By Chelsea Weeks, News Editor (Courtesy photo/Amanda Johnson)
For those searching for their 15 minutes of fame, the opportunity is coming this August. Saturday, August 25, United Way is hosting the annual campaign kickoff at the Heart of Oklahoma Expo Center.
For the first time ever, they are having a Fiesta themed dinner with street tacos and live music.
“Every year in the fall, United Way kicks off our campaign,” executive director Lindsey Dyer said.
“Our campaign runs September to November, which means during that time period we go into companies, and into different plants and we ask individuals to donate.”
Individual tickets for the kickoff will be $30 and a table of eight will be $350 which will include sponsorship.
In order to raise awareness of the campaign and include the community, United Way is hosting the second annual “The Voice” themed campaign.
From August 1st through August 15th, any individual, or group of people, are invited to submit a video of them singing a full song.
United Way will then pick the top four contestants and they will battle it out at the kickoff event on August 25th.
That night, people will vote for their favorite contestant and the winner will be crowned; each vote will cost $1.
“We would like for any individual to let us know which nonprofit our of our partnered agencies they are supporting and why they choose that particular nonprofit to represent,” Dyer said.
Although still in the planning stages, “The Voice” campaign open to the public and is intended to be a fun, community event.
“We’re really excited about the event and just want to welcome anybody who wants to attend,” Dyer said.
Anyone interested can upload their video to Dropbox or YouTube and email the link to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We highly suggest anyone that’s interested to follow our Facebook page because we’ll be posting updates there as we get closer to that time,” community relations coordinator Amanda Johnson said.
United Way is a worldwide nonprofit organization that has had a chapter in Shawnee Oklahoma for over 30 years.
United Way helps raise funds for other nonprofit organizations, coordinate volunteer efforts and advocate for the community.
“We raise funds for nonprofits in our community, throughout Pottawatomie county,” Dyer said. “This year we have partnered with 21 different nonprofits throughout Pottawatomie county in order to help them provide their services on a daily basis. We don’t actually offer any individual services, personally as United Way, we just support other agencies that provide services.”
The mission of United Way is to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of the community.
“United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every individual in our community,” Dyer said.
Through this event, Dyer said she believes community awareness will increase and they will be able to raise funds to help support their nonprofits better.
“It’s bringing another community event, another excuse for people within the community to come together,” Johnson said.
Emily Day, last year’s fourth-place contestant, described her experiences with ‘The Voice’ campaign as humbling.
“It is an amazing opportunity to not only share your gifts and talents but meet other in the community with common passions,” Day said. “And, most importantly, raising money for the non-profit organizations of our town.”