Last updated: September 08. 2013 10:47AM - 81 Views

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This weekend is a celebration of Sedalia’s generous nature, with the Boys & Girls Clubs of West Central Missouri’s annual “An Evening of Heart & Hope” auction on Saturday and Friday’s Sedalia-Pettis County United Way awards luncheon.

We are confident the Boys & Girls Clubs event will be a smashing success again this year, with the great help of Central Bank of Missouri, which has signed on as the title sponsor. The event raised more than $140,000 last year, as a continuing testament to its important role in the community, and may surpass that total this time.

The United Way honored donors to the 2012-13 campaign, which raised $538,244 once $18,000 in late donations came in. The campaign goal was $575,000.

Deidre Esquivel, the 2012-13 campaign chair, noted during the luncheon that “we came up a little short, but I am proud of our results.”

As well she and the entire community should be. Anyone who sees not reaching this year’s goal as a failure on any level ignores the incredible and continuing success of the United Way, its donors and its agencies. To be sure, our community was a little spoiled by the $765,993 that the 2011-12 campaign brought in. But more than a half million dollars donated to help our neighbors is worthy of great celebration.

Pettis County’s population is about 42,200, so this year’s United Way donations break down to an average of $12.75 per county resident. We see that as a high level of giving.

Valarie Swanson, executive director of the local Red Cross chapter — a United Way agency, told us Friday that “with so many (financial) obstacles, to still come that close” to reaching the goal is rather impressive. She said the agencies are “very appreciative ... it means so much to all of us.”

We also must tip our cap to Tyson Foods, which had the highest contribution total at $90,343; ProEnergy Services, whose employees donated $78,071 and won highest per capita giving; and Callis and Associates for having 100 percent employee participation.

Generosity should never fall under a veil of negative thinking. So we choose to celebrate this year’s United Way campaign and all of the donors who helped make a difference in our community.

Disclaimer: Democrat Editor Bob Satnan is a member of the Sedalia-Pettis County United Way Board of Directors.

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