The Rappahannock United Way on Thursday celebrated raising $1.8 million for the Fredericksburg area community through its 2018 Workplace Campaign.

About 100 local businesses and organizations participated in the campaign this year, raising funds to support the United Way’s efforts to improve the health, education and financial stability of families and individuals in Fredericksburg and the counties of Stafford, Spotsylvania, Caroline and King George.

“We are changing our community and we can only do it through you guys,” Rappahannock United Way President Janel Donohue said to guests at the awards lunch held at the University of Mary Washington’s Jepson Alumni Executive Center.

GEICO raised the most during the 2018 campaign, exceeding its goal of $1 million by almost $45,000.

The company also presented a check for $25,000 to the United Way’s ALICE Emergency Fund. The acronym ALICE—which stands for Asset-Limited, Income-Constrained, Employed—can be applied to almost 116,000 households in the Fredericksburg area, Donohue said.

ALICE families show that “income does not determine need,” she said.

The United Way’s ALICE Emergency Fund provides financial assistance to cover the cost of basic needs of housing and transportation for eligible working households. GEICO has pledged to contribute matching funds up to $25,000 for any amount donated to the ALICE fund.

Other awards presented Thursday included the Chairman’s Awards of Excellence.

The Award for Excellence in Employee Giving went to Virginia Partner’s Bank, which had 100 percent of its employees participate. Publix received the Award of Excellence in Corporate Spirit and Mary Washington Healthcare received the Award of Excellence in Leadership Giving.

Kaeser Compressors received the award for Rookie of the Year, given to a business participating in the workplace campaign for the first time.

In the competition for the Top Dog Award, which is given to the local government or school district that does the best at fundraising, Stafford County government edged Fredericksburg government, which won the past two years.

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Adele Uphaus-Conner: 540/735-1973 auphaus@freelancestar.com @flsadele

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