Last updated: August 28. 2013 3:45AM - 77 Views

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The final numbers have been tallied and the United Way 2012-13 campaign came in approximately $54,000 short of its goal. This marks a sharp difference from last year’s campaign, which raised nearly $200,000 more than expected.

“I really thought we would make goal this year, but I knew with the economy the way its been there was a chance we wouldn’t,” said Sedalia-Pettis County United Way Executive Director Linda Kirk.

Kirk said unknowns about the fiscal cliff, increases in payroll taxes and even Hurricane Sandy may have played a part in people contributing less this year.

“Everything came up at the end of the year and we weren’t really sure what was going to happen (with Congress and the fiscal cliff),” she said. “And the uncertainties about the payroll tax may have had some people holding back a little on their giving.”

Regardless, Kirk said she was proud of the campaign and the $520,244 raised for the 24 agencies United Way supports. The organizations, which make their presentations to the United Way board in the spring, will still receive their allotment of money.

“The additional money will come from our contingency fund,” Kirk said. “Our bylaws state we have to put money into the fund every year whether we have to use it or not, so we have more than enough to cover the missing $54,000. No agencies will suffer because of the shortage. We make sure of that.”

The United Way board is already looking ahead to the next campaign goal as well as planning its annual award luncheon, set for Feb. 15.

“The luncheon is a great way to finish our campaign,” Kirk said. “We like to thank everyone who helped make the campaign a success.”

Awards will be given for the largest donation by a group and individual, highest per capita giving based on employees and to those who donated $1,000 or more. The outgoing campaign chair Deidre Esquivel will also pass the campaign baton to Paul Dick to head up next year’s fundraising efforts.

“Looking back, yes we were $54,000 short of our goal,” Kirk said. “But overall, when you think about that $520,000 that we did raise — that’s a lot of money. It’s amazing to me how giving and generous Sedalia and Pettis County (residents) continue to be. It really shows the faith this community has in the United Way process.”

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