To kick off the United Way of Stephens County campaign, Campaign Chairwoman Haylee Root said it was important for her to make the 16 agencies more visible.
Because of this reason, Root decided to do away with the usual park event in favor of this year’s United Way Follies, which will feature 20 acts, many of which will represent United Way agencies. The event is set for 7 to 9 p.m. Friday at the Scarlet Event Center.
“The reason I support the United Way and decided to become campaign chair happened when I started working at Duncan Region (Hospital), I noticed how everyone was supporting the United Way,” Root said. “I knew it was a national charity, but I didn’t know it provided funding for some of the agencies I knew I lot about. I had a friend who worked at Women’s Haven, and I knew a lot about the Power Shop.
“What people don’t understand is that 99 percent of the money raised by the United Way of Stephens County stays in Stephens County and goes to these agencies.”
Ken Jones, event chairman, said the follies will provide a fun evening for members of Stephens County and surrounding communities. He said the acts will perform everything from singing to skits to improvisation games that will require audience participation. There will also be a cash bar.
Jones said he got the idea for the event through two improv activities he’s been involved with. The first occurred through Duncan Little Theatre’s “Evening of Shorts,” when the audience was able to participate in various moments of the show. The second was through Leadership Duncan Class XVII.
He said the event will be focused on having people enjoy themselves instead of being an event where people have to sit down and watch a show.
“This is just a place to come kick back,” Jones said. “There’s not going to be an award for first place.”
The masters of ceremonies for the event will be Michael Harris and Gina Flesher. Sharon Burum is the stage manager.
Root said each of the United Way agencies will be present for the event, which will provide a good opportunity for people to find out more about each of the agencies.
There will also be bite-sized food samples, which are coming from several food vendors in the Duncan community. The food sampling is being referred to as “Taste of the Town.”
“We just want it to be a fun event,” Root said. “I’m really excited this is not a structured event. There’s not a table you have to sit at. This will help people see who they are giving to.”
Jones said the event will also provide an opportunity to celebrate the previous campaign, which recently hit its goal. That is the first campaign to make goal in several years.
“We want it to be a real positive thing,” Jones said. “Some people will just come and be amazed at the generosity of the community.”
Tickets to the follies event are for sale at the United Way of Stephens County office. Root can be contacted for tickets or information at 580-656-7669.
Root said she is willing to take tickets to people wanting to buy them. And tickets will be available at the doors at the same price as those purchased in advance.
Follies Acts for United Way Stephens County’s Friday event
Shannon Anton - At Last, Gordon & Warren, Women’s Haven
Mikayla and Claire Amaya - I Don’t Need Anything From You, Annie Jr.,
Seth Lindahl - Little Things, Bevan and Sheeran
United Way Improv - Darrel Ashford, Shannon Anton, Mackenzie Cook & Ensley Kahout
Alyssa Flesher and Kennedy Villalon - Safe and Sound, The Civil Wars/Taylor Swift - Accompanied by Matthew Dean
Kelcey Martin - Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man, Kern and Hammerstein
UW Improv - The Dating Game, Power Shop.
Sarah Adkins - I Could Have Danced All Night, My Fair Lady by Loewe & Lerner
Lily Garrett - When I Was Your Man, Bruno Mars, First Christian Daycare
Marlow Samaritan’s Group - Emma Davies, Hunter Johnson, Chris Davis, Gerald McMullers, Rylee Rich & Sam Kimbrough - El Grande de Coca Cola
Penny Gardner - Women's Haven
Hudson Moore - Follow You, Leeland Mooring
Lillie Hodgson & Ensley Kahout, You Are My Sunshine, Jimmie Davis
Veronica Hodgson & Sarah Adkins, For Good, from Wicked...
UW Improv - Sound Effects
Mackenzie Cook - God Bless the USA, Lee Greenwood, Gabriel’s House
Alyssa Flesher - I Could Write A Book, Richard Rodgers, Duncan Literacy Council
Ensley Kahout and Finley Davis - Tomorrow from Annie Jr., Christians Concerned