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Bartlesville Regional United Way raises $2.3 million

The Bartlesville Regional United Way celebrated a successful campaign Thursday evening, announcing that they had raised $2,314,590. The 2015 campaign goal was $2.2 million.

“We are very excited to have done so well even in a tough economy,” CEO and Executive Director Jody Burch said. “I think that speaks volumes to the confidence the community places in us to use the money well and change lives.”

The United Way staff, volunteers and community stakeholders celebrated the success with a reception at the Haskell Event Space.

“We’d like to thank everyone who helped us by giving, volunteering and being the face of change in the Bartlesville region,” Burch said. “We could not have done this without every company that held an internal campaign and every individual who generously gave. Thank you.”

The United Way Golf Scramble played a large role in the success of the campaign, raising $430,000. Hosted by ConocoPhillips and Phillips 66, the tournament brings in vendors from all across the country. Other events were held that raised money for the United Way, including over 100 sportsmen and women gathering for the 7th Annual Sperry Zervas Memorial Sporting Clays in October. ConocoPhillips hosted the On Your Mark 5K run in November, wrapping up the campaign events.

Another factor in the success of the campaign was the generous giving by employees during company campaigns and by the large retiree community in Bartlesville. James and Miriam Mulva also gave the campaign a boost through a substantial gift.

“We would like to thank ConocoPhillips and Phillips 66 for their continued support of the Bartlesville Regional United Way even in a year when the oil industry has suffered,” Burch said. “Their generosity allows us to continue our good work in the area.”

The money raised by the United Way is allocated to 14 partner agencies operating 32 different programs that change lives in the areas of education, income and health. United Way also gave out 10 Venture Grants to help launch new programs or expand existing ones. As part of its role in the community, United Way encourages people to engage in changing their communities through giving, advocating and volunteering.

In the past year, United Way has taken on two new initiatives. Building Bridges of Oklahoma is helping families out of poverty by guiding them through making a life plan and providing support and mentorship along the way. The goal is to help families become self-sufficient, or no longer dependent on any type of aid. Bridges has already shown great results. On average, Building Bridges participants have shown an 85 percent increase in earned income and had an average of a 53 percent increase in assets. Around 25 percent of them have reached self-sufficiency. With the United Way’s support, they are working to move even more families from poverty to prosperity.

Another new initiative, CityServe, provides easy volunteer opportunities- no sign-up required. Participants meet at 9 a.m. on the second Saturday of each month in the Bartlesville Community Center parking lot. Last year, CityServe volunteers contributed 217 man hours and completed 17 projects.

“Thanks to our successful campaign, we will be able to continue to support our local partners who are doing great work in the community,” Burch said. “Watch for more exciting announcements in the future.”