Members from all across the St. Joseph community gathered Thursday night to celebrate the wrap-up of the 2019 United Way Campaign.

The celebration took place at Moila Golf Club to recognize all of the donors and volunteers who contributed to the $2.9 million goal. They ended up finishing with a little over $2.6 million.

The campaign kicked off on Sept. 5 chaired by Pat and Terri Modlin, volunteers and local business owners.

Kylee Strough, United Way president, was grateful for everything the community contributed and knows they’ll be able to complete a lot of work with the money.

“It’s been amazing these past couple of months witnessing the good in our community and the people who just really care,” Strough said.

Strough said that American Family, Nestle Purina, Altec and Mosaic were huge donors that together contributed over $1 million.

“They’re some of the largest employers in town, but their employees are some of the most generous as well,” Strough said.

The United Way has thousands of donors throughout the community who contributed.

Multiple donors contributed by hosting fundraising events such as the St. Joseph Mustangs and Missouri Western athletics, and last week McDonald’s wrapped it up with a fundraiser.

“United Way in St. Joseph is 103 years old and we’ve been raising money since day one,” Strough said.

All United Way members enjoyed being able to interact and meet donors face-to-face, some for the first time.

“We really get to know them and understand what their aspirations are for the community,” Strough said.

There’s still at least one large campaign outstanding that will contribute to their goal. Strough said one of the reasons they didn’t reach the goal was due to half of a large company donor being sold and needing to hit a pause on the organization.

“Overall, we noticed an increase in donations and 38 percent of people that mail them in increased their amounts,” Strough said. “There’s a strong message of support from the community.”

Strough said the United Way holds the campaign tradition in their hearts very strongly and hopes to continue to raise funds and help even more people in the future.

Bailey Ketcham can be reached


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