afternoon at Pine Bluff’s Reynolds Center.

Just three weeks ago, the campaign had garnered $1,221,042 in contributions. The amount was 95 percent and nearly $64,000 shy of a $1,285,000 goal. Brown said at the time that he was confident that the target would be satisfied and requested the community’s help in the cause of assisting 25 United Way-supported agencies that partner in the service of more than 30,000 people.

“As you know, the campaign goal is for every person to have the right kind of opportunity to understand, decide and act,” Brown said as he smiled broadly while addressing UW staff members and campaign officials and supporters at Thursday’s event. He said that with pledges received Thursday morning, campaigns that remain underway and are nearing completion, and other available funds, the tally had reached $1,285,350.

“Let me say that because of you, this campaign has been a success,” he said. “Pine Bluff has a very strong sense of caring for each other. This has been true in the past and is very evident this year.”

Noting that for the past five years, the local UW has put together the most stable campaigns in the state, he added, “For this, I thank each of you who have provided the leadership and financial support in order to make this happen.”

Brown — after pointing out that his campaign had had a record number of Over 500 Pillars Club gifts of $500 or more — also recognized his successor, Jefferson Regional Medical Center Marketing Director Rebecca Pittillo, who will lead the Fall 2014 Campaign here.

“I’ll certainly give it my all,” Pittillo said of the upcoming crusade.

“The people of Southeast Arkansas need us,” said Pittillo, who stated that she’s motivated by UW’s past successes here and the dedication of its supporters.