The United Way of Southeast Arkansas scored a victorious touchdown and then tacked on a 2-point conversion Tuesday afternoon with 2011 fall campaign Chairman Scott Pittillo's announcement that the crusade's $1.275 million goal has been exceeded.

The United Way of Southeast Arkansas scored a victorious touchdown and then tacked on a 2-point conversion Tuesday afternoon with 2011 fall campaign Chairman Scott Pittillo’s announcement that the crusade’s $1.275 million goal has been exceeded.

Pittillo, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Pine Bluff National Bank, said the community service effort has thus far netted $1.28 million, nearly half a percentage point beyond the targeted amount.

When initiating the drive, Pittillo — a former White Hall High School all-state quarterback — likened the endeavor to the march of a football team, complete with a coach and his assistants, players and dedicated boosters.

In a meeting at the Donald W. Reynolds Community Services Center in Pine Bluff, Pittillo credited the enterprise’s success to “a spirit of commitment.”

“Pine Bluff has a strong sense of caring for others,” Pittillo said in expressing his gratitude. “This has been true in the past and is evident again this year.

“Since 2007, when this recession began, people here have contributed $6.3 million to help the less fortunate among us. During the past several years, the United Way of Southeast Arkansas has been the most stable United Way in the state. For that to happen, leadership and financial support are musts. That’s what enables us to help the less fortunate among us,” he said.

Pittillo noted that the 2011 fall goal represented a $25,000 increase from the previous year.

“And even in this difficult economy, we surpassed the bigger goal,” he said.

United Way board President Marty Casteel praised Pittillo for doing “an exceptional job” in steering the 2011 fall campaign.

Casteel also thanked United Way’s 26 partner agencies for strengthening the region with their services.

“People have needs and our agencies have solutions,” he said.