(WBIR, Knoxville) - The United Way of Greater Knoxville is hoping to set a record during their annual campaign by raising $13 million. The previous record was $12.7 million, and last year UWGK raised $12 million.
Thursday morning, the organization kicked off their 2014 campaign at the Tennessee Theater with record attendance. Special guests included UT Men's Basketball Coach Donnie Tyndall and the Pond Gap Elementary School Choir.
In order to accomplish record-setting fundraising, campaign chair Randy Boyd is doing a few things differently this year.
"We got our top 20 donors to donate all of the operating costs so that means that now we can tell everyone else in the community that every single penny they give will go 100 percent to an agency," said Boyd. "We also have a capital project within our budget for $200,000 to build a new home for homeless veterans."
Boyd is also encouraging businesses and organizations to challenge each other to see who can have the biggest increase in donations. Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero has already challenged Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, and Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch has challenged Knoxville Fire Chief Stan Sharp.