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July 11, 2013

UW announces $2.05M goal

NORMAN — United Way of Norman Pacesetter companies were challenged to respond to the social and human service needs of their community, even when significant events like tornadoes compete for limited resources.

“We need to do both,” said Pete Delaney, OG&E Energy Corp. president and CEO. “We need to step up when we have these sort of events and not just reallocate dollars.”

Delaney was the guest speaker at Wednesday’s Pacesetter luncheon at the Sarkeys Foundation.

Pacesetter companies typically raise about half of the annual United Way goal.

This year’s campaign hopes to raise $2.05 million to fund 45 programs at 29 social and human service agencies. Delaney’s talk followed a United Way video spotlighting the power individuals have in changing lives.

Delaney, who headed up a goal-busting $20,272,928 United Way of Central Oklahoma campaign in 2009, thanked the Pacesetter representatives.

He joked that when he heard Norman OG&E representatives James Chappel and John Koons were heading this year’s campaign, he decided he needed to get down to Norman to help.

He said he was impressed in how the United Way researches the community’s needs before allocating dollars.

“When you invest in anything, you want a good return. United Way does a great job of finding where to have the most impact with the limited dollars that you have,” Delaney said. “We need to make every dollar count.”

He urged donors to visit agencies and see where their investment is working.

Koons and Chappel, who together have nearly 70 years with OG&E, also challenged the donors to meet this year’s goal.

“There’s nothing better than giving to those who give to others,” Koons said.

Two other United Way announcements were made Wednesday.

· First American Bank is recruiting sponsors for “The Ride,” a Big Wheel race benefiting the United Way. The event will be July 27 at Safety Town outside Sooner Mall.

· Additionally, guests were invited to a breakfast forum on why early learning is good for business. That free event, co-sponsored by the Norman Chamber of Commerce, will be 8 a.m. Wednesday at the J.D. McCarty Center.

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