The dramatic moment arrived during Monday's celebration for the Tennessee Valley Combined Federal Campaign.
"Where's the drum roll?" Redstone senior commander Lt. Gen. Patricia McQuistion quipped before announcing the grand total from the 2014 fundraising drive.
The contributions totaled $2,414,795, eclipsing the $2,279,000 goal.
"That's going to make thousands and thousands of people's lives better," McQuistion said. As the campaign's honorary chairman, she presented awards to contributing organizations and individuals during the celebration in Bob Jones Auditorium.
There are more than 25,000 employees in the 63 federal agencies within the Tennessee Valley.
The Tennessee Valley ranks among the top 15 CFCs in the nation, according to campaign chairman Mack West, executive officer for the Army Materiel Command. By attaining 105.93 percent of its goal, it ranked second to Atlanta which achieved 107 percent.
"I want to thank you for your participation," West said.
The 2015 campaign chairman will be Mark Boudreaux of Marshall Space Flight Center, who served as West's co-chairman.
"We look forward to that challenge that he has set so high," Boudreaux said.
The top three giving organizations, also the largest federal agencies, included NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center ($658,644), the Missile Defense Agency ($378,292) and the Aviation and Missile Command ($215,308).
But three of the smallest organizations represented the top three per capita givers. These included the Defense Military Pay Office (an average of $622 per person), the National Weather Service ($565 per capita) and the Government Accountability Office ($404 per capita).
The Civilian Human Resources Agency, South Central Region, received the 2014 Tennessee Valley CFC Nike Award as the organization that exceeded its goal by the greatest percentage.
The overall participation rate in the Tennessee Valley was 20.5 percent for an average gift per person of $566. The 2014 campaign opened Sept. 22 and concluded Dec. 15.
West acknowledged the support from the Local Federal Coordinating Committee, the key workers, the Local Eligibility Committee and all other contributing organizations and individuals. "CFC truly is a collaborative effort," he said.
Cynthia Robinson is director of the Tennessee Valley CFC for the United Way of Madison County, the principal combined fund organization.
"This campaign was successful due to the hard work and generosity of the federal employees within the Tennessee Valley," Robinson said. "Without you we could not have made it possible."