For Myra Ward and her family, it’s about conquering disease. For Frank and Loye Randol, it’s about giving a memorial gift that lasts longer than flowers. Bruce and Norma Roberts wanted to be a part of something big. And for Pete and Christi Eischen, it’s about finding the root of the problem when it comes to disease.
Every person who donates to the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation has their own unique reason behind it and their own personal set of circumstances through which they contribute.
In recognition of these long-term donors, OMRF honored Enid-area supporters at the Loyal Donor Society reception at Groendyke Transport, Inc., in Enid on Thursday.
“I am so impressed by OMRF for everything they do, and this evening only made us love them more,” said Enid resident Norma Roberts. “We just started by donating to research instead of sending flowers in the name of the deceased. Now OMRF is allowing us to be a small part of solving important diseases like cancer and lupus. It’s an amazing place.”
OMRF established the group to celebrate the foundation’s most consistent donors, recognizing those who have made donations to the nonprofit biomedical research institute for a minimum of five consecutive years. Those with giving records of 15, 20, 25 and 30 years were given special acknowledgement.
“The support this group has shown OMRF over the years has been amazing, and some of them have been giving every single year for decades. That’s significant,” said OMRF Senior Director of Development Ginny Carl. “We wanted to recognize these donors, because they are the true foundation of support for OMRF and we couldn’t do what we do without them.”
OMRF President Stephen Prescott, M.D., updated the crowd on some of the innovative projects in the works, covering some of the foundation’s work on cancer, autoimmune diseases and diseases of aging. He also addressed the crucial role philanthropic giving plays in establishing the support and stability necessary for nonprofits like OMRF.
“You don’t often see organizations come out to northwest Oklahoma for events,” said loyal donor Pete Eischen of Fairview. “It really goes above and beyond. More people need to be aware of OMRF and not take it for granted.”
The reception was the third of four stops in OMRF’s 2015-16 Loyal Donor Society tour. The final event is scheduled for Lawton. The previous stops were in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, respectively.
“In some form or fashion, disease touches every single one of us at some point,” said Carl. “This group has chosen to step up and fight back against disease. I couldn’t have asked for a better event and I look forward to building on it and showing our loyal supporters just how much we appreciate what they do for OMRF.”