For the sixth straight year, the United Way of Union County campaign has brought in more funds than in the previous year, thanks to workers at businesses throughout the county, United Way organizers said Thursday.

For the sixth straight year, the United Way of Union County campaign has brought in more funds than in the previous year, thanks to workers at businesses throughout the county, United Way organizers said Thursday.

United Way hosted its 2010-11 campaign awards banquet in Plain City on March 24, announcing a total of $863,510 in pledges for the current year, according to campaign and public-relations director Dave Bezusko. About 90 percent of the money comes from employees in participating workplaces and corporate matches, he said.

"In the five years I've been here, I've seen so much happen, so much growth," said Doug Hoy of Scotts Miracle-Gro, president of the United Way board of trustees. "Things are taking root and becoming sustainable. That's because of people like you, leaders in our county who have latched on to what United Way is doing and saying, 'That's important. We're going to make this happen.'"

The United Way uses the donations to fund numerous local programs and agencies, including six food pantries, four senior-citizen centers, a youth center, two shelters, a program for rent and utility assistance, prescription medication, hospice care, cancer support and other activities, according to Bezusko.

Union County's two largest employers both gave in the six-figures range during the campaign: Honda of America accounted for $215,938 of the United Way's donations, and Scotts Miracle-Gro brought in $125,048. Other top donors included Nationwide ($73,599), Nestle PTC ($49,941), Memorial Hospital/Gables ($33,101), United Way Residential Campaign ($28,796), Marysville schools ($22,140), the state of Ohio ($16,242), Parker ($11,975) and the campaign's online auction ($10,633).

The Union County Board of Developmental Disabilities was recognized for increasing its workplace campaign above the $10,000 mark. Bezusko said the DD board raised $10,194.

"It's hard to find another workplace with as much enthusiasm about United Way," he said. "Their campaign doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles. It's no-frills. But the staff believes in the impact United Way makes in our community because they see it firsthand in the lives of the people they serve. It's as though giving to United Way is an extension of their work, and it shines forth in their generosity."

Donations from all public employees in the county increased by 29 percent this year, totaling $28,528, Bezusko said. Donations from the four local school districts also increased by 29 percent, up to $34,936.

The following workplaces earned a Gold Campaign Award for giving levels achieved last fall, for having 40 percent of their employees donating, with an average gift of $150 or more. Those businesses were Allen Yurasek Merklin & Owens-Ruff, Bob Chapman Ford, Cannizzaro Bridges Jillisky & Streng, the city of Marysville, Community Action Organization, Dayton Power & Light, Fifth Third Bank, Gables at Green Pastures, Honda Lock R&D, Honda of America, Huntington, Industrial Ceramic Products, Loving Care Hospice, Marysville schools, McCarthy & Cox, Memorial Hospital of Union County, Mental Health & Recovery Board of Union County, North Union schools, Ohio Reformatory for Women, Parker, PNC, Richwood Banking Co., Scotts Miracle-Gro, Select Sires, Technology Site Planners, Union County Department of Job & Family Services, Union County Engineer's Office, Union County Family YMCA, Union County Health Department, Union County Senior Services, Union Rural Electric, Veyance Technologies and Walmart.

Earning a Silver Campaign Award for having 30-percent participation were Fairbanks schools and the Marysville Public Library.

Bronze Campaign Award recipients for having 20 percent were Consolidated Care, Jonathan Alder schools and the Union County Sheriff's Office.

Eight organizations received Good Neighbor Awards for participating in the campaign over the past year: AVS Properties, Best Buy, Buffalo Wild Wings, Central Ohio Youth Center, Cue Stick Cafe, eMarysville.com, Kroger and the Marysville Association of Realtors.