After four years of falling just short, the United Way of Ellis County has met its goal for the just-completed 2018 fundraiser, the organization announced in a press release Monday afternoon.

A donation of more than $53,000 from the Bob and Patricia Schmidt Foundation helped the campaign reach the $400,000 goal, according to a press release from United Way of Ellis County Executive director Sherry Dryden.

The United Way evolved from the Hays United Fund, founded in 1953 by Bob Schmidt, longtime president and CEO of Eagle Communications who died in August 2017.

“Bob and Pat not only helped start the United Way in Ellis County, but believed fully in the mission of supporting the people and agencies tasked with helping our friends and neighbors in need,” Gary Shorman, president of the Schmidt Foundation and president and CEO of Eagle, said in the press release.

The campaign funds the United Way of Ellis County’s partner agencies that provide direct services to individuals, youth and families.

On Jan. 19, the United Way reported it was just $56,000 short of its goal. The campaign ended Jan. 31. The Schmidt Foundation goal puts the total at exactly $400,000, Dryden said.

The campaign in 2015 and 2016 raised $415,000, short of the goals of $490,000 for 2015 and $450,000 in 2016. The 2017 campaign fell about $20,000 short of the $450,000 goal.