By Robert Barron, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
With a $1.15 million campaign goal this year, the leaders of United Way of Enid and Northwest Oklahoma are pretty happy to have their Pacesetters.
United Way Pacesetters already have raised more than $184,000 toward the goal. Pacesetters are companies that start the campaign earlier, giving it a boost of momentum.
The $1.15 million goal is unprecedented in Enid’s United Way history. United Way this year also will raise money to assist early childhood education programs in Enid.
Some of United Way’s partner agencies also are among the Pacesetters this year.
“This year we have a record number of Pacesetter organizations,” said Pamela Ballard, United Way executive director.
Pacesetters this year are Wymer Brownlee, Edward Jones, David Burrows All State Insurance, PDQ Printing, Messer-Bowers Insurance, Park Avenue Thrift, Pioneer Cellular, Enid Fire Department, Cimarron Council Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma, Cimarron Valley Chapter American Red Cross, Community Development Support Association, Denny Price Family YMCA, Garfield County Child Advocacy Council, Hedges Regional Speech and Hearing Center, Retired Senior Volunteer Program of Enid, Salvation Army, YWCA of Enid, Youth and Family Services of North Central Oklahoma and United Way of Enid and Northwest Oklahoma.
Cheri Ezzell, executive director of Community Development Support Association, said CDSA joined the Pacesetters because she believes United Way is important and CDSA wanted to show support.
“They never asked before, and when they asked, the answer was yes,” Ezzell said.
CDSA had its largest United Way campaign this year, she said.
“United Way is important to the community,” Ezzell said. “Enid is doing great economically, but there are still a lot of people who need help. We did it because they asked us to, and we love them and think they are doing great work.”
Paula Nightengale, of Park Avenue Thrift, also listed the United Way community service as the reason for becoming a Pacesetter.
“We believe United Way does important work in our community, and we wanted to do our fair share,” Nightengale said.
Pacesetter contributions are significant because several of them have never participated in a United Way campaign, Ballard said.
“There are larger organizations that are in the middle of their campaign and have yet to report their totals,” said Ken Helms, Enid fire marshal, representing Enid Fire Department, this year’s campaign chairs.
“While we have an aggressive goal, we fully believe it is obtainable and much-needed for the benefit of our 16 partner agencies, and our impact initiative work with early childhood education,” he said.
United Way supports 16 member agencies: Booker T. Washington Center, Cimarron Council Boy Scouts, American Red Cross, CDSA, Consumer Credit Counseling, Denny Price Family YMCA, Enid Community Clinic, Enid Metro Commission, Child Advocacy Council, Hedges Regional Speech and Hearing Center, Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma, RSVP, Salvation Army, YWCA of Enid, Youth and Family Services and Legal Aid of Oklahoma.
Funds also support other local social and human services programs through annual Venture Grants, Ballard said.