Around Town: Honoring nonprofits

Around Town: Honoring nonprofits

By: Lillie-Beth Brinkman
The Journal Record

The Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits highlighted the work of a number of outstanding nonprofit organizations during its annual Visions event Tuesday night.

About 360 people attended the evening dinner at the Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club and heard the stories of the agencies and their leaders who are meeting needs in their communities around the state. Each of the Visions honorees received a $1,000 grant from the center for their organization.
The big winner of the evening was Desiree Doherty and her organization, The Parent Child Center of Tulsa, which received $10,000 as the recipient of the Rodney Bivens Innovation Award, named for the founder of the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.

“She sees possibilities everywhere,” the nonprofits center Board Chairman Alana Hughes said in introducing Doherty.

The other two finalists for that award were Dan Straughan, executive director of the Homeless Alliance, and Mary Frates, who started the Oklahoma Arts Institute.

Sharon Gallagher, director of collaborative initiatives for the Tulsa Area United Way, received the Sarkeys Special Recognition Award. Larry Pulliam with the Southern Oklahoma Memorial Foundation in Ardmore, was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Lauren Branch, president and CEO of NewView Oklahoma, received the Pat Potts Visionary Award.

Pat Potts, who founded the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits and served as its executive director for years, continues to be known as the organization’s cheerleader. She and her husband, Ray Potts, have the Potts Family Foundation, which was the Visionary Sponsor for Tuesday’s event. Kathy L. Williams was the 2016 Visions chairman.

Among other top sponsors were: Boeing and The Chickasaw Nation, master sponsors; and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, The Choctaw Nation, Express Employment Professionals, The Journal Record and The Oklahoman, all patron sponsors. OKC Good, a new company that highlights community service agencies through storytelling and which has applied for nonprofit status, created videos for each of the winners.

Each one of the organizations honored at Visions is worth a separate column, and the words used to describe their leaders on Tuesday could apply to all of them – “catalysts” in their community, “collaborative,” “transformational,” “visionaries.” There are thousands of other nonprofits that serve their communities around the state, and they deserve our support. The Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits does a wonderful job in boosting them.

To see the videos or learn more, go online to Find the videos by selecting Visions Event under the Connect tab.

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