Chris Feeney (left), EVP and chief financial officer, and Frank Mendicino (right), EVP and chief administrative officer, stand beside a thermometer that shows record-breaking associate participation in Delaware North’s annual United Way campaign.

Associates at Delaware North’s global headquarters in Buffalo got into the holiday giving spirit early this year, wrapping up a month long United Way campaign on Dec. 1.

The results were record-breaking, with 83 percent of associates each making a contribution per pay period — a significant increase over the 49 percent who participated last year. The total dollars pledged by associates increased by 15 percent, and Delaware North added a $120,000 corporate gift to that sum.

“That so many associates stepped up to give this year was not only remarkable, it was a fitting representation of our company’s values,” Delaware North Co-CEOs Jerry Jacobs Jr. and Lou Jacobs said in an email thanking associates for their generosity. “We strive to treat everyone like they are members of our own family, and that means giving back to the communities that have helped to enable Delaware North’s growth and prosperity for more than 100 years. By contributing to the United Way, you have reflected these values back to all of Western New York.”

The campaign kicked off Oct. 26 with a lunch and learn with the company’s four executive vice presidents — Chief Financial Offier Chris Feeney, Chief Operating Officer Jim Houser, Chief Administrative Officer Frank Mendicino and Chief Development Officer Maureen Sweeny — discussing the importance of the United Way. In addition to their individual pledges, associates also donated throughout the campaign by participating in $5 “Jeans Fridays” and weekly 50/50 raffles.

The funds raised will be used by the United Way to provide resources, services and programs to thousands of needy individuals and families in Buffalo and Erie County.