OC will award Darci Lynne Farmer with the Lee Allan Smith Spirit of Oklahoma Award, which is given annually to individuals who have devoted themselves to the betterment of Oklahoma.
OC to honor Darci Lynne Farmer and donors at Associates Gala April 5
Just last year, supporters, employees and students at OC enjoyed seeing local 12-year-old celebrity Darci Lynne Farmer make international headlines with her fun-loving win on the television show "America's Got Talent." During the 15th annual Associates Gala April 5, the OC community will say 'thank you' to Farmer and donors for inspiring the community.
Farmer is one of the youngest contestants to win the competition. OC will award her with the "Lee Allan Smith Spirit of Oklahoma Award," which is given annually to individuals who have devoted themselves to the betterment of Oklahoma. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear OC President John deSteiguer interview Darci Lynne's parents during the gala.
The gala will be held at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum from 6:30-8:30 p.m. All OC associates receive complimentary tickets to the gala in honor of their generosity to the university. This formal event includes a meal and award-winning entertainment designed to thank the donors for their contributions and update them on OC students’ recent accomplishments.
OC’s Vice President of Advancement Kent Allen expressed the importance of hosting the gala to thank associates.
“The gala is enjoyable because there is a large number of people at one event who get to learn about the great things happening at OC,” Allen said. “It’s a good chance for us to show off our students and their talents.”
Alongside Darci Lynne, a few of OC’s talented students will perform at the gala. OC freshmen Jesse Garner and J.D. Martin will sing a few classic songs, and the OC Chorale will present a few of their favorites. Through the provided entertainment and communal atmosphere, the gala creates a unique opportunity for associates to interact with students and faculty and hear about the great things being done at the university.
OC’s Executive Manager of Events Kerri Cunningham shared her excitement about the evening.
"The events office enjoys being a part of the planning for an evening to thank our generous donors," said Cunningham. "They give so much to the school and provide so many opportunities for our students."
OC’s associates are made up of alumni and friends that have a passion to help current and future students receive a Christian higher education. Associates donate money to a general fund that keeps the university doors open. There are approximately 500 OC associates that give a minimum of $1,000 each year.
OC's previous "Lee Allan Smith Award" honorees include:the Green family of Hobby Lobby fame, Oklahoma City mayors Mick Cornett, Kirk Humphreys and Ron Norick; former Oklahoma governors and first ladies George and Donna Nigh, Frank and Cathy Keating, and Brad and Kim Henry; Oklahoma City weathermen Gary England, Damon Lane and Mike Morgan; University of Oklahoma basketball coaches (and OC alumni) Sherri Coale and Jan Ross; and former Oklahoma City Thunder star Serge Ibaka.