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United Way celebrates successful 75th anniversary campaign

The Bartlesville Regional United Way far exceeded its 2014 goal by raising $2,549,390 thanks to the generosity of the local community and businesses.

“What a great way to celebrate our 75th anniversary with our largest campaign ever,” CEO and Executive Director Jody Burch said. “We are so pleased that, thanks to the generosity of the community, we exceeded our goal of $2,000,075.”

The United Way staff, volunteers and community stakeholders celebrated the success with a reception and 75th birthday celebration on Jan. 13 at the Price Tower Arts Center. Members of the Bartlesville High School Jazz Choir performed at the event.

The 75th anniversary campaign kicked off in September with a concert by country music artist Collin Raye, which was especially fitting since the very first campaign held in Bartlesville also celebrated with a community-wide concert.

The United Way Golf Tournament played a huge part in the success of the campaign, netting a record $400,000. The 2014 tournament spanned four days – from Sept. 9-12 —with 888 golfers playing at Adams Golf Course during the tournament. The tournament is hosted by ConocoPhillips and Phillips 66. Over 150 vendor companies sponsor the tournament, and send representatives to Bartlesville from almost every state and Canada.

Other events were held that raised money for the United Way, including over 100 sportsmen and women gathering for the 6th Annual Sperry Zervas Memorial Sporting Clays in October. ConocoPhillips hosted the On Your Mark 5K run in November, wrapping up the campaign events.

“We are very thankful to James and Miriam Mulva, who once again were great supporters and friends to our community,” Burch said.

Many businesses, including Phillips 66 and ConocoPhillips, ran corporate campaigns that exceeded previous year’s totals. The local retiree community also played a large part.

“We are grateful to every company that hosted an internal campaign and every community member that gave,” Burch said. “Through their help, we will be able to have an even greater impact on the community this next year.”

The money raised by the United Way is allocated to 14 agencies operating 34 different programs that provide essential health and human services to the community. The United Way provides leadership and oversight by addressing and prioritizing community needs, collectively distributing funds and ensuring agency accountability. United Way also encourages community members to engage in changing their communities through giving, advocating and volunteering.

United Way is launching a new volunteer initiative this year. CityServe puts together service opportunities on the second Saturday of each month. They have participated in projects such as sorting clothes at Mary Martha, gardening at local schools, painting or picking up trash in a local park.

“Anyone can participate in this volunteer opportunity,” Burch said. “We hope to continue to support and encourage volunteerism in the community through this initiative.”

BRUW also partnered with the Bartlesville Community Foundation to launch a new version of volunteerbartlesville.com. It provides a place for nonprofits and schools to post their needs and for community members to find volunteer opportunities.

United Way also launched the Women’s Leadership Council, a diverse group of like-minded women who provide leadership gifts to United Way and who strive to make a positive impact in our community. Women's Leadership Council membership includes a variety of volunteer opportunities, networking and social events and providing philanthropic leadership in their workplaces and communities.