As United Way of Central Oklahoma gears up for its fall fundraising campaign with its Pacesetter Games and annual Day of Action, both happening Thursday, the organization also is celebrating the culmination of its Legacy of Giving Building Campaign, which raised more than $5 million.
The campaign's goal was to finish paying for the United Way of Central Oklahoma's headquarters building at 1444 NW 28, which the organization has occupied since December 2008.
To honor the corporate and individual donors whose contributions paid for the building and its renovations, United Way of Central Oklahoma on Wednesday unveiled a recognition wall that captures the names of the donors and snapshots of the local organization's history. The wall, located in the United Way lobby, features three panels of historic photos of past volunteers and events dating to 1924. In addition, acrylic plates with the names of the donors surround a larger plaque that thanks them for all their hard work.
“It's a wonderful place for the people who will use the building in the future to see whose gifts made the building possible,” said Doug Stussi, United Way of Central Oklahoma board chairman and executive vice president and chief executive of Love's Travel Stops. “It's kind of bringing together the past and the present.”
Stussi has been volunteering with United Way since the late 1970s and said he has seen how the new location has benefitted the organization, its employees and partner agencies, by providing more accessible office spaces for employees and open spaces for meetings and community outreach programs.
The building was previously University Place Christian Church, established in 1911. Architect Todd Edmonds with HSE Architects spearheaded the building's redesign, which began in 2007, working with Lippert Brothers Construction.
Since acquiring the building, Stussi said there has been a silent campaign of sorts to finance it.
“We've been actively soliciting gifts for the building but we've been doing it in a quiet fashion,” he said. “We didn't want to detract in any way from peoples' gifts to our annual campaign.”
The formal campaign began last spring.
For the Legacy of Giving Building Campaign, Devon Energy provided the lead gift of $1 million, Stussi said, followed by OGE Energy Corp, The Chickasaw Nation and the E.L. and Thelma Gaylord Foundation with $500,000 gifts.
HOW TO HELP
United Way collects supplies
United Way of Central Oklahoma's Day of Action is at hand, and the organization encourages residents to help the community by stuffing a van full of school supplies for students and teachers. Requested items include notebook paper, scissors, copy paper, pocket folders, No. 2 pencils and facial tissue.
The Stuff the Van event takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to noon Friday at United Way of Central Oklahoma, 1444 NW 28.
In addition to collecting school sup