The United Way of the Mark Twain Area's campaign exceeded its goal.

Eugene Field Elementary Pirate Pride singers finished entertaining those in attendance at Wednesday’s United Way of the Mark Twain Area luncheon, it was noted that one of the songs the youngsters performed - “Proud Mary” – contained a stanza that said: People on the river are happy to give. Those words were proven true on Wednesday when it was reported that the 2012-13 campaign goal of $565,000 had been exceeded.
While “people on the river” continued to give to this year’s United Way campaign, so did many people who don’t live near the Mighty Mississippi.
“My biggest push was reaching outside of Hannibal more and trying to get the other communities we provide money to to help support the campaign. They really stepped up this year,” said Ryan Rapp, chairman of the just-concluded campaign.
This year’s campaign wound up raising $576,371, in part due to the contributions of many new donors.
“It’s always great to see new people ... new faces step up and help out because it’s a long drive to the end of the campaign,” said Rapp. “The more people we have step up the better it is and we’ve had that his year with some new people. That really helped.”
Rapp admitted there were times when he wondered if the goal would be reached, let alone exceeded.
“Lou (Lemen, secretary, executive director of the United Way) had to remind me to stay calm all the time. In the end it was a little scary, but we pulled it off in the end. It was great to see everyone really provide the funds that were needed for these organizations because frankly they really need any support they can get,” he said.
A strong final two weeks proved to be the difference, according to Rapp.
“That made it easier to come to this event today,” he laughed. “You don’t want to be the one having to pass around the hat at the annual meeting. I’m glad we didn’t have to do that today.”
Rapp offered a tip of the cap to everyone who participated in this year’s campaign.
“I want to thank everyone for the tremendous support. I didn’t realize until I was in this position how neat it is to see everyone step up and really give to a great cause,” he said.
In other business from the United Way luncheon:
• Dawn Klotz (General Mills) and Brad Hockman (Continental Cement) were added to the board of directors.
• Retiring board member Steve Karickhoff was recognized for his six years of service.
• Chairman of the 2013 campaign, Mike McFarlane (BASF), introduced Gary Broughton (Century 21 Broughton Team) as his assistant chairman.
• Amy Hymer (Watlow Industries) was the winner of this year’s trip incentive. She will have the choice of a trip to Disney World, a cruise or a cash equivalent.