The Roundup -

ONEOK Makes a $4,000 Donation to Close Up


On Tuesday, Sept. 27th ONEOK presented Close Up with a $4,000 check. The donation will be divided among four area high schools. Pictured in the back (L-R) are Erin Faulhaber (Sidney), Heather VanGelder (ONEOK), Chris Mack (Williston), and Eric Krogen (Watford City). Pictured in the front (L-R) are Sierra Garmann (Watford City), Kamryn Grimes (Watford City), Courtney Hecker (Sidney), Bria Goldade (Williston), Jocelyn Lysne (Williston), Ella Pederson (Williston), Jacie Kohler (Williston), and Dillon Dyer (Watford City).

ONEOK presented a $4,000 check to four Close Up school groups on Tuesday, Sept. 27th at Oneok offices south of Sidney. The donation was made to support Close Up participants from Sidney, Williston, Watford City, and Killdeer high schools.

Close Up was founded in 1971, and is a non-profit, non-partisan citizenship education organization whose mission is to inform, inspire, and engage young people for a lifetime of civic participation in a democratic government. Students are taken on a week long trip to Washington D.C. where they participate in hands-on activities including workshops, seminars with D.C. journalists, visits to embassies, meetings with members of Congress, as well as having Q&A sessions with lobbyists. Close Up participants learn first-hand about American history and politics. They develop effective and respectful debating skills and learn to work with others who have different opinions.

"Close Up's goal is to inspire its participants to become active, engaged citizens," said Tim Davis, President of the Close Up Foundation. "Students return home with an increased interest in national, state, and local matters and many of our alumni have gone on to run for and hold political office or have become social studies teachers."

Sidney high school started it's Close Up participation in 1991, Williston and Watford City high schools started their participation in 1985, and Killdeer high school began in 1984. Each school will receive $1,000 of the donated funds, which will be used towards students' program tuition. On average, it costs between $1,850 and $2,750 per student to attend the Washington D.C. trip, depending on the type of program scheduled, airfare, and departure dates.

Close Up submitted a request to Oneok in early 2016, and found out in July that they would be getting the donation. The four schools expressed sincere thanks to Oneok for their support.

"ONEOK's core value of service recognizes that good corporate citizenship is an essential and important responsibility," said Heather VanGelder, Oneok Community Relations Coordinator. "Oneok specifically invests in organizations and programs that focus on education to ensure the next generation is successful." 


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