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Academy of Art University Raises Nearly $30K for Oklahoma Tornado Survivors

San Francisco business and community leaders, including Mayor Ed Lee, raised nearly $30,000 for survivors of the devastating Oklahoma tornadoes at an Academy of Art University fundraiser held June 10th at the Palace of Fine Arts. Proceeds will go to the United Way of Central Oklahoma May Tornadoes Relief Fund.


At the event, an Academy exhibit of award-winning student work was accompanied by selections from the Stephens family’s classic car collection. Dr. Elisa Stephens, President of Academy of Art University said, “When tragedy strikes, everyone wants to do something to support those in need, and we are grateful that so many city leaders and members of the Academy of Art community came out for a night to enjoy art while contributing to the recovery efforts in Oklahoma.”


Mayor Ed Lee added, “It is going to take years for the survivors to fully recover from the devastation in Oklahoma, and it is important for the good people there to know that they have the support of the rest of the country. So many people in San Francisco have asked what they can do to help, and we encourage people who were not able to attend the fundraiser to contribute whatever they can to United Way of Central Oklahoma.”


United Way Bay Area COO Eric McDonnell said, “The outpouring of support around the country for the victims in Oklahoma has been tremendous. United Way provides the public with a trusted partner who will ensure that every dollar donated goes to the people most in need right now. The people of Oklahoma need our help and we are grateful to the San Francisco community for coming together and showing their support.”


More than 300 people attended the event, including Lee; Stephens; McDonnell; Angel Investor Ron Conway; Naomi Kelly, City Administrator; Greg Suhr, Chief, Police Department; Joanne Hayes, Chief, Fire Department; Tom C. Hui, Acting Director, Building Inspection; Phil Ginsburg, General Manager, Recreation & Parks Department; Mohammed Nuru, Director, Department of Public Works; Harlan Kelly, General Manager, Public Utilities Commission; and Mauro Battocchi, Consul General of Italy.


After the devastating May tornadoes, United Way of Central Oklahoma activated its disaster relief fund so individuals could contribute specifically to relief and recovery efforts. Fund dollars are being distributed without administrative fees to United Way partner agencies working on the tornado relief efforts. The May Tornado Relief Fund serves immediate needs and intermediate and long-term care.

Those interested in making a contribution can do so here.

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