United Way of Central Oklahoma Raises More Than $16.6 Million in 2017 Campaign

OKLAHOMA CITY – United Way of Central Oklahoma celebrated the close of its 2017 fundraising campaign Friday night with its 16th annual Snowflake Gala at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.

The United Way revealed a grand total of more than $16.6 million was raised through more than 550 employee workplace campaigns, corporate gifts and individual donors. This year’s campaign had more than 30,000 generous donors.

“This year’s campaign achieved what was most important — raising the money needed to fund health and social services programming that supports the well-being of our community,” said Debby Hampton, president and CEO of the United Way of Central Oklahoma. “Our 58 Partner Agencies are the best of the best, and funds raised during our campaign will provide much needed support to these organizations at a time when our community needs them more than ever.”

Several campaigns that contributed to the larger United Way of Central Oklahoma goal were recognized and their totals were shared before the grand total was revealed:

The Heart of the City campaign raised $567,646

The State Charitable Campaign totaled $401,921

Additionally, the United Way of Logan County and United Way of Canadian County raised $365,341 through their campaigns.

These campaigns combined with the United Way of Central Oklahoma’s fundraising efforts to reach the grand total of $16,603,703 million.

Challenging year

The United Way of Central Oklahoma didn’t announce a specific fundraising goal for its 2017 campaign. Instead, the organization set out to raise as much money as possible in a tough economic environment.

Making it to that total was challenging this year, Hampton said. She credited the campaign’s success to Oklahomans’ notoriously giving spirit and the hard work of campaign chairman David Rainbolt, BancFirst executive chairman.

“We knew going into the campaign that it was going to be a challenging fundraising year,” said David Rainbolt, BancFirst executive chairman and campaign chairman. “In difficult times like these, central Oklahomans need help from the United Way more than ever and we are very appreciative of the tremendous support the community has shown for the United Way and its Partner Agencies.”

The funds raised will be dispersed to the United Way’s Partner Agencies through an in-depth allocation process led by donor volunteers.

Honoring volunteers

With United Way of Central Oklahoma board chairman Carl Edwards as emcee, the organization’s annual volunteer awards ceremony preceded the Snowflake Gala. Three Oklahomans were recognized for dedicating their time and talents to helping make the mission of the United Way of Central Oklahoma successful:

Judy Love, business leader and philanthropist, was presented with the United Way’s highest honor, the Richard H. Clements Lifetime Achievement Award.

Polly Nichols, community volunteer, received the John and Berta Faye Rex Community Builder Award.

Tim O’Connor, public relations representative at American Income Life Insurance Company and president of the Central Oklahoma Labor Federation, AFL-CIO, was honored with the Ray Ackerman Leadership Award.

“Tonight’s honorees have truly made such a difference in our community,” Hampton said. “United Way is blessed with an amazing board of directors, campaign cabinet and volunteers who give of themselves with such tremendous generosity. Our community is a better place thanks in part to these business and civic leaders.”

Although the 2017 campaign has ended, the United Way continues to recruit volunteers and raise funds for its community projects and partner agencies year round.

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. For more information about United Way of Central Oklahoma, please visit www.unitedwayokc.org or call (405) 236-8441.