By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
The 14th Annual United Way of Central Oklahoma Snowflake Gala will be held on Friday, January 22, at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd Street in Oklahoma City. The gala will celebrate of the generosity of the central Oklahoma community.
The Volunteer Awards Reception begins at 6 p.m. Doors open at 5:45 p.m. The Gala doors open at 6:30 p.m. and dinner will be served at 7 p.m.
Final campaign fundraising totals from several campaign categories will be announced, along with the grand total.
The evening includes dinner along with the Volunteer Award Ceremony presentations by the Campaign Co-Chairs, Judy Love and Mike Turpen.
“We are still actively fundraising, as it has been a tough year for the local economy,” said Judy Love. “But it’s times like these, when the economy is down, that central Oklahomans most need the help of United Way’s important partner agencies. So we are hoping that people will continue to give to support the community.”
United Way of Central Oklahoma has not announce an actual fundraising goal for this year’s campaign, but Love said the organization hopes to match last year’s total, which was $21.57 million.
“The Snowflake Gala is the culmination of the work of so many wonderfully dedicated civic volunteers as well as the United Way staff,” Turpen said. “Without the help of the dozens of campaign cabinet members, who selflessly volunteer their time and efforts, it would be impossible for United Way to support our deserving partner agencies every year.
“It’s these agencies, the volunteers and the generosity of central Oklahomans that are making our community a healthier and more vital place to live and grow,” Turpen added.
During the Volunteer Award Ceremony, three outstanding individuals who have dedicated their time and talents to helping make the mission of United Way of Central Oklahoma successful will be recognized for their efforts.
A United Way supporter for more than 35 years, David L. Thompson, president and CEO of InvesTrust, N.A., and CEO of InvesTrust Wealth Management, LLC will be presented with United Way’s highest honor, the 2016 Dick Clements Lifetime Achievement Award.
Robert Clements, executive vice president of Clements Foods, will be honored with the 2016 Ray Ackerman Award.
Meg Salyer, Oklahoma City ward 6 councilwoman, will receive the 2016 John and Berta Faye Rex Award.
“These volunteers are pillars of our society and have worked tirelessly toward bettering the health and human services available to those in need in central Oklahoma,” said Debby Hampton, CEO of United Way of Central Oklahoma. “United Way is blessed with an amazing board of directors, campaign cabinet and volunteers who give of themselves with such tremendous generosity, it’s truly amazing.”
Tickets are $75 for individuals, $600 for a table to seat 8, and $1,100 for a sponsored table, which includes recognition in the Gala program, signage, on United Way website and during the evening’s presentation.
For tickets, call 236-8441 or for more information, visit www.unitedwayokc.org.