2021 United Way fundraising campaign culminates more than $1mil raised

Wulf James-Roby
The Daily Ardmoreite

Representatives from area agencies, businesses and community groups gathered at the Colvert Ministry Center Friday to celebrate 2021's United Way campaign efforts-- and to unveil the (almost) grand total for the year.  

“This year has actually been pretty amazing considering the circumstances,” said United Way of South Central Oklahoma executive director Daela Echols. “We really had a lot of support from the community.” Echols said the organization received tremendous support from individuals and corporate sponsors alike. Local industry leaders including OG&E, Valero and Michelin along with their employees all pitched in alongside community groups and even the City of Ardmore to raise and match funds for the nonprofit. 

"Everybody that supports the United Way campaign has really stepped it up this year, not only in giving but also in volunteerism and just really being gung-ho for the campaign,” Echols said. “Outside of the fundraising campaign, we’ve been able to host trainings and events this year. We’re really proud of that and we hope to continue that and make it bigger and better.” Those trainings include ACEs trainings and an upcoming Human Trafficking training in partnership with local organizations as well as national United Way support.  

“We're really brainstorming to bring more things to the community and become not just a fundraising agency, but to be a community agency to bring, you know, awareness, training, and just anything that we feel that the community could benefit from,” Echols said. “Last year, we started the annual event with United Way at the drive in and United Way at Mill Street Tavern. Those continued on this year, and funds raised there do go into the campaign.” Echols said the organization is both lucky and thankful that so many local businesses are supportive of their efforts to uplift those in need.  

Friday’s wrap up event is not really an ending, Echols said. “This is just the beginning. We have added a lot of new local businesses onto our giving partners.” The event was about giving thanks to all those that have contributed and the hard work they put in, Echols said, because the organization would not be a success without those people. 

As of noon Friday, the total funds raised, including corporate matching, came to $1,030,118. The final total for the year will be announced on the organization’s website and social media when it becomes available.  

Advance =$9,206 

Ardmore Schools = $6,696 

Commercial = $6761 

Corporate = $110,958 

Davis/Sulphur = $4,266 

Dickson = $100 

Energy = $732,809 

Foundations = $79,788 

Healthcare = $13,507 

Lone Grove = $7,011 

Love County = $2,838 

Madill = $2,500 

Mail/Professional = $7,471 

Planview = $2,451 

Public Service = $32,594 

Springer = $3,330 

Tishomingo = $3,704 

Unsolicited = $2,182 

Wilson = $1,946 

Total = $1,030,118