Groton school employees raised nearly $30,000 for United Way this year, more than three times the amount of any other school system in the region, the agency said.
"In a year in which there is so much need, the response of your school system is heroic," Virginia Mason, president and chief executive officer of United Way of Southeastern Connecticut wrote in an e-mail to Superintendent Paul Kadri.
According to United Way, 390 of the Groton schools' 700 employees donated to the campaign, up from 347 employees last year. Donations show a dramatic increase from 2008, during which 29 people donated $4,500.
Mason said the $30,000 total is a record breaker, and serves as a model for other New London County communities.
"I wish you all could have heard the shouts and applause (and the bell ringing in our hallway) when the news came in about your results! Wow! Thank you all so much," Mason wrote.
She also thanked Kadri for his work in leading a statewide conference earlier this month about the needs of school children with parents in the military. More than 100 leaders attended.
Kadri said he is thrilled with the generosity of Groton employees.
“It’s the commitment in a bad economy, (that) when donations are down, the staff of the school system and the town step up to the plate and say 'We want to support hose who are helping the families that we help,'" Kadri said. "It’s just great.”