MOORE — The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence honored the Moore Public Schools Foundation Oct. 22 for its fundraising and response to the May 20 tornado that destroyed two schools and damaged many others.
Les Risser, president of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, surprised leaders of the Moore foundation with an Outstanding Program Award for Local Education Foundations, which included a $1,000 cash prize. Moore was one of three foundations that received Outstanding Program Awards, which were presented during the Fall Forum for Local Education Foundations in Norman. Leaders of the Moore foundation received a standing ovation when the award was announced.
“We were impressed with how the foundation immediately came to the aid of the district and partnered with First American Bank to create a relief fund and an emergency website to receive charitable gifts,” Risser said, stating that the foundation had raised nearly $1 million for Moore Public Schools tornado relief. “We were also moved by how — in the midst of chaos and personal loss — foundation officers juggled duties to ensure that the organization could fully support the school district in its recovery.”
Joshua Hinkle, now president of the Moore Public Schools Foundation, was serving as secretary at the time of the tornado. He unexpectedly became the coordinator of the foundation’s relief efforts since the foundation’s president, veterinarian Kristi Scroggins, was focused on setting up a shelter for displaced animals in Moore, and the vice president, Aiden Street, had lost her home in the tornado.
“In that morning after the tornado, I had two cell phones and both of them were dead by 9:30 a.m.,” Hinkle said. “There were so many people who had seen the devastation on the news and wanted to help. People called from all over the U.S. just wanting to send books, desks, clothes, money — anything they could do to make an impact.”