United Way of the Coastal Empire surpasses goal of $8.1 million

United Way of the Coastal Empire surpasses goal of $8.1 million

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The United Way of the Coastal Empire has announced that they surpassed their 2018 fundraising goal of $8.1 million - raising $8,285,608.

There was a lot to celebrate as hundreds of donors, volunteers, and community leaders gathered at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Savannah for the United Way of the Coastal Empire’s fundraiser finale. Leading up to the big reveal, leaders of each industry group - which includes corporations, education and surrounding counties - announced how much they raised over the last 10 weeks.

" I mean late last night, the money was still coming in,” said Deb Thompson, President & CEO of the United Way of the Coastal Empire. “The projections were still being done." The non-profit organization kicked off their annual fundraising campaign in September.

WTOC’s General Manager Larry Silbermann is this year’s campaign chair, inspiring the community with a Three Musketeers theme and slogan, “All For One, One For All.”

“It’s really how we help each other, and it’s how we unite as a group and put everyone’s needs a little bit ahead of ours,” Silbermann said.

This year, there were more than 20,000 donors and 650 companies who helped them exceed their goal. It’s money that will now back into the community, funding nearly 100 programs at more than 50 non-profits in Bryan, Chatham, Effingham, and Liberty counties.

“The work begins on Monday,” Thompson said. “We have a whole panel of community investment volunteers that will be reviewing the grant applications from our local non-profits and be making those decisions about where those dollars can have the most impact.”

The UWCE will start giving on Saturday everything that was given Thursday, but Friday is about celebrating those who made the giving cycle possible.

"Thank you. We wouldn’t be able to celebrate the victory today without the hard work and effort that they put in,” Silbermann said.

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