A group of area residents gathered Thursday night to enjoy each other's company, share a meal and a laugh or two and just get caught up with some old friends.
Even more important, the 200 or so who gathered at the Hellenic Hall were there to help celebrate with officials of the United Way of Jefferson County, who announced their just-finished campaign had surpassed this year's goal, finishing with a total of $445,229.60.
That total was the result of the work of a tireless group corps of volunteers, and demonstrates, once again, that the spirit of generosity and a willingness to help friends and neighbors is alive and well in our area.
It's important work - it allows the agencies that depend on United Way funding to continue their missions of improving the lives of residents throughout our area.
We're not surprised with that support, however, and that the organization exceeded its goal of $440,000. In fact, the United Way of Jefferson County remains among a select group of United Ways across the country that consistently meets or exceeds their goals.
The work of those dedicated volunteers was coordinated by campaign chair Anthony Mougianis, who worked closely with Executive Director Beth Rupert-Warren and board President Ross Gallabrese to ensure a successful campaign.
Mougianis has agreed to serve as chair of the 2014 campaign, and he said he is looking forward to heading an even stronger effort, adding he is anxious to get started with Rupert-Warren and new board President Dave France.
The list of those who were honored during the annual recognition dinner is too numerous to mention here, but we would like to offer a well-deserved "thank you" to everyone who helped in any way.