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United Way donations match last year's amount

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United Way of Central Indiana's 2009 fund-raising campaign raised $38.8 million, slightly short of its $39 million goal, but almost equal to the previous year's effort, the organization announced Thursday.

"We are delighted coming in even with 2008," CEO Ellen Annala said.

Annala said she was pleased with the results of the campaign because it began at a virtual deficit of $1 million because so many companies that participated in the past went out of business or canceled their corporate gifts. "That meant others really stepped up," she said.

Although United Way fell short of its fund-raising goal, Annala said she does not expect to reduce the amount of grants going to various agencies.

United Way of Central Indiana was closer to its goal than many of its counterparts across the country. Annala said 68 percent of the 100 largest United Way organizations raised at least 5 percent less money in 2009 than they did in 2008.

United Way also recognized four companies with the "Spirit United" award for fund-raising and volunteer work: UPS, State Bank of Lizton, ProLiance Energy LLC and Herff Jones Inc.

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