The sixth installment of the United Way Valero BBQ broke its own record for amount of money raised. When United Way of South Central Oklahoma Executive Director tobi daniel Ervin announced the preliminary numbers at the end of the two-day event, it looked like the Showdown brought in around $160,000 — a new all-time high. Now that the final calculation is in, the grand total comes to $180,000.
Sara Donaho Jones, community relations advisor for Valero, said a large portion of this extra money came from money raised during the auction.
“The auction that we held on Saturday was a huge success. Several high-dollar items were purchased and then donated back,” Jones said. “So we were actually able to basically double the funds on those items and it made a significant difference.”
She added the official tally of wristband sales also came in a bit higher than originally announced and they also received a few other last minute donations.
Jones said everyone is thrilled with the final result and she is excited to see the event continue to grow. They estimate this year around 6,000 people attended.
“We’re probably looking at around 5,300 people who purchased wristbands on both Friday and Saturday, and that doesn’t include all of the team participants because they are given wristbands with their team entry fee,” Jones said. “But a lot of them bring guests who just hang out at their site, so it’s hard to get an exact number on how many people were down there.”
She said in addition to the money raised for United Way, another important aspect of the Showdown comes from all of the volunteer hours it takes to make it run smoothly.
“We had over 500 volunteer hours logged in support of the two-day event. Some of that was Valero employees and their family members and some was from the United Way partner agencies who had their volunteers come in to help as well,” Jones said. “That’s a lot of people giving of their time.”