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Chesapeake Energy spotlights community 'champions' in Oklahoma City

Chesapeake Energy Corp. is lending some of the benefits from its naming rights deal for the Oklahoma City Thunder's arena to local nonprofit agencies.
BY JAY F. MARKS jmarks@opubco.com Published: November 20, 2012

The campaign launched Thursday with a series of ads featuring the Regional Food Bank and its staff.

Rodney Bivens, executive director of the Regional Food Bank, said such exposure is unprecedented for nonprofit organizations.

“No nonprofit has a budget for advertising,” he said.

Bivens said the Chesapeake-sponsored campaign is an “extraordinary opportunity” to bring the issue of hunger before the community.

The food bank distributed 42.2 million pounds of food in fiscal year 2012 while serving a state that ranked as the fifth hungriest in the nation.

Bivens said there are an estimated 675,000 people in Oklahoma at risk of being hungry. A quarter of them are children.

The Girl Scouts will be featured in Chesapeake's campaign in April.

CEO Shannon Evers said she hopes it will help draw more volunteers for the organization's leadership programs.

Evers said the Girl Scouts offer an array of volunteer opportunities, including many that don't require a weekly commitment.

“We don't often get an opportunity to explain that, to really do a volunteer recruitment program,” she said.

Evers said the campaign is proof that Chesapeake understands the challenges facing nonprofits and wants them to succeed.

Information about all of the organizations that are part of the Cheering for Champions campaign is available online at www.cheeringforchampions.com.