2017-2018 Campaign

  

March 29, 2018

United Way campaign reaches its goal

The smiles came easily. So did the praise. A long campaign has ended in success for the United Way of Stephens County.

Businesses, industries, groups, foundations, civic and social clubs, churches and individuals combined generous efforts with sheer determination to reach an aggressive $325,000 campaign goal for 2017-18.

“Amazing!” District Judge and campaign co-chairman Ken Graham grinned. “This year’s campaign demonstrates the willingness of Stephens County residents to truly ‘Live United’ Thanks to everyone for helping us meet our goal.

“It has been a tremendous journey for DeDe and me,” he said of his co-chairman wife. “Thanks and kudos to all of the volunteers and donors who made this a wonderful ‘Good Friday.’”

Their excitement was shared by many, particularly Lucy Parker, General Operations Leader of Wilco Machine & Fab and chairman of the United Way board of directors.

“We are incredibly grateful for the community support of our amazing agencies,” she said. “Duncan and Stephens County are blessed with the greatest volunteers who have worked so hard to make meeting our goal a reality. We are truly thankful for each and every one.”

Monies generated by the organization’s 64th campaign will help support 12 participating agencies that include Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Stephens County, Christians Concerned, Douglass East Side Senior Citizens Center, Duncan Area Literary Council, Duncan Community Residence, Duncan Senior Citizens Center, Gabriel’s House Academy, Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma, Heartline 2-1-1, Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Marlow Samaritans and Women’s Haven.

Highlights of the campaign were many.

* The 2017-18 goal was 8.3 percent more than a year ago.

* L.E. Jones Operating Inc. helped launch the campaign kickoff Aug. 25 at halftime of Duncan High’s season opening football game in Halliburton Stadium.

* Team members at Duncan Regional Hospital surpassed the $50,000 donation level, giving or pledging $52,034.

* Eight restaurants took part in two first-ever Dine United events, sharing a percentage of dinner proceeds with the United Way.

Participants, listed alphabetically, included Don Jose Mexican Restaurant, Interurban, Jonny’s at Oak Tree, La Taqueria, Rib Crib, The Prairie House at The Territory in Duncan; Giuseppe’s Italian Dining in Marlow; and Don Jose Tortilla Grill in Comanche.

*More than 1,000 giving units, business or individual, were recorded.

* More than $1 million has been raised by generous county residents during depressed economic times to help support local United Way agencies over the past three years.

* Betty Beck, head of volunteer services at Duncan Regional Hospital, chaired the 2017-18 campaign committee.

* Lisa Byford, vice president – treasury at BancFirst, Duncan coordinated the Loaned Executive Division that made nearly 50 corporate and business presentations.

Significant business and corporate leaders, alphabetically, included, Anheuser-Busch, Arvest Bank, ASCOG, AT&T, BancFirst-Duncan, BancFirst-Marlow, Bank of Commerce, Bonney and Campbell LLC,Centerpoint Energy, Dolese Bros. Co., Duncan Anesthesia, Duncan Community Residence;

 Duncan Public Schools, Duncan Regional Hospital, Ellis and Buckholts, First Bank and Trust, First National Bank of Velma, Halliburton Federal Credit Union, Halliburton Giving Choices, IBC Bank, Insurance One,  L.E. Jones Operating Inc., Mack Energy and McCasland Foundation;

Oneok Services Co., Philtek Services, Red River Technology. Shepherd and Shepherd CPAs, Simmons Center, Stephens County Abstract, Stephens County Courthouse,  The Chickasaw Nation, The City of Duncan, The Duncan Banner, The Jones Oil Co., Universal Fidelity Insurance, Walmart, Walmart Foundation and WW Builders.

Leading individual contributors were Tommy and Phyllis Daughtrey, Terry and Kathy Snider, Ron and Cynthia Corley, Ken and DeDe Graham, Marty and Dana Askins, Jay Johnson, Tim Hunter, Jeffrey Taylor, Hal Labyer, Dana Berryhill, Alan Sing, Vickie Contreras, Joe and Carol Adams, Larry Albin, Ed and Betty Apple;

Fallis and Sue Beall, Susan Camp, Dr. Demetra Cox, Steven and Nancy Gray, Marilyn Hugon, Dr. Kent Hall. Marilyn McEnroe, Gene Nelson Family Endowment, Lyle and Kim Roggow, Chris Schreckengost, Blaine Smith, Yancy Spivey, Elwood Vogel, Don and Kim Weaks and Jerry and Betty Whitten.

