The United Way of Erie County's 2008 Campaign Kick-Off got off to a great start Friday with a nearly sold-out lunch crowd at Outback Steakhouse.
The organization printed 200 tickets in preparation for the event and sold about 180 tickets.
"That gives us room for growth next year," said Pam Colbert, executive director. "It turned out great."
Last year the agency raised $910,000, falling short of its goal of $965,000. This year the agency hasn't established a goal, with officials saying they want to raise as much as possible.
"If we go out and do the best we can, that will be our goal," said Jack Haplea, former executive director.
Scott McCurdy, the restaurant's proprietor, said Friday's event was a significant improvement compared to last year.
"I was floored," McCurdy said. "It was 100 percent better -- and last year was great."
Tickets were $17 each and all proceeds raised from the event directly benefits the United Way of Erie County.
Haplea said Friday's luncheon raised $3,100.