United Way of Fort Smith Area has gone by a few names in its 90-year history, but one thing has stayed the same: It has always supported positive change in the community.
The nonprofit on Thursday celebrated 90 years of serving Fort Smith and the surrounding area.
“This was an event for the community to come together and celebrate the impact the organization has made over the years, and the individuals and companies that have helped make that impact possible,” said Eddie Lee Herndon, United Way of Fort Smith Area president.
The celebration at the Fort Smith Convention Center started off with a reception honoring past campaign chairpersons and the 2018 Pacesetter companies.
Campaign Chairman Rob Ratley from OG&E said, “These pacesetter companies hold their fundraising campaign in the month of August and historically account for half of the total raised each year, they are so very important to us.”
The reception was followed by dinner, and a program recognizing individuals and companies that have made a lasting impact on United Way’s ability to serve the community.
Award recipients were ArcBest, Chairman’s Award for Legacy of Giving; First National Bank of Fort Smith, Founder’s Award for Legacy of Giving; Weldon, Williams & Lick, Founder’s Award for Legacy of Giving; the Roland S. Boreham family, Visionary Award for Legacy of Giving;’ and Thomas P. Foltz Jr. , Pinnacle Award for Legacy of Giving and Community Impact.
The celebration ended with a sold-out concert by Academy of Country Music Award winner Mark Wills. Wills won the Academy of Country Music ‘s award for Top New Male Vocalist in 1998. In 2002, his single “19 Something” spent six consecutive weeks at No. 1, was Billboard‘s top country hit of the year and was the second most-played song of the decade in 2009. Entertainment during the reception was provided by Lyle Parman.
Herndon said United Way staff would like to thank the sponsors and community for making this event a night to remember. Event sponsors for the evening were Arvest Bank, Cherokee Casino and Hotel Roland and First National Bank of Fort Smith.
“We have had so many solid accomplishments in the past 90 years,” Herndon said. “We want to continue to collaborate with other organizations, companies and with the community to identify issues and address the needs of the individuals and families in our six-county service area. We look forward to the next 90 years.”
United Way of Fort Smith Area serves individuals and families in Crawford, Franklin, Logan, and Sebastian counties in Arkansas and LeFlore and Sequoyah counties in Oklahoma.