The bar was set high for the 2010 edition of the United Way telethon.
Their goal - $300,000 - was the highest in the organization's history. To make things a little more interesting they had one hour less than normal to reach it.
So how did they do?
Not only did they reach their target, they set a brand new record - with just under two hours left to spare no less.
By any measure, the 34th United Way was a smashing success with the telethon eventually topping out at a remarkable $350,452 when it went off air at 5 o'clock Saturday afternoon at the Estevan Legion Hall.
United Way chairman James Trobert, who had the pleasure of presiding over this year's event, says the support Estevan shows the organization never ceases to amaze him.
"It's a tremendous feeling to have the community come behind us like this," said Trobert. "What can you say about Estevan, they got behind us once again and said don't worry we'll take care of you and your member agencies."
The telethon kicked off bright and early Friday morning and carried along at a nice pace until Saturday afternoon when a pair of local corporate stalwarts helped kick things into overdrive.
First up was Sherritt Coal which came in with a donation, collected by the employees and partially matched by the company, of just over $100,000. Not to be outdone, SaskPower then stepped up with a $58,000 donation from Estevan and area employees and another $47,000 from the SaskPower Corporation.
Moments after the second donation, UW board members Lynn Trobert and Brian Senchuk strode to the total board and confirmed what everyone in attendance already knew, posting the new total of $326,493.
James Trobert then had the honour of calling United Way Canada president Al Hatton who informed him that for the 33rd year time in 34 years the Estevan team was the first in the country to hit its goal.
"Your United Way is my favourite United Way in Canada," Hatton told Trobert during the phone call. "Once again you are No. 1. It's another example of the community support and the dedication of the people of Estevan."
Trobert said making the call to Hatton was a major honour and also somewhat of a relief.
"It's indescribable, it really is," he said. "It's such a sense of relief and honour to carry on Estevan's reputation as being No.1 in Canada for all these years."
After hitting their goal so early, the United Way members decided to raise the bar even further and set an unofficial goal of $350,000. Once again, they had little trouble reaching the mark.
Trobert said the extra money is not only impressive, it also means the world to the 20 member organizations the United Way provides funding to.
"They put their allocation request in and we try to meet it. But when we have a year like this, we can do so much more and it gives them a feeling of ease that if they have a new program or if there was funding cut from a government agency, they can fill that gap and it's because the people of Estevan have come through again."
Trobert also credited the work of his fellow board members and their army of volunteers for making the telethon the success it was.
"We saw people putting pledges in, but then volunteering their time from the people that took the pledges, served food, just did everything. It just can't go over any better than it did because they are behind us 100 per cent. It's just crazy how much this town takes up the challenge and runs with it year after year."