The generosity of 92 others earned them recognition as members of the 2017-18 Leadership Circle.

Campaign leaders are hopeful other donations will continue to flow into the United Way office at 12 South 8th Street, Duncan or P.O. Box 1632, Duncan.

The local United Way started as the Community Chest in 1954 when Eric Murray was its first president and Howard McCasland its first campaign chairman.

It became the Duncan United Fund in 1967, the United Way of Duncan in 1976 and the United Way of Stephens County in 1993.

A 15-member board governs the umbrella agency. Officers other than Parker are Zac Pogue of First National Bank and Trust in Velma, chairman-elect; Jared Head of Wilco, treasurer; Adrianne Arrington of Jay Kinder Real Estate, secretary; and Nicole Punneo of Duncan Area Economic Development Foundation (DAEDF), past chairman.

Other board members in addition to Beck and Byford, are Darren Alaniz of Philtek Services, Lourie Bleem of Family Dollar, Carl Buckholts of Ellis and Buckholts, Tracy Fleetwood of the City of Duncan, Eric Hennan of Shelter Insurance, Jeff Johnson of The Tilley Group; Anthony Prince of State Farm Insurance; and Janice Schornick of First Bank and Trust.

Helen Stewart is administrative assistant for the organization. Ed Darling is its executive director.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, contact Ed Darling at (580) 255-3648 or edarling@unitedwayofsc.org.

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March 5, 2018

United Way campaign hits $300,000

Though the campaign deadline approaches, United Way of Stephens officials and leaders remain optimistic the $25,000 fund-raising goal can be reached.

Businesses, industries, civic clubs, foundations and individuals have combined to raise more than $300,000 as they work through the stretch run.

That’s 92.3 percent of an admittedly challenging target.

“We’re really proud of the communities we serve for answering the call to help those less fortunate,” campaign co-chairman Ken Graham said. “Delighted, but not surprised. Our communities have always shown a generous spirit and have been willing to offer a helping hand. All of us should be touched and gratified by that.”

Campaign officials are hoping a couple of significant businesses, several employee groups and individuals who have donated in previous years will push this year’s effort over the top.

“Obviously,” co-chairman DeDe Graham said, “these last few days are critical. We need some help. Time is running out on our campaign and while our goal is $325,000, community needs are much greater. It has been and still is a difficult time for many.”

Letters reminding previous donors who haven’t given this year and prospective donors who can join the campaign have been mailed. Telephone calls encouraging contributions are being made. And follow-up contacts are keeping staff members busy.

“Needs addressed by our 13 partner agencies are both basic and real,” Ed Darling, executive director of the United Way, said. “They affect our friends and neighbors. They deal with local people, local problems, local issues and local solutions.

“And the monies raised here provide hope, temporary relief and second chances.”

Started in 1954 as the Community Chest, the charitable group has been meeting needs continuously for 64 years.

Agencies part of the United Way effort are Christians Concerned, Delta Community Action Foundation, Douglass East Side Senior Citizens, Duncan Community Residence, Duncan Literary Council, Duncan Senior Citizens Center, Gabriel’s House Academy, Gillispie Counseling Services, Heartline 2-1-1, Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma, Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Marlow Samaritans and Women’s Haven.

Contributions can be sent to the United Way of Stephens County, P.O. Box 1632, Duncan, OK 73534 or dropped off at the United Way office, 12 South 8th Street, Suite 9, Duncan, OK 73533.


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JANUARY 20, 2018

United Way hits 80 percent

The United Way of Stephens County continues to inch toward its $325,000 fund-raising goal for the 2017-18 campaign.

Contributions that help support 14 partner agencies have reached the $260,000 mark. That’s 80 percent of the ambitious goal.

“We’re making steady progress,” campaign co-chairman Ken Graham said. “On occasion we wish we were closer to making and exceeding our goal, but we’re working hard. We’re grateful for every penny and we’re certainly proud to be part of so generous a community.”

Two factors prompt challenges.  One, several significant and traditional giving units haven’t completed their internal campaigns. And two, though there are reports of an improved economy here (increases in the price of oil and surging Dow Jones progress), agencies are being called on frequently by local residents for assistance in basics like food, shelter, clothing utility payments, advice and counseling.

“People here,” campaign co-chairman DeDe Graham said, “are still hurting and, frankly, our combined needs far exceed our goal.

“Our hope is that everyone will participate in the campaign so that our agencies and their volunteers can help local people throughout the year.”

The United Way was started here in 1954 as the Community Chest by concerned citizens with this year’s campaign the 64th annual event.

