Growing Philanthropy

We believe that philanthropy is a collaborative effort and that by working together, we can add value to your philanthropic passions to create lasting change for our community. Below are stories of donors who believe that together we have the power to make a real difference through charitable giving.

A Charitable Legacy Continues to Enrich the Community | A Generous Gift Helps Conserve Oklahoma’s Native Landscapes | Helping a Community Thrive

A Charitable Legacy Continues to Enrich the Community

The Paynes at Mercy Hospital
Nancy Payne Ellis and daughter Kathy Brown by the Payne Family Healthy Staircase in the Coletta Building at Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City. The Coletta Building is home to Mercy’s new comprehensive cancer center that opened in June 2016. Photo by Brandon Snider.

William T. Payne is known for his success in the Oklahoma oil and gas industry, but it is his philanthropic legacy that has made the greatest impact on his family. Through his will, he gifted his company Payne Petroleum to establish the William T. Payne Fund in 1981 at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation.

“My children always knew this was a special gift their grandfather left us,” said daughter-in-law Nancy Payne Ellis. “I was able to involve my children in charitable giving at a young age, and we share that as a family.”

Nancy and her four children, Kathy Brown, Nan Payne, Bond Payne and Angela Ferguson, have carried on Mr. Payne’s legacy by supporting organizations he cared about through the William T. Payne Fund. The fund has awarded more than $3.7 million to a number of charitable organizations including Westminster Presbyterian Church, Boy Scouts of America, Oklahoma Christian University and Mercy Health Foundation.

The family’s connection to Mercy dates back to the 1960s, when Mr. Payne became the first layperson to serve on the hospital board. At the time, the hospital was located in downtown Oklahoma City, and later moved to its current location in northwest Oklahoma City under the direction of Sister Mary Coletta Massoth.

“Mr. Payne was a friend of Sister Coletta’s, and he encouraged her to follow her vision of relocating the hospital,” said Kay Oliver, executive director of Mercy Health Foundation Oklahoma City.

When the hospital announced plans to build a cancer center in honor of Sister Coletta, the Payne family knew their patriarch would have wanted to support the project. A gift from the William T. Payne Fund helped fulfill Sister Coletta’s final wish of opening a comprehensive cancer center. The Coletta Building opened in June 2016 and is home to all of the hospital’s cancer and breast services.

“Our delivery of oncology services was fragmented, and patients would have to walk all over campus to receive care,” Kay Oliver said. “The cancer center brings all of these services together under one roof.”

Thanks to the charitable legacy of her friend William T. Payne, Sister Coletta’s ministry will continue to provide compassionate care to our community for years to come.

A Generous Gift Helps Conserve Oklahoma’s Native Landscapes

Cristina McQuistion. Photo by Brandon Snider.
Cristina McQuistion. Photo by Brandon Snider.

Cristina McQuistion has long been involved in issues of sustainability, and became familiar with the work of the Nature Conservancy of Oklahoma in her position as vice president and chief information officer at OGE Energy Corp. Through a collaborative partnership, the organizations are working together to protect the state’s natural environment while meeting the nation’s energy demands.

“I had the opportunity for an extended visit to the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in northeast Oklahoma and was inspired by the work of the Nature Conservancy,” Cristina said. “Since 1986, the organization has worked to conserve Oklahoma’s magnificent landscapes and unique biodiversity.”

In 2010, Cristina was asked to serve as OGE Energy’s representative on the board of the Nature Conservancy of Oklahoma.

“It’s been rewarding to participate on the Nature Conservancy board and work together toward a more sustainable future,” Cristina said.

In 2015, the Kirkpatrick Family Fund announced a $500,000 matching grant to an endowment fund for the Nature Conservancy to support the conservation of wildlife habitat at the J.T. Nickel Family Nature and Wildlife Preserve near Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Cristina and her husband, George, were excited to lend their support with a personal contribution for the matching grant.

Administered by the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, the charitable organization endowment will provide annual funding to help maintain the Nickel Preserve for years to come.
“Fully endowing the preserve will ensure that future generations of Oklahomans will continue to benefit from the science, stewardship and conservation of the 17,000 acres of native habitat along the Illinois River,” said Mike Fuhr, state director for the Nature Conservancy of Oklahoma.

To make a gift toward the match for the Nature Conservancy or to find other charitable organizations currently participating in a Kirkpatrick Family Fund match, visit occf.org/kffmatch.

Helping a Community Thrive

The Stevenson Family at Horace’s alma mater, Douglass High School. From left to right, Karen Marshall, Horace Stevenson, Horace Stevenson III, Tonjua Whetstone, Ashley Stevenson, Alisha Whetstone and Horace Stevenson Jr. Photo by Brandon Snider.
The Stevenson Family at Horace’s alma mater, Douglass High School. From left to right, Karen Marshall, Horace Stevenson, Horace Stevenson III, Tonjua Whetstone, Ashley Stevenson, Alisha Whetstone and Horace Stevenson Jr. Photo by Brandon Snider.

“The key to any community is education,” says Oklahoma City businessman Horace Stevenson. The 1957 Douglass High School graduate certainly exemplifies his words through his longtime support of educational programs in Oklahoma City Public Schools.

After graduating from Oklahoma City University with a business administration degree, Horace opened his first restaurant, Horace’s Grill, in 1968. He joined the McDonald’s management program in 1977, and 10 years later he purchased his first of many McDonald’s franchises.

As a business owner, Horace says he prioritizes giving back to the community that gave him his start. Throughout the years, he has mentored many young people, and he established the Horace Stevenson Foundation to support youth and education programs.

“I’ve always just wanted to work hard and give back to my community,” Horace said.
For several years, his private foundation awarded scholarships at high schools located in Horace’s restaurant trade areas including Douglass, Millwood, U.S. Grant, Capitol Hill, Southeast and Northeast high schools. In 2015, the Stevenson family was looking for a way to increase scholarship applicants. Upon learning of the services offered through our scholarship program, the family transferred the Horace Stevenson Scholarship to the Oklahoma City Community Foundation. Horace says the community foundation’s online application allows them to reach even more students, making a greater impact in the community.

“By providing scholarships for students, we hope to provide them with opportunities that have the potential to change their lives,” Horace said.

Through his family’s continued support of education, Horace is helping his community flourish in ways that can never be repaid.