United Way red carpet event recognizes community heroes

ARDMORE, OK -- Dozens of heroes walked the red carpet tonight at a special United Way of South Central Oklahoma event.

About 40 individuals from different United Way agencies who go above and beyond for their community got the star treatment tonight at the Santa Fe Train Depot in downtown Ardmore, but they say the true stars are the people they help.

Cheryl Andrews is a hero. Andrews was a client of Arbuckle Life Solutions, and motivated by her own life-changing experience she decided to help others by opening a Christ centered recovery house for women called "The Naomi House". That is what earned her the "Inspiration of the Year" award."

"I love to see people get better and get healthy, and get happy and have that joy that only God can give," Andrews said.

Andrews says she feels honored and overwhelmed at the award, but even more so at the success of her program. She says so far The Naomi House, along with other supporting organizations has helped more than 200 women get back on their feet.

"Not everybody makes it you know, and that hurts, but a lot of them do and it's worth it," Andrews said.

Event Coordinator Tay Harvey says giving these community leaders the red carpet treatment is fun, but recognizing their hard work and their desire to improve the lives of others is truly her favorite part.

"I think for me getting to know more about the individuals that really live the missions of these agencies. The individuals who give their time in efforts and ways that I never even dreamed that I could has been an inspiration," Harvey said.

Harvey says it was hard choosing the award recipients, but says it makes her happy to spotlight those who often work quietly in the background. Andrews says everyone who gets involved with United Way and its agencies should all be thanked.

"There's just so many agencies through United Way that have helped me get where I am today and I believe that God sent every one of them to me," Andrews said.

United Way is still raising money to reach their goal of $800,000 dollars to distribute to each of their 33 agencies. Leaders say they still have a ways to go as they have only raised about $300,000. If you would like to find out ways you can donate contact United Way of South Central Oklahoma.

For United Way's contact information visit their website at www.uwsco.org.


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