United Way

A local church known for giving back to the community will get involved with the United Way of Stephens County to put on an October event aimed at kick-starting fundraising for local nonprofits.

At 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1, St. Paul’s United Methodist Church will lend a fundraising hand to the United Way of Stephens County with the help of Oklahoma’s musical ambassador Kyle Dillingham under the gazebo at Fuqua Park.

The night of fundraising will feature Dillingham playing the violin/fiddle on a skateboard.

To attend the musical event, community members can purchase wristband tickets at 5 p.m. at the north and south entrance to Fuqua Park. Ticket prices for adults are $15, and children 10 and under are $5.

Food and drinks will be available with choices like hot dogs, chips and a drink for $5.

Those attending are encouraged to bring a lawn chair. The performance will begin at 6 p.m.

Playing the violin since he was nine, Dillingham’s accomplished a lot since a young age.

According to a release, Dillingham has taken his music to 41 countries, where he earned the title "Oklahoma's Musical Ambassador." 

Performances by Dillingham include performing for the King of Malaysia, the Princess of Thailand, at the Beijing Central Conservatory and for many government leaders around the world, as well several U.S. Ambassadors.

Dillingham’s music varies across the board from eclectic musical style ranging from Blues to Bluegrass, from Gypsy Jazz to Western Swing and to Country, Rock and Gospel.

​“We were the first ever Americana/Country band to perform in the region of Gansu Province where we toured,” Dillingham said. “We were also one of only four to be granted a meeting with Gansu Governor Tang Renjian, representing our state with a letter from Governor Mary Fallin. Governor Tang gave us a hearty two thumbs up for his first-ever personal serenade we gave him during our official meeting. We were proud to represent the United States at the International Expo that was also attended by around 40 ministry-level led delegations.”

As well as world-wide performances, Dillingham earned his spotlight nationally as well.

“We were also selected for a coveted performance at the 2018 CMA Fest in Nashville, which was another highlight of our career,” Dillingham said. “After our performance, we had the chance to play for Charley Pride in his dressing room at the Grand Ole Opry.”

In anticipation of more United Way fundraising events, Dillingham’s performance will kick-off the “Raise Your Voice, Make Your Heart Sing” competition.

The competition, a virtual singing competition, will begin Oct. 7 when participants 12 and over can enter by sending a YouTube video of themselves singing a song or playing an instrument to United Way of Stephens County virtual competition. The competition will continue until a final winner is chosen.

Each week, those participating will face off with four or more contestants. The grand prize is $500, and the runner-up will receive $100. The winners will be chosen by the money they raise online. Each vote is a dollar donation with the winner moving onto the final round of competition.

Proceeds from this family-friendly event will benefit the 13 agencies of the United Way.

Those willing to compete can send their videos to heartsing@unitedwayofsc.org/raiseyourvoice.

For more information, details and rules, visit https://www.unitedwayofsc.org/ or call 580-255-3648.

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