SoonerCon, Future Society Donates $7K to NAMI OKC Metro Affiliate
SoonerCon, Future Society donates $7K to NAMI OKC Metro Affiliate
Oklahoma City -- At the Oct. 7, 2017, Advocacy & Awareness Awards Banquet held by NAMI OKC Metro Affiliate, the nonprofit Future Society of Central Oklahoma (FSCOK) donated $7,000 to further the charity’s advocacy of community awareness for mental health issues.
The Future Society annually sponsors SoonerCon, an entirely volunteer fan-run sci-fi/pop-culture convention. “From the first SoonerCon in 1986, our focus has been community awareness and support for our citizens,” 2017 convention chair Leonard Bishop said. “Our society’s motto is to ‘Learn from the past, work together today, build a welcoming tomorrow,’ and our donation to NAMI will help achieve this goal.”
Bishop noted SoonerCon’s charitable giving extends throughout its long history in the area. “Over the past thirty-plus years we have raised funds to donate over $20 thousand for various causes,” he said. Recipients have included the March of Dimes, Infant Crisis Services, the Oklahoma Pediatric Cancer Foundation, and the YWCA.
At the Advocacy Banquet of the National Alliance for Mental Illness, the FSCOK proffered a $7,000 check in support of NAMI’s programs in the Oklahoma City metro. This amount was raised during the past year at various outreach events and at the SoonerCon convention through its annual charity auction event, artist-guest donations and on-site fundraising activities such as a pie-in-the-face auction, gaming
tournaments and fan club donations. SoonerCon has continued to increase the amount of charity funds raised each year for the past three years.
“The potential for SoonerCon to grow its charitable giving has always been present,” remarked James Smith, Director of Finance and Development for SoonerCon said. “Over the past few years, we have been providing more opportunities for people to be involved with charitable giving. The fans who attend SoonerCon embraced those opportunities to give back to the community.”
Charitable giving is a fundamental component of the Future Society’s community building mission. SoonerCon, FSCOK’s largest annual outreach event, embraces a temporary placemaking model at the annual convention that includes a dedicated space for its charity donations, similar to a pop-up shop front where attendees browse items for quick sale during the weekend and place silent bids for the live auction event. Echoing Smith’s remarks on the marked increase in funds raised, FSCOK board chair Mark Alfred offered his thoughts on the importance of engaging with its charity partners outside of the fandom convention setting.
“Each year, we celebrate possibilities of the future,” Alfred said. “At events like the NAMI banquet, we get to see a concrete example of the way our year-round work can affect the lives of Oklahomans for the better.”
SoonerCon 27 will be held June 22-24, 2018 at the Reed Conference Center in Midwest City, near Tinker Air Force Base. For further information, please visit www.soonercon.com.