POSITIVE ANNOUNCEMENT: The Tulsa Area United Way raised a record-shattering $25,575,522 during its 2012 campaign, the highest total in its 88-year history. At left is Chet Cadieux, chairman of this year’s campaign, and on the right is Kevin Gross of Hillcrest Healthcare; leaders of the campaign’s professional business team gathered on the stage behind him.
The Tulsa Area United Way raised a record-shattering $25,575,522 during its 2012 campaign – the highest total in its 88-year history.
The largest-ever campaign was announced before more than 300 guests at the annual “Unite!” celebration on Thursday, Nov. 8.
The total amount raised exceeded this year’s campaign goal of $24,900,000 by more than $675,000 and was well above the local United Way’s all-time fundraising record of $25,025,000, set 10 years ago.
“We made history tonight,” says Mark Graham, president and of the Tulsa Area United Way “Each and every one of you helped us reach this milestone. Tulsans have once again demonstrated their generosity and concern for their community.”
All funds raised above the goal will be invested back into the community, Graham says.
This year’s campaign was one for the record books, including the most amount of money raised by the Trailblazers – companies and organizations that conducted early campaigns during the summer.
“The Trailblazers got us off to a great start, setting the tone and providing momentum for the campaign, raising $4,417,368,” says Chet Cadieux, of QuikTrip, who served as campaign chair.
This year’s campaign kicked off before more than 20,000 football fans at the MidFirst Backyard Bowl between Jenks and Union High Schools on Aug. 31, another first for the Tulsa Area United Way.
The campaign was energized by seven challenge grants offered by local individuals, foundations and corporations – the most in the history of the Tulsa Area United Way.
The challenge grants provided dollar-for-dollar matching opportunities for many contributors, doubling new and increased gifts by small businesses, medium-sized businesses, leadership donors who give $500 or more annually, foundations, and members of the United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council and Alexis de Tocqueville Society.
“The challenge grants helped us leverage the campaign and provide our donors with a unique opportunity to double the size of their gifts,” Cadieux says.
Several companies and organizations conducted record campaigns for the United Way, and many others posted significant increases over last year, he said. However, individuals make up more than 65 percent of all gifts to the Tulsa Area United Way.
The Tulsa Area United Way’s Annual Meeting will be held on Feb. 12 at the Tulsa Convention Center.
For more information on the Tulsa Area United Way, visit www.tauw.org.