Agencies currently served are Christians Concerned, Delta Community Action Foundation, Douglass East Side Senior Citizens Center, Duncan Area Literacy Council, Duncan Community Residence, Duncan Senior Citizens Center, Gabriel’s House Academy;

Gillispie Counseling Services, Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma, Heartline 2-1-1, Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Marlow Samaritans, Women’s Haven and Youth Services for Stephens County.

 

Additionally, the United Way coordinates A Day of Caring in May, Readers & Leaders during the Duncan Public Schools year and Dine United throughout the year.

 

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DECEMBER 29, 2017

United Way surpasses $200,000

Another successful fund-rising effort by generous team members of Duncan Regional Hospital (DRH) has pushed the United Way of Stephens County past the $200,000 plateau.

Individuals at the hospital donated $51,534.22, or just $200 less than last year’s all-time high, to the 2017-18 campaign.

“Raising more than $50,000 is truly a team effort,” Angela Christian, Director of Business Development and chairman of DRH’s internal campaign, said. “It starts with our annual chili cook-off and continues through an enthusiastic solicitation campaign.

“Our people,” she continued, “understand and appreciate the value of the United Way in the county and we, as a team, are proud to support the hard work of those who volunteer to help our agencies.”

This year’s campaign is on pace to meet last year’s $300,000 goal but needs for assistance here have expanded, agencies are struggling to meet the demand and this year’s goal has been increased to $325,000.

“We’re to the point now where everything has to fall into place for us to reach our goal,” DeDe Graham, co-chairman of the campaign, admitted. “We need help. We encourage everyone to get involved and to make a positive difference.”

Judge Ken Graham, DeDe’s husband and campaign co-chairman, added his praise for Duncan Regional’s generosity and challenged others to share their level of involvement.

“They understand who and how the United Way helps, and they realize it’s a giving program started 63 years ago by community leaders and maintained ever since.”

Funds raised will support 14 partner agencies that include Christians Concerned, Delta Community Action Foundation, Douglass East Side Senior Citizens Center, Duncan Community Residence, Duncan Area Literacy Council, Duncan Senior Citizens Center, Gabriel’s House Academy, Gillispie Family Counseling, Heartline 1-2-3, Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma, Legal Aid of Oklahoma, Marlow Samaritans, Women’s Haven and Youth Services for Stephens County.

Additionally, the United Way of Stephens County supports Readers & Leaders in 32 Duncan Public School System classrooms, coordinates A Day of Caring in May that address projects for not-for-profit agencies throughout the county and sponsors Dine United, a restaurant campaign participation opportunity.

Contributions can be mailed to the United Way of Stephens County, P.O. Box 1632, Duncan, OK 73534 or dropped off at the United Way office, 12 South 8th Street, Suite 9, Duncan. For additional information, contact Executive Director Ed Darling at (580) 255-3648.

 

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Dec. 8, 2017

United Way halfway to campaign goal

The United Way of Stephens County has reached the halfway point of its 2017-18 fund-raising goal.

Contributions and pledges topped the $160,000-mark last week and campaign officials are hoping for pre-Christmas and pre-New Year surges that will push funds closer to the $325,000 goal.

“We’re going to need all the help we can get,” Ken Graham, co-chairman of this year’s drive that helps support 14 partner agencies, admitted. “We still have a couple of our Pacesetter and Loaned Executive accounts that are completing their respective internal campaigns, but a real key this year will be the generosity of small businesses and individuals.

“While our goal is $325,000, the needs of our agencies are far greater than that, so we’re encouraging anyone and everyone to consider helping us and the agencies we represent. Every dollar counts. And every dollar will be used to help local people through local agencies meet and resolve local issues.”

Agencies served by the United Way of Stephens County are Christians Concerned, Delta Community Action Foundation, Douglass East Side Senior Citizens Center, Duncan Community Residence, Duncan Area Literacy Council, Duncan Senior Citizens Center, Gabriel’s House Academy, Heartline 2-1-1, Gillispie Counseling Services, Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma, Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Marlow Samaritans, Women’s Haven and Youth Services for Stephens County.

Virtually all have reported significant increases in requests for assistance, many for basic needs like food, shelter, clothing, utility or prescription medication payments. As the prolonged energy slump lingers, high unemployment continues, and benefits run out, many anticipate an even greater need for help.

The United Way of Stephens County was formed as the Community Chest in 1954 and has conducted fund-raising efforts for the community for the past 63 years.

