United Way of Central Oklahoma Kicks off Annual Fundraising Campaign

The United Way of Central Oklahoma kicked off its 2016 campaign with more than 500 attendees enjoying a free pancake breakfast at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark earlier today. Business and civic leaders enjoyed the annual tradition of flipping pancakes to showcase their United Way spirit. The kickoff celebration marks the official start of the United Way of Central Oklahoma’s fundraising campaign as well as the central Oklahoma Combined Federal Campaign, the State Charitable Campaign and the Heart of the City Campaign.

The United Way’s campaign raises money to support 121 programs in five focus areas—strong families, successful kids, healthy citizens, independent living and community preparedness—that are administered by 58 Partner Agencies, striving to improve lives in our community.

“The United Way is perfectly positioned to lead the way in addressing our community’s most pressing issues,” said John Richels, Devon Energy Corp. chairman of the board and campaign co-chairman. “To do this, we rely on local businesses and individuals to continue to provide financial support. Given the economic challenges facing our community and with government budget cuts, the United Way and its Partner Agencies need our support more than ever.”

This year 81 companies were Pacesetters, companies that complete their campaigns prior to the official kick off and “set the pace” for others to follow. Pacesetters raised $4.3 million and got the campaign off to a great start.

Through this year’s camping themed campaign, United Way invites people to “Give S’More to the community” through contributions via their United Way workplace campaigns, individual giving and the contribution of their time and effort by volunteering for community projects.

“We’re always so thankful to our Pacesetter companies that truly set the pace for our campaign,” said Debby Hampton, president and CEO, United Way of Central Oklahoma. “Every year, thousands of generous donors respond to the needs of our community through their support of our annual campaign. Thanks to our donors, United Way and our Partner Agencies are able to touch the lives of one in three central Oklahomans.”

For more information on the United Way of Central Oklahoma’s annual campaign for the community or to make a contribution online, visit www.unitedwayokc.org.

About United Way of Central Oklahoma

United Way of Central Oklahoma researches human needs within the communities of central Oklahoma and directs resources to accountable health and human services agencies to meet those needs by improving the health, safety, education and economic well-being of its most vulnerable citizens. The organization received the 2016 Charles Schusterman Award for Excellence from the Center for Nonprofits as the state’s top nonprofit organization. For more information about United Way of Central Oklahoma, please visit www.unitedwayokc.org or call (405) 236-8441.