Campaign co-chairs (from left) John and Charlotte Richels, along with United Way president and CEO Debby Hampton and board chairman Larry Nichols celebrate the 2016 fundraising grand total at Snowflake Gala.

United Way of Central Oklahoma Raises More Than $19.1 Million in 2016 Campaign

United Way of Central Oklahoma celebrated the close of its 2016 fundraising campaign Friday night with its 15th annual Snowflake Gala at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.
The United Way revealed that a grand total of more than $19.1 million was raised through more than 600 employee workplace campaigns as well as corporate gifts and thousands of individual donations.
“This year’s campaign achieved what was most important — raising the money needed to fund the 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.”
Representatives from several campaigns that contributed to the larger United Way of Central Oklahoma goal announced their totals before the grand total was revealed:
The Heart of the City campaign raised $574,222
The State Charitable Campaign totaled $451,755
The Combined Federal Campaign total was $2,156,102
Additionally, the United Way of Logan County and United Way of Canadian County raised $353,145 through their campaigns.
These campaigns combined with the United Way of Central Oklahoma’s fundraising efforts to reach the grand total of $19,100,958 million.
Challenging year
The United Way of Central Oklahoma didn’t announce a specific fundraising goal for its 2016 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, because of the hurting local economy. She credited the campaign’s success to Oklahomans’ notoriously giving spirit and the hard work of campaign co-chairmen John and Charlotte Richels, two of the area’s most notable community leaders.
“We knew going into the campaign that it was going to be a challenging fundraising year,” said John Richels, Devon Energy Corp. chairman of the board and campaign co-chairman. “In difficult economic 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.
Honoring volunteers
With United Way of Central Oklahoma board chairman Larry Nichols 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:
Dennis Jaggi, managing partner for EnCap Flatrock Midstream, was presented with the United Way’s highest honor, the Richard H. Clements Lifetime Achievement Award.
Dave Carpenter, American Fidelity Assurance Company president and COO, was honored with the Ray Ackerman Leadership Award.
George Young Sr., Oklahoma State house Representative and CEO of Young Management Consulting, received the John and Berta Faye Rex Community Builder Award.
“These volunteers are pillars of our society and have worked tirelessly toward bettering the health and human services available to those in need in central Oklahoma,” Hampton said. United Way is blessed with an amazing board of directors, campaign cabinet and volunteers who give of themselves with such tremendous generosity, it’s truly amazing.”
Although the 2016 campaign has ended, the United Way continues to recruit volunteers and raise funds for its community projects and partner agencies year round.