After months of fundraising, United Way of South Central Oklahoma announced they raised just shy of $1 million for its 2017 campaign.
Representatives from companies and nonprofits, both longtime partners and newcomers, gathered to look back on their efforts and celebrate their accomplishments with a wrap-up luncheon at the Hilton Garden Inn.
“You all know that we have a goal of $850,000 and we are blessed to say that southern Oklahoma has stepped up to the plate every year, including this year,” UWSCO president Sissy Burge said.
This year’s theme was “The Power of U,” an idea that encouraged donors to think about their own potential. Organizations that donated to United Way would take photos posing with a “power of U” poster to encourage others to do the same.
“We wanted to show it takes the power of everybody to make this campaign work,” Burge said. “So, ‘The Power of U’ has been a good theme for our campaign and has wrapped it up very nicely.”
UW screened a video featuring UW partners like Sarah’s Project and Hill Top Equine Therapy that quickly explained who they serve and what they do.
During the luncheon, Burge gave shout-outs to companies like XTO, Mercy Hospital and Dollar General for their support. She also noted Valero’s contribution of $515,130 and said they’ve been a longtime contributor.
“The employees at Valero really step up year after year after year, and they just continue to outdo themselves,” Burge said. “That does not go unnoticed, we really do appreciate them.”
Michelin representative Treyon Grant spoke as well. He said it was his first time participating in a UW campaign, and having a part in raising the $108,477 by Michelin was an honor for him.
“We make our contributions, but there are stories for every person in this room, and we are truly acting as the hands and feet of God through these donations.” Grant said. “So I just want to encourage everybody to continue to be a resource in any capacity that you can.”  
The number is impressive, but it’s not the full total. United Way will continue to collect the last few donations from businesses over the next few weeks.