United Way’s goal is to create opportunities for a better life for all. Our focus is to address community problems together, investing in Education, Financial Stability and Health and Safety, stated Larry Murphy outgoing United Way president. Murphy spoke before guests at the 78th United Way of Ponca City's annual meeting.
The United Way annual meeting and awards celebration held on Tuesday, January 17, 2017 at the Ponca City Country Club honored those individuals and companies who helped make this year's United Way campaign a success as well as letting the community know about the sponsored programs and projects by United Way of Ponca City. Murphy acknowledged the partner agencies, their guests, United Way Board Members and the United Way team. United Way events and projects were highlighted during the presentation, which included the 24th annual Post Office Food Drive that benefits local agencies and the United Way Day of Action, which is an invitation for people and organizations around the world to LIVE UNITED and take action to address a variety of challenges. We put our mission into action by distributing 101 new US coast guard life jackets for children. In partnership with FamilyWize, one thousand discount prescription cards were distributed in our community. Over $451,429 dollars has been saved since UW started distributing cards in 2005.
Bruce DeMuth, 2016-2017 campaign chair, reported to those assembled that $548,128 was raised and allocated to partner agencies, initiatives, and the United Way office. Those recognized and receiving awards for their volunteer service included cabinet members, Deb Altman-Major Company division, Erin Liberton-Business and Industry division, Pam Dickerson-Commerce division, Natalie Prather-Finance, Insurance and Real Estate division, Jason Johnson and Casey Pruitt-Services division, and Public Service division was chaired by Tana McKinley, Shelley Arrott and Lacey Smith. Diane Anderson, Phillips 66 chair was recognized for raising $237,049 this exceeded last year’s total by $11,615. Bruce also recognized the assistant campaign chair, Brad Dierlam with Phillips 66, wishing him well for the next campaign season. A special thank you was given to Lisa Worley with ConocoPhillips for securing a volunteer grant to help cover costs to participate in the Day of Action Project and the Community Wide Holiday Giveaway.
Larry continued the meeting recognizing those serving on the Admissions and Allocation Committee, Teresa Smith, Committee Chair, Stephanie Austin, Dawn Brakey, Phillip Burton, Bob Gingerich, Paula Michael, Pat Morris, Casey Pruitt, Wendy Stobbe, Shane Becker, Arlene Stauffer and Jennifer Swords. These committee members spend countless hours reading agency program requests, financial statements and spend time visiting with agency staff and volunteers. After campaign ends, committee members discuss each program and make the recommendations to the United Way board of directors on funding for each agency.
Another committee recognized was the United Way Endowment Committee, Pat Mulligan, Committee Chair, Darin Hiatt, Marc LaBossiere, Erin Liberton, Donna Trewitt and Larry Murphy. This committee administers all funds entrusted to the Endowment and coordinates the Planned Giving Program of UW. This was the eighth year United Way was able to distribute grants to organizations here in Ponca City through the United Way Jesse and Barbara Manering Endowment Fund, totaling $10,372. Camp McFadden/Outdoor Discoveries,
Child Development Center/Ready Set Grow, Dearing House Child Advocacy/End Child Abuse Campaign, New Emergency Resource Agency/Identify Volunteers, Ponca City Literacy Council/Adult Picture Dictionaries, Ponca City Art Center/ Digital Media Lab, Ponca Police Foundation/Suicide Intervention Skills, RSVP of Kay County/Veterans Coffee House Pilot.
The Friend of United Way award is given to a person or business that exemplifies there dedication to United Way. This year’s award went to the Ponca City News who has been a partner of United Way for many years. This company has supported United Way by running employee campaigns and promoting UW through-out the year. Kay Bojorquez attended the luncheon to accept the award, she was recognized and thanked for helping United Way with their articles.
The meeting was concluded with a presentation to Larry Murphy for serving as board president, and a gavel was passed to Bruce DeMuth to begin his presidency.
Bruce DeMuth-Pioneer Technology Center, who led this year’s campaign, has moved into the presidency for 2017. Brad Dierlam-Phillips 66 will chair the 2017 campaign. Donna Trewitt-Retired Evans and Associates will continue to serve as Treasurer, Teresa Smith-Community Volunteer will chair the Admissions and Allocation Committee and Larry Murphy-Larry Murphy Insurance remains on the executive committee as past president.
Members of the board of directors are: Mindy Meyer-Alliance Health, Natalie Prather-Eastman National Bank, Ed Nanni-Phillips 66 Retiree, Casey Pruitt-First National Bank of Oklahoma, Ron Charles-Phillips 66, Jennifer Swords-Osage Casinos, Jason Johnson-RCB Bank, Paula Michael-Consulting Field Services, Phillip Burton-Continental Carbon, Gay Norris-Community Volunteer, Robert Wilson-Alliance Health, Jason Filtz, Ponca City Police Department, Erica Fetters-Dorada Foods, Shelley Arrott-Ponca City Public Schools and Jeff Washko-Community Volunteer.
Outgoing board members honored included Debi Vap-RCB Bank, Tana McKinley-City of Ponca City, Pat Morris-Ponca City Public Schools Retiree and Rich Terrill-ConocoPhillips Retiree.
In 2016 United Way helped support the following partner agencies and initiatives: Boy Scouts Cimarron Council, Child Development Center, Domestic Violence Program of North Central Oklahoma, Girl Scouts of Eastern Oklahoma, Golden Villa Adult Day Services, New Emergency Resource Agency, Northern Oklahoma Youth Services, Peachtree Landing, RSVP, The Salvation Army and Smart Start Kay County. These agencies and initiatives provide vital services to our community and your investment enable these agencies to continue quality services to all Ponca Citians.
The United Way of Ponca City board of directors meets at noon, the second Tuesday of the month at the United Way office and all meetings are open to the public. For more information on becoming a member of the board, committee member or campaign volunteer, call 765-2476.