By STEVE EIGHINGER
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
John Letts' smile was a dead giveaway.
Even before Letts announced the outcome of this year's United Way of Adams County annual campaign, it was obvious the goal had been reached.
Letts, the campaign chairman and president of John Wood Community College, revealed that a projected $1.183 million was raised during a campaign celebration Wednesday night at the Town & Country Inn and Suites in Quincy. That was more than $45,000 beyond this year's campaign goal of $1.138 million.
"It truly is a good day here in Quincy, Illinois," Letts said. "The United Way message is a strong one, and this is a testament to the unique support of this community."
The announced total includes projected contributions from some accounts that remain open. An official total will be made public at the local United Way's annual meeting in February.
The money raised goes toward organizations and programs supported by the United Way to help strengthen the community through "education, income and health -- the building blocks of life," Letts said.
Letts cited a number of specific examples that made this year's campaign a success:
º Special events such as Restaurant Days, a golf tournament at Spring Lake Country Club, and the annual pancake and sausage breakfast at County Market.
º Continued growth in the commercial division, where WGEM, Moore's Floors, Ashley Furniture and KHQA led the way by increasing their giving by more than 25 percent.
º In the financial division, where Bank of Springfield, First Bankers Trust Services and People's Prosperity Bank all saw significant increases.
º The industrial division, which had "an incredible year," Letts said. Substantial gains in giving came from ADM Soybean, Refinery and Packaging, Gardner Denver, Knapheide Equipment Co. and Knapheide Manufacturing Co., Prince Agri Products, and local energy and communications cooperatives.
º In the professional division, where John Wood Community College, WDM Computer Services and Washington School led the way with increased giving. In addition, Letts said special events hosted by the city of Quincy and Adams County, Blessing Health System, and Cheerful Home Child Care and Early Learning Center "paid great dividends." Advocacy Network for Children, YWCA of Quincy and the Boy Scouts also reported sizable increases.
º The special gifts division, which consists of retirees and home-based professionals totaling nearly 400 donors who added more than $75,000 to the total.
Campaign Assistant Chairman Jerry Jackson said one of the success stories of any United Way campaign is the loaned executive progam.
"Each year, businesses select an employee to work with the United Way throughout the campaign and function as an extension of the United Way staff," said Jackson, who is president and CEO of Blessing Physician Services. "Loaned executives learn about United Way and its partner organizations, then take the message to various companies and employees. This year, 13 loaned executives made 78 presentations, raising more than $500,000."
Jackson will serve as chairman of the 2013 campaign.
"This campaign was an extraordinary effort by our community," Letts said. "The money that has been raised will help create a long-lasting change for our citizens, and this is all a result of the community's generosity, the volunteers and the focus of the United Way."