SHREVEPORT, LA (March 30, 2017) – United Way of Northwest Louisiana has raised more than $2 million during the past year. That money will be used to improve the lives of residents in Northwest Louisiana. The dollars raised will be spent on nonprofit programs in NWLA aimed at improving lives in the areas of education, health, financial stability and those in crisis.

United Way of NWLA leaders shared the good news Thursday during their annual Celebration of Impact luncheon. The nonprofit honored area businesses and local leaders that helped them reach their goal.

The top campaign contributors were Caddo Parish Schools, AEP Swepco and IBEW Local 329, International Paper – Mansfield Mill, Sam’s Town Hotel and Casino and Volunteers of America making up close to $449,000 of the total dollars raised. A majority of the funds were raised by hosting workplace campaigns with employee and corporate contributions.

The Thursday event also presented the distinguished Clyde E. Fant Memorial Award to Paula Hickman of the Community Foundation. The Clyde Fant Award has been awarded to community philanthropists since 1949. Former recipients include Virginia K. Shehee, 1975 and Maxine Sarpy, 2008. The Live United award was presented to Querbes & Nelson for demonstrating their dedication to the community and displaying the Live United spirit.

During the past year, United Way of NWLA funded 93 nonprofit programs. Five of these are operated in-house including Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, Bank On NWLA, the Webster, Bienville, Claiborne (W.B.C.) Center, FamilyWize and the Volunteer Center of NWLA. The announcement for the allocation of these new dollars raised will be held in May.