So far, 2011 has exceeded all expectations for Twin County United Way.
"The 2010 Campaign met its $700,000 goal and surpassed it, landing at a total of $710,000," Executive Director Ron Ramos told members at the annual campaign banquet Thursday. In addition, a record 73 volunteers are registered for the Day of Caring, which takes place from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. today.
About 80 local business leaders turned out for the banquet celebration at the Red Lion Hotel in Lewiston.
The dollars raised by the campaign are distributed to organizations in the community that support education, income assistance and health and wellness. Of the at-risk children who participated in the L-C Valley Children's Project - a six-week "boot camp" that takes place before kindergarten - 80 percent increased their letter recognition, and 75 percent successfully learned and followed school routines.
Ramos also announced honorary campaign chairman Chris Loseth and recognized several board members for their service, including Lynn Posey for her 12 years of dedication to the organization.
"It's been the most rewarding 12 years of my life," she said. "It's been a passion."
Three local businesses were presented with the Spirit of Caring award for their service to Twin County United Way: Bryden Canyon Golf Course, Inland Cellular and ATK.
Mike Berghammer of ATK received the Rookie of the Year award and Janis Forsman of Clearwater Paper was named Volunteer of the Year.
"I take this passionately," Forsman said. "I'm humbled by this."
Also, TCUW President Bert Sahlberg passed the gavel to new president Seyra Lawrence. She told a story about a recent trip to Chicago in which she wanted to give money to a group of homeless people, but was warned she would be mugged.
"It reminded me of how great our community is," she said. "It takes all of us to do this together. What you do makes a huge impact to our community."