Contributions can be dropped off at its office at 12 South 8th Street, Suite 9 in Duncan or mailed to P.O. Box 1632. Duncan, 73534. The telephone number is (580) 255-3648.

 

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November 20, 2017   

United Way campaign hits 40 percent

Contributions to the United Way of Stephens County 2017-18 fund-raising campaign have reached the 40 percent mark.

“We’re both grateful and appreciative,” Ken Graham, co-chairman of this year’s campaign with his wife, DeDe, said. “But we still have a long way to go.

The goal is $325,000.

“Our partner agencies are busier than ever,” DeDe Graham, explained. “Our economy remains sluggish and when that’s the case, the demand for help and assistance increases.

“In this season of Thanksgiving, we encourage everyone to count their blessings, but we also hope those who can, will consider helping those less fortunate by taking part in our campaign.”

The United Way was started here in 1954 by concerned citizens seeking to help those less fortunate. It evolved into the United Way of Stephens County in 1993 and for 63 years has been a cornerstone of charitable giving.

“It is a remarkable organization,” Ken Graham admitted. “Local residents provide the leadership and provide unparalleled credibility to both the fund-raising work and the monitoring of those donations. Agencies work throughout the year and a remarkable group of volunteers do whatever it takes to stretch every dollar and meet every need possible.

“Its legacy speaks for itself,” he continued, “and we should be proud to live in an area where people helping other people is a way of life.

“We are off to a good start, but by no means are we assured of reaching our goal. We need help and every dollar we can raise will be put to good use.”

A direct mail campaign targeting previous donors and prospective donors, visits to businesses and industries by loaned executives and calls to Pacesetting companies remain the core of campaign solicitation efforts.

Agencies supported by the United Way are Christians Concerned, Delta Community Action, Douglass East Side Senior Citizens Center, Duncan Area Literacy Council, Duncan Community Residence, Duncan Senior Citizens Center, Gabriel’s House Academy, Gillispie Counseling Services, Heartline 2-1-1, Girl Scouts of West Oklahoma, Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Marlow Samaritans, Women’s Haven and Youth Services for Stephens County.

Tax-deductible donations can be made directly to the United Way of Stephens County, P.O. Box 1632, Duncan, OK 73534 or by calling (580) 255-3648.

 

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November 3, 2017 Campaign reaches 20%

Fund-raising efforts for the United Way of Stephens County’s 2016-17 campaign have reached the 20 percent level.

“We’re off to a good start,” Ken Graham, co-chairman of this year’s campaign, said. “A number of dedicated volunteers are involved in the process. They’re touching a lot of bases and the early response we’re getting is a good one.”

This year’s goal is $325,000 with monies designated to help the 14 partner agencies that make up the local United Way that was started in 1954 as the Community Chest.

Campaign leaders are calling on Pacesetters. Loaned executives are making presentations to local businesses and industries. A direct mail campaign saturated the area with an informational brochure and pledge card. Another direct mail program is targeting previous donors.

Presentations are being made to area civic, service and study clubs. And updates are being provided through traditional and social media and tracking thermometers throughout the county.

“We’re working hard to cover all the bases,” Graham said. “We all recognize our economy continues to be a little sluggish, but it’s heartwarming to see a number of supporters increase their donations as we seek to support our agencies and help those who are struggling.”

Added DeDe Graham, also a campaign co-chairman: “Residents of Stephens County know their donations support local people and address local needs and local issues. That’s an important message and it is the backbone of our entire organization. Big donations obviously mean a lot, but If a lot of people give a little, our agencies can accomplish a lot.”

Agencies supported by the United Way are Christians Concerned, Delta Community Action, Douglass East Side Senior Citizens Center, Duncan Area Literacy Council, Duncan Community Residence, Duncan Senior Citizens Center, Gabriel’s House Academy, Gillispie Counseling Services, Heartline 2-1-1, Girl Scouts of West Oklahoma, Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Marlow Samaritans, Women’s Haven and Youth Services for Stephens County.

Donations can be made directly to the United Way of Stephens County, P.O. Box 1632, Duncan, OK 73534 or by calling (580) 255-3648.

 

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August 25, 2017

United Way of Stephens County Campaign kicks off tonight at Halliburton Stadium

An $11,000 check will be presented by longtime United Way supporter L.E. Jones Operating Inc. to United Way chairman Lucy Parker at halftime of tonight's Duncan-Sapulpa football game, officially kicking off the 2017-18 United Way of Stephens County fundraising campaign.  

