Terry Sherrer, executive director of the Middletown Area United Way, knew this year’s campaign goal was “a reach” because he projected some of last year’s major donors wouldn’t match their previous contributions.
So when the agency announced this summer it hoped to raise $1,250,000, Sherrer figured it may fall short of the goal. Sherrer, leading his fifth United Way campaign, said the goal was set after reviewing the financial proposals submitted by agencies served by the United Way. The goal, he said, was to “match the needs” of the organizations.
What he couldn’t have predicted is what happened this year when hurricanes, earthquakes and wild fires ravaged the country and rightfully drew the financial attention of the world. Starting a campaign on the heels of those tragedies was “quite difficult,” Sherrer said.
But Sherrer and his campaign chair Denise Quinn, plant manager at MillerCoors, announced Thursday night that the Middletown Area United Way had raised $1,270,000, or $20,000 more than goal.
This marks the seventh consecutive year the Middletown campaign surpassed its goal. It fell 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.
A lot of the credit goes to Quinn, Sherrer said. He said her “commitment” to the campaign was second to no one and her aggressive strategy generated money from different companies.
“She knocked on doors that were shut from us in the past,” Sherrer told those who attended the campaign finale at MillerCoors. “We had an opportunity to revisit some places.”
Quinn had been asked to serve as United Way campaign chair before, she said. The timing was right for her to finally dedicate herself, she said.
Serving as chair was “an extraordinary experience” because it allowed her to meet more people in the community. She said MillerCoors has a “connection” to Hamilton though it’s located in the Edgewood School District and is a member of the Chamber of Commerce Serving Middletown, Monroe and Trenton.
Before the campaign results were announced inside the plant’s bar area, community members painted soup bowls that will be given away during the Empty Bowls Middletown Nov. 18 at Central Connections 3907 Central Ave.
For a $15 donation, attendees will be served a meal of soup, bread, dessert, and beverage, said Kathryn Wood, development director at Central Connections. They also will be given a handcrafted ceramic bowl to take home as a reminder of older adults in need in the community and will learn about hunger and food insecurity among older adults, Wood said.