Annual Meeting

June 28, 2019


United Way celebrates successful year

Betty Beck, Director of Volunteer Services at Duncan Regional Hospital, has been named chairman of the board of directors for the United Way of Stephens County.

She assumes the leadership role Monday for the 65-year-old umbrella organization that helps fund 14 county agencies in Stephens County.

“I believe deeply in what the United Way does, and I am proud of the help it provides local people who have temporary needs,” she said. “I am honored to be selected for a leadership role.”

Additionally, the United Way supports Readers & Leaders, a reading, listening and comprehension program in the Duncan Public School System; coordinates a Day of Caring in May that matchs volunteers with specific not-for-profit agency projects; and oversees Dine United, a tasty revenue sharing project that highlights area restaurants.

“We’ve had another marvelous year,” Beck admitted. “Our agencies continue to help those who need temporary assistance. Our volunteers are simply remarkable. And our generous donors understand the value and importance of each dollar they so freely share.”

Agencies served locally are the Court Appointed Special Associates of Southwest Oklahoma (CASA), Christians Concerned, Douglass East Side Senior Citizens Center, Duncan Area Literacy Council, Duncan Community Residence, Duncan Senior Citizens Center, Gabriel’s House, Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma, Heartline 211, Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Marie Detty Youth and Family Services, Marlow Samaritans, Safe Center and Velma Senior Citizens.

Beck’s elevation to chairman was one of several highlights at the United Way’s annual meeting here Thursday that celebrated another successful year and shared appreciation for the work of volunteers who made that success possible.

Campaign co-chairman Jeff Gregston praised more than 1,200 donor units who created the successful year.

Arvest Bank, BancFirst of Duncan, BancFirst of Marlow, Bank of Commerce, The Chickasaw Nation, Tommy and Phyllis Daughtrey, Duncan Public Schools, Duncan Regional Hospital, First Bank and Trust, Halliburton, L.E. Jones Operating Co., The McCasland Foundation, Mack Energy, Universal Fidelity Insurance and NOV Completion and Production Solutions were singled out as leaders of the leaders.

Duncan Regional drew specific praise as the largest corporate donor and the staging site for A Day of Caring.

Special recognition as Volunteers of the Year was accorded Adrianne Arrington for her tenacious coordination efforts and Eric Hennan for his knowledge and contacts in guiding the inaugural Barbecue Showdown in Fuqua Park.

Larry Harris drew recognition for his continued efforts to strategically place and maintain the giant campaign progress thermometers throughout the county

Loaned executives Beck, chairman Lisa Byford of BancFirst of Duncan, Natalie Cole of BancFirst of Duncan, community volunteer Gina Flesher, Jessica Garvin of JLG Healthcare, Chris Genn of Duncan Regional Hospital, community volunteer Dee Hightower, Brian Kriss of Bank of Commerce, Lucy Parker of NOV Completion and Production Services, Zac Pogue of First National Bank of Velma, Nate Schacht of the City of Duncan and Tom Zigler of ASCOG were recognized.

Also recognized were members of the Allocations Committee, chaired by Janice Schornick.

Panel chairs included Carl Buckholts, Jessica Garvin, Curtis Holmes and Joe Vermedahl along with members Bob Bentley, Sherri Brown, Brad Bull, Shelia Crissman, Connie Curtis, Jessica Harman, Dee Hightower, Brian Kriss, LeAnn McCord, Zac Pogue, Carolyn Pollock, Kyle Vrska and Butch Whitten.

The United Way’s expanding role in the community drew praises, too, with A Day of Caring, Readers & Leaders and Dine United all cited for successful programs.

Under the leadership of Kristen Arrington, 150 volunteers completed 17 projects for not-for-profit organizations and agencies across the county.

Help came from Ace Hardware, BancFirst-Duncan, BancFirst-Duncan, Bank of Commerce, Chisholm Corner, DAEDF, Debbie Duggar Visuals, Duncan Builders Supply, Duncan Noon Lions Club;

Duncan Regional Hospital, First Bank and Trust Co., Gardentown, John Ray Green, KFXI-92, KSWO-TV, Ligon’s Garden Center, McCoy’s Building Supplies, Precision Recovery, Sherwin Williams, Smith Power, The Comanche Times, The Duncan Banner, The Lawton Constitution and The Marlow Review.

With Phyllis Richie coordinating the work, 33 readers read weekly to nearly 600 students in the Duncan pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first grade classes.

Key support was provided by The Palace Theatre and Dave’s Cave.

And eight restaurants shared their cooking skills and profits through the Dine United program.

Participants included Boom-a-rang Diner, Chuckwagon BBQ Bar and Grill, Giuseppe’s Italian Dining, Jonny’s at Oak Tree, R&S Drug No. 1, Rib Crib, The Merchant and Wishbone Scratch Kitchen.

“We are so blessed to live in a place like Stephens County where people truly care about their friends and neighbors and are willing to help others when there is a need,” Beck said.

“Our agencies are strong and our communities better because of our remarkable volunteers, who make a positive difference in so many ways. And our hope for the new year is that even more people get involved as our agencies continue to reach out help those who need temporary assistance.”

New board members, introduced at the meeting, were Ryan Bell of Bison Health Management and Cotton Blossom Winery; Curtis Holmes, a retired radiologist at Duncan Regional; and Brian Kriss of the Bank of Commerce.

Holdover board members are Adrianne Arrington, Jared Head, Parker, Byford, Genn, Bull, Buckholts, Lourie Bleem and Garvin.

Janice Schornick leaves the board after completing her term and Zac Pogue becomes the immediate past chairman.

Helen Stewart is the organization’s administrative assistant; Ed Darling its executive director.

The United Way of Stephens County is located at 12 South 8th Street, Suite 9, in Duncan. Its mailing address is P.O. Box 1632, Duncan, 73534 and its phone number is (580) 255-3648.