Every day, the Oklahoma City Community Foundation makes the region a better place by helping passionate individuals make an impact through education, the environment, health and wellness and other areas of charitable need.
In 2019, the Foundation is celebrating its 50th anniversary with several additional projects that will benefit both businesses and residents.
“The community will celebrate this anniversary, not just us,” said Foundation President Nancy B. Anthony. “It’s because we have thousands of donors, which is a testament to founder John E. Kirkpatrick. His idea was to make it easy for other donors in the community to provide things that make the community better. People have responded to that.”
How the Foundation helps the community
Here are some of the ways the Foundation plays a role in making the South Oklahoma City area an outstanding place to live:
Charitable organizations: Through the charitable organization endowment program, the Foundation administers endowment funds to more than 360 charities. In 2018, these funds will distribute more than $8 million to 360 charities.
Scholarships: Each year, the Foundation awards scholarships of $2.4 million to more than 700 students throughout Oklahoma through funds established by a variety of individuals, families and organizations. These awards include a scholarship program established by South Oklahoma City developer P.B. Odom III and his family specifically for residents of South Oklahoma City and Moore.
Parks & Public Spaces: Through the Margaret Annis Boys Trust and Parks & Public Space Initiative, the Foundation has awarded nearly $3.5 million to fund hundreds of beautification projects at schools, neighborhoods and public parks in central Oklahoma.
Wellness: Through the Wellness Initiative, the Foundation is joining together with community partners to promote physical activity, good nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices to create a culture of wellness in central Oklahoma.
“We help donors help the community,” Anthony said. “So many donors have wonderful ideas and the resources to support those things. Our role is to make those happen.”
Special projects for the 50th anniversary
The 50th Anniversary activities will take the Foundation’s work to a new level, Anthony said. Activities will include:
The Great Idea Challenge: In 2019, the Foundation will award up to $1 million to fund bold and innovative projects that will be a positive force in the community throughout the next 50 years.
Oklahoma City Community Foundation River Trail
The Foundation has joined with the City of Oklahoma City and the Oklahoma City Riverfront Redevelopment Authority to plan a major tree-planting project along the Oklahoma River’s north shore. The project includes funding and helping to coordinate the planting of 1,000 trees along the cycling and pedestrian trail, transforming an empty stretch of treeless space into a linear park, full of shade, color and scenery. Additional enhancements will include native grasses and wildflowers.
Erwin Redl: Whiteout at Campbell Art Park
The Foundation will join Oklahoma Contemporary as the presenting sponsor of Whiteout, an outdoor art installation comprised of hundreds of transparent spheres with white LED lights suspended from a grid. The lights are animated in large-scale patterns, superimposing a virtual movement on top of the kinetic movement of the spheres.
Fall 2019 Public Art Installation
Planning is under way for an interactive, public art installation to Oklahoma City in the fall of 2019.
“People in the community are generous and want to make contributions to organizations and scholarships, among other initiatives,” Anthony said. “Oklahoma City has been very fortunate to have people who have not only done well here in business, but are giving back. The Foundation is symbolic of that.”