LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Metro United Way kicked off its 2017 “Race to $1 Billion” campaign with a breakfast Wednesday morning.

“What a neat opportunity we have to run toward that billion dollar mark,” said UofL Head Baseball Coach Dan McDonnell.

McDonnell was one of the guest speakers at the event which was also a celebration of United Way’s 100th year in the community.

“Compassion is not just laying back and feeling for people, it's getting up off the couch and doing something and that's what Metro United Way has been doing for 100 years,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.

United Way helps fund non-profits and other organizations supporting education, health and financial stability of people across Kentuckiana.

“Like, I'm daring my kids to be excellent in the classroom, I'm daring them to be excellent on the ball field, I'm daring them to be excellent in the community,” said McDonnell.

Over the last 99 years United Way has raised millions of dollars, now just $36 million shy of $1 billion and the group is calling on the community to come together to reach that billion dollar goal.

“We are getting out there and making sure individuals know about the great work United Way and our partners do in this community,” said Theresa Reno-Weber, President and CEO of Metro United Way.

The campaign runs through the end of the year.