NORMAN — United Way of Norman President Kristin Collins observed that while Friday afternoon was grey and chilly, the environment of the United Way Victory Luncheon at Embassy Suites in Norman was “very warm and sunny,”.
Surpassing United Way’s set goal by approximately $40,000, Campaign chairs Tom Cooper and Cindy Nashert announced to a crowd of community members, staff and guests that this year’s drive totaled $2,093,404 to help human and social service agencies and programs.
“It was so gratifying to see how this community embrace the needs, thank you for this great opportunity,” Nashert said. “We had no idea what we were getting into, emotinally.”
Among a long list of individual campaign categories, the most successful was the Employee Drive, accounting for $798,917 of the total funds raised.
The youngest and possibly most popular campaign, No Shave November, enjoyed unprecedented success, achieving its goal of enlisting 100 participants and topping last year’s $17,000 with $66,748. The individual winner of the No Shave November contest was Sheriff Joe Lester, singlehandedly raising more than $13,000.
“Where there’s a beard, there’s a way,” said No Shave campaign chair Kris Glenn triumphantly, inviting “bearded bretheren” to stand and be applauded by the guests.
The United Way of Norman funds 41 programs at 27 agencies focused on basic needs, children and youth, individuals and families and seniors and the disabled within the Norman area.