"We have believed in the United Way for a long time," Barry Duren of L.E. Jones Operating Inc. and former United Way president, said.  "We're delighted to be in such an important role and our hope is this year's campaign is among the most successful ever.  The local agencies and their local volunteers do great work, but challenges still exist as we contine to battle high unemployment and a slow economy.  Participation in the campaigh will make a positive difference and affect lives of peole who live in Duncan and Stephens County."

Duren and Lance Jones will make the check presentation at halftime of the Demons' season opener at Halliburton Stadium.

Members of the United Way board of directors, campaign co-chairmen Ken and DeDe Graham and loaned executives will join them as the Duncan bankd moves into a U and W formation after its halftime performance.

Directors will release helium balloons as part of the celebration and Duncan cheerleaders will toss miniature United Way footballs into the crowd.  Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

This year's goal is $325,000

 

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UNITED WAY OF STEPHENS COUNTY

2017-18 Campaign leaders named

Aug. 9, 2017

Grahams to lead United Way campaign

Ken and DeDe Graham will head the 2017-18 fund-raising campaign for the United Way of Stephens County.

“We couldn’t be more pleased,” Lucy Parker, administrative manager for Wilco Machine and Fab and chairman of the United Way board of directors, said.

“The Grahams are well known and respected here. They’ve been strong supporters of the United Way; they understand its importance to our county; and they have a deep appreciation for the volunteers who work so hard to help those in need.

“Our hope,” she continued, “is everyone will rally around their commitment, embrace their leadership and enthusiasm and help make this the most successful campaign we’ve ever had.”

Ken Graham was elected District Judge Jan. 12, 2015.

A native of Carnegie and a graduate of Southwestern Oklahoma State in Weatherford and the College of Law at the University of Oklahoma, Judge Graham became a prosecutor in the Comanche County District Attorney’s Office before entering private practice where he represented small businesses and individuals throughout southwest Oklahoma for more than 30 years.

Prior to entering the legal field, he was a farmer and raised cattle with his dad and was a high school coach and principal.

Dr. DeDe Graham is a retired educator, who served the last 19 years of her career as superintendent of Snyder Public Schools.

In 2010, the Oklahoma Association of School Administrators honored her with the Lifetime Achievement Award and last year, the Cameron University Alumni Association selected her as the recipient of the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award.

With degrees from Cameron, Southwestern Oklahoma State and the University of Oklahoma, she taught first and second grades, was a high school counselor and federal programs director before assuming her role as superintendent. She was born in Lubbock, Texas but was a lifelong resident of Snyder before moving to Duncan.

Married 48 years, both are active in Duncan and Stephens County.

Judge Graham is a member of the Duncan Lions Club, the Duncan Rotary Club, the Stephens County Bar Association and the Oklahoma Bar Association.

DeDe is a member of the Kelita Club and P.E.O. She served on the board of the Duncan Literacy Council and is president of the Stephens County Retired Educators.

Both are active members of the First United Methodist Church. They are parents of Dr. Demetra Cox and grandparents of Graham Cox, a freshman at the University of Oklahoma, and Gentry Cox, a sophomore at Duncan High.

“DeDe and I are pleased to serve as co-chairmen of this year’s campaign,” he said. “We were taught by our parents to believe that helping others is a blessing. We’ve admired the work of the United Way agencies and the volunteers who support the. We’re honored to assume a larger role in this year’s campaign and to help those people who work so hard to help others. We’ll do any and everything we can.”

Founded as the Community Chest by a group of concerned citizens in 1954, the United Way is beginning its 63rd year of continuous operation. It became the Duncan United Fund in 1963, the United Way of Duncan in 1976 and the United Way of Stephens County in 1993.

This year’s campaign, with a goal of $325,000, officially kicks off Aug. 25 in Halliburton Stadium at halftime of the Duncan season opening football game against Sapulpa. Last year’s campaign, chaired by Marty Askins, surpassed its $300,000 goal, raising $317,398.

Agencies that fall under the United Way of Stephens County are Christians Concerned, Delta Community Action Foundation, Douglass Eastside Senior Citizens Center, Duncan Area Literacy Council, Duncan Community Residence, Duncan Senior Citizens Center, Gabriel’s House Academy, Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma, Heartline 2-1-1, Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Marlow Samaritans, Women’s Haven and Youth Services for Stephens County.

The United Way is located at 12 South 8th Street, Suite 9 in Duncan. Its telephone number is (580) 255-3648.

Information about making a contribution or becoming part of the campaign can be obtained from administrative assistant Helen Stewart or executive director Ed Darling.

 

 

 

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