United Way goes above and beyond goals

By Beau Ebenezer

January 30, 2013 Updated Oct 28, 2013 at 2:21 AM CDT

CENTRAL ILLINOIS -- United Way fundraising in Central Illinois saw a big increase last year.

Members of the Heart of Illinois campaign celebrated their efforts Wednesday night at the Embassy Suites Conference Center.

Last year, their fund-raising increased by 17 percent, totaling more than $1.5 million.

Their 2012 mascot, Indiana Jones, surprised the crowd with the final number as a part of the "Discover the Treasure of Giving" theme.

"It is really a testimony to the generosity of this community," said United Way Co-Chair for the Heart of Illinois, Steve Gosselin. "It's absolutely amazing when you look at all the uncertainty that surrounds us. In a year, to have a seventeen percent increase is really a statement of how this community comes together and takes care of those people in need."

Meanwhile, McLean County's United Way campaign had some good news as well.

Their final total is $4,350,000, surpassing their goal by about $1,000.

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