2017-2018 Campaign Leaders named


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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