The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

September 6, 2013

United Way sets $1.15 million goal

ENID, Okla. — United Way of Enid and Northwest Oklahoma announced a record-setting goal of $1.15 million at its campaign kickoff event Friday evening on the Garfield County Court House lawn.

Fire Chief Joe Jackson thanked those at the event for their support and for joining them Friday evening. Enid Fire Department is this year’s campaign chair.

Fire Marshal Ken Helms asked firefighters Johnny Long and Jason Cunningham to unfurl the goal that hung from the ladder of a fire truck after announcing this year’s Pacesetter companies and Pillar’s Club members.

Helms said: “Live heroic. Live United.”

“It is with great excitement and tremendous support from the executive committee and board of directors, the campaign team and our community partners that we announce a goal of $1.15 million for the 2013-2014 campaign,” said United Way Executive Director Pamela Ballard. “While this is 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.”

Helms agreed.

“We are honored to be part of this history-making campaign,” Helms said. “We believe in the transformative plan of work that is being put forth by United Way, in collaboration with both Enid Public Schools and our 16 partner agencies.”

United Way of Enid and Northwest Oklahoma’s Impact Initiative, “United: Early Education. Strong Families. Bold Economy,” focuses on much-needed pre-kindergarten classrooms and additional Parent Educators.

“Our Executive Committee, in partnership with Early Childhood specialists within the public school system, and the Community Development Support Association, have been meeting for several months to determine how to best address the issues that plague our children, our families, and our community,” Ballard said. “After a great deal of research and dialog, we knew United Way needed to be a strong advocate and leader in the area of Early Childhood Education.

“It is the time and place where we — as a community — have both the ability and capability to change the lives of those we see today, and the lives of those not yet born. It is transformational work.”

Ballard said the latest campaign goal of $1.15 million was more than any previous goals, which have not exceeded $800,000.

“It’s a big number. Big work,” Ballard said. “It is not something we entered into lightly. We felt this was the time to do it.”

She said the workplace campaigns will be expanded and a “campaign cabinet” will meet every two weeks throughout the fundraising effort to help in reaching the goal.

The kickoff event was held on the courthouse lawn and hosted by Enid Fire Department. To date, Pacesetter companies and Pillar’s Club members have contributed $168,365. All were recognized by Ballard and Helms prior to announcing the goal.

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