With the 2018 fall campaign of the United Way of Southeast Arkansas wrapping up, campaign officials and representatives of the agencies who benefit from the organization met last Tuesday to hear the results.

Larry Kennedy, who, along with John Lawson, served as a co-chair, said that as of last Tuesday, reported pledges totaled $1,036,121, and when campaigns that are nearing completion and other funds available are added, the goal of $1.1 million is well within reach.

That goal is $100,000 over the 2017 fundraising goal.

“This was a big job and a lot of work,” Kennedy said. “I expect over the next week or so we will exceed that $1.1 million goal.”

Leslie Dorn, the executive director of the United Way for Southeast Arkansas, said the landscape of Pine Bluff is changing, and the United Way is changing as well. But she said she is proud that the agency has remained consistent with its goals.

“Every year since 1987 we have raised over $1 million,” she said. “That’s 32 years, and we want to keep it consistent, and hopefully in the next few years, we will be able to say we have raised over $1,250,000.”

Dorn also thanked a number of groups and individuals for their help, which began with Business Blitz, and to Leland Stice, Bill Brumett and Crystal Stafford for their work, which brought in almost $2,000 to provide a jump start. Evergreen Packaging contributions and the matching corporate gift provided almost one-third of the total money raised, and Center Point Energy had 100 percent employee participation, which earned the employees a cook-out steak lunch provided by their home office.

Contributions from Liberty Utilities increased by $5,780, and Dorn said the company developed a partnership with the CASA Women’s Shelter, which is across the street, donating pillows to the shelter. Also, contributions from Central Moloney increased over $9,000, and contributions from Jefferson Regional Medical Center, where Kennedy works, also increased, thanks in part to 100 percent participation from the Jefferson Regional Medical Center School of Nursing Department.

“In a perfect example of the importance of support from key leadership in a company or business, Express Employment Professionals was up by $2,300, thanks to John Lawson, Co-Campaign Chair,” Dorn said.

Also acknowledged was the support the campaign received from Simmons and Relyance banks.

“From top leadership throughout the organizations, their continued generous donations, providing partner agency volunteers and board members, our community’s top financial institutions are true to the spirit of living united,” Dorn said.

She as announced that Daniel Robinson of Simmons Bank will be the chairman of the Fall 2019 United Way of Southeast Arkansas Campaign. Robinson was out of town and could not attend the meeting.