Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2014, 7:50 pm

Hand it to United Way for raising $8.4 million

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By Leon Lagerstam, llagerstam@qconline.com

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Photo: Gary Krambeck/gkrambeck@qconline.com
United Way campaign co-chairs John Riches, left, and Dr. Kim Armstrong, along with Hand-in-Hand CEO Mark Smith, and President of United Way of the Quad Cities Scott Crane reveal that the 2013 United Way campaign raised more than $8.4 million during a presentation at Hand-in-Hand in Bettendorf on Wednesday Feb. 19, 2014.
BETTENDORF -- Raising more than $8.4 million in a workplace fundraising campaign will help United Way and local social-service agencies continue to work hand-in-hand to benefit Quad-Citians.

Campaign totals were announced during a Wednesday news conference at Hand-in-Hand, a nonprofit that helps children and young adults, including those with special needs. It receives $6,200 from United Way, according to Jenny Parvin, vice president of brand strategy and marketing for United Way of the Quad Cities Area.

Hand-in-Hand CEO Mark Smith was surprised United Way leaders chose to announce their totals at his place.

"We're just a little nonprofit," he said. "There are certainly larger places they could have gone to announce their totals."

There was a symbolism to holding the news conference there, United Way President Scott Crane said, adding that working hand-in-hand with local groups is exactly what United Way does.

United Way campaign co-chairs, Dr. Kim Armstrong, assistant dean of student support services at Black Hawk College, and Alcoa community relations manager John Riches, thanked the thousands of workers who contributed through their workplaces to the campaign.

In August, Dr. Armstrong and Mr. Riches announced a goal of $8.85 million.

Mr. Crane attributed the $450,000 shortfall to uncertain economic conditions seen during the campaign, something he said United Way colleagues elsewhere in the country also witnessed.

The $8.4 million raised does not include any government money or other grants United Way received, Ms. Parvin said.

It did match an $8.4 million record-breaking amount collected last year.

For every $1 dollar donated, United Way is able to give a $2.60 return to the Quad-Cities, Mr. Riches said.

"'Living United' is knowing that together, we are more powerful than we are individually," he said, referring to a United Way motto. "It has been a privilege to see the phrase 'Live United' in action during this year's campaign."

Dr. Armstrong said she agreed, adding it was wonderful to lead the campaign and meet so many people who make a profound difference in the lives of others.