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United Way surpasses its financial goal
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United Way 2009 Campaign Chairwoman Kelly Mathis Lee, right, gets help from Joy Griffin in tearing off the wrapper showing the amount of money raised for the 2009 campaign during Wednesday afternoon’s campaign celebration and volunteer recognition luncheon at the Gainesville Civic Center.

Thanks to the community stepping up to “live united,” the United Way of Hall County was able to reach its financial goal for 2009.

During a campaign celebration and volunteer recognition luncheon on Thursday, United Way officials announced that the $1.87 million goal was surpassed by $359.

“Being a third-generation United Way volunteer, I thought there was nothing that I didn’t know about the (organization), but, boy, was I wrong,” said Kelly Mathis Lee, 2009 campaign chairwoman.

“I learned that we do indeed live in a very generous community and how great it feels to be a part of something that helps so many.”

Where some people saw economic challenges last year, United Way administrators and volunteers say they saw opportunities.

Those opportunities lead to the organization exceeding its goal during a “tough campaign” year.

During the luncheon, officials also presented North Georgia Health Systems with the Chairman’s Award, which is given to the company “that demonstrates high campaign excellence and whose support extends far beyond the annual campaign giving.”

Carol Burrell, the health system’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, was named as the new chairwoman of the United Way Board of Directors, replacing 2009 chairman Jack Kenner.

“I feel very privileged (to be in this position),” Burrell said. “I have big shoes to fill, and I’m sure that 2010 will be a big year of opportunities.”

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