COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley celebrated the end of a successful 2019 campaign Thursday evening. The event was held at the Courtyard by Marriott in Phenix City.

At the event, United Way officials revealed the organization has exceed its 2019 campaign goal of $7,075,000 by more than $166,000. This year’s campaign reached $7,241,800.

“Exceeding our goal by over $150,000 and hitting a historic high for the United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley campaign is a great credit to the spirit of philanthropy in our region,” said Ben Moser, President & CEO of United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley. “Kevin Blair, the campaign cabinet and all of our volunteers and staff did a truly amazing job. Our donors are the best and most generous you’ll ever find. Their dollars will be invested back into education, income, health and basic needs in our community; changing lives and reducing impact of poverty on students and families,” he added.

This year United Way’s campaign theme was “Change Doesn’t Happen Alone.” At a kickoff event in August the organization revealed its campaign goal for the year.

By working together, the community exceeded that goal to raise the most money ever.

“Raising over 7.2 million dollars and far exceeding our goal shows what is possible when an entire community works together,” said President and COO of Synovus Kevin Blair, 2019 United Way Campaign Chair. “This has been an amazing effort by hundreds of partners and volunteers along with over 15,000 donors- all working together collectively to ensure that everyone in the Chattahoochee Valley is cared for and supported,” he added.

At the event, Gwen Ruff, Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning and Employee Services for Columbus Water Works, was introduced as the 2020 United Way Campaign Chair.

More than 200 guests attended the United Way celebration.

Annual awards were presented to the following individuals and companies:

Rising Star Awards: Gildan, Harris County School District

Corporate Partner of the Year: Robinson, Grimes & Company, P.C., Alabama Power Company, Flournoy Companies

Chairman’s Award of Excellence: Russell County Sheriff’s Office

President’s Award: Columbus Consolidated Government

Million Dollar Corporate Sponsor: TSYS, A Global Payments Company

“Women Helping Women” Volunteer Award: Wendi Jenkins

D. Abbott Turner Volunteer Award: Wade Burford

Chris Rogers Youth Volunteer Award: Andy De Rojas

Comeback Kick Award: The Housing Authority of Columbus, Georgia