Hollywood has its Academy Awards. TV has its Emmys and Broadway has its Tonys. But we had the award winning and award-giving Tulsa Area United Way (TAUW) Annual Meeting Tuesday and the Tulsa Convention Center was packed with Tulsa’s most giving people and organizations. I was privileged to sit at a table from Area Command and the Citadel. In 2004, I worked for TAUW as a loaned executive so I knew that TAUW is one of the most outstanding United Ways in the country. I just never knew why. “We are the United Way,” CEO Mark Graham said. “When we look around the room we see people who look like the people in our annual report who have received services from a United Way agency,” Mark said. That’s because we are the same. So it’s the spirit of equality and collaboration that puts us near or on the top of United Ways nationwide. Here are the stats that show how our TAUW stacks up against those in other cities: There are 1,242 United Ways in the U.S. At more than $24 million, TAUW raises more money than 1,209 of them. Our fundraising surpasses cities such as Fort Worth, Tampa and Portland. Our United Way is first in the nation for in support from small businesses. We’re among the top United Ways in the amount of money given by non-profits, like The Salvation Army. Tulsa non-profits gave $840,000 last year. The thousands of people TSA serves are grateful for us although we don’t always hear from them. Check out the blog tomorrow for one person who let us know.