Janet Fultz

Stillwater's elementary, middle school, junior high and high school students will be released into the town in a matter of weeks, and some might face life changing stuggles in these summer months. Payne County Youth Services Executive Director Janet Fultz explains the challenges youth can face.

Payne County Youth Services is an organization that helps many people every day with a number of services. The organization’s annual An Evening to Remember Event is set to take place on Jan. 25 at the OSU Student Union Ballroom. Executive Director for Payne Count Youth Services Janet Fultz provided more information on what is an impactful event for the efforts of PCYS. 

1 Can you describe what impact the An Evening to Remember event has with Payne County Youth Services?

An Evening to Remember is our one big fundraising event of the year which also kicks off a follow-up social media campaign. Since all of our services are provided completely free to the service recipient, support from our community remains critical to maintaining the most effective array of highest quality free services. PCYS has continued to expand programming as needs in the community arise, adding in the past four years alone, foster care, transitional living and our newest program, Building a Competent Community for Suicide Prevention. Each of these programs was added to our shelter, counseling, school-based and other services because our citizens right here need this type of assistance. Additionally, local support allows us to provide local cash match dollars to bring in state and federal grants. These state and federal dollars originate from the taxes we each pay, and PCYS is proud to bring back around $800,000 each year right here to Stillwater and Payne County of these tax dollars which are then used to provide for critical local needs in our schools, homes and communities. This is only possible however, by the community providing matching funds. So, impact includes ensuring proper funding for our services. 

Also, we strive to utilize our event to advocate for the needs of those we serve, to raise awareness of mental and behavioral health issues and to break down the stigma that often acts as a barrier to people seeking help, and to offer hope to our friends and neighbors that with proper prevention, treatment and intervention, lives can be improved and even saved. I hope that we will gently challenge those in attendance to continue to support our children, youth and families and that they will develop or enhance a deep sense of commitment to our cause.

We also strive to ensure that our guests have a great evening out. 

2 Is there a fundraising goal for this event this year? 

We have set pretty reasonable goals each year as we always plan for prudent use of our available funds, therefore our goal is $30,000. However, with some of our federal funding now in limbo due to the federal government shut down, we would certainly be pleased to double that amount. 

3 How much is it to attend?

The cost of the event for individual reservations is the Circus Patron Reservation, $75.00 per person. There are also several sponsorship levels which include the Ringmaster Event Presenter, $3,000; the Strongman Sponsor, $1,500; the High Flyer Sponsor, $1,000; and the Roper Sponsor, $500. Each sponsorship level comes with certain perks such as your logo advertising at the event, in news releases and on social media, drink tickets for the event, and the number of guests and tables included, with more guests and perks included at the higher level sponsorships. Each seat is a great seat in the house, however, and all will have a great time. Parking is available at the Student Union Parking Garage, so come on out, rain, sleet, snow or shine.

4 What can people expect if they attend the event? 

I am confident that our guests will experience a relaxed, fun evening of great food, unique entertainment, an opportunity to hear from some of our service recipients and others regarding the impact of our services, as well as the opportunity to visit with friends, network, and have a lot of fun The evening will begin with Stillwater High School Orchestra Ensemble performing in the lobby area while guests enjoy circus popcorn from an old-fashioned popcorn cart. After checking in, guests will enter the “circus tent” to find not only their tables, but also appetizers, a themed photo set for your selfie enjoyment, an exhibit of PCYS client’s artwork and poetry, a cash bar, and many of your friends, neighbors and colleagues. Lighting and circus themes will set the mood and encourage you to relax and soak up the fun. When dinner is served the menu will include citrus roast chicken breast alongside maple sherry glazed pork belly, with garlic potatoes and seasonal vegetables, (vegan options available, tell us when you make your reservations, please) and, of course, circus funnel cake for dessert. A cash bar is also available. We are very excited to have Dave Hunziker, the Voice of the Cowboys, as our event MC.

5 Is there anything else you would like to add about the event?

An Evening to Remember also serves as a kick off for our “20 Days of Giving from the Heart”, social media campaign which will end on Valentine’s Day, February 14. Many people do their philanthropic giving in a digital world these days, or may be unable to attend our event due to scheduling conflicts. “20 Days of Giving from the Heart” will extend our fundraising effort to meet the needs of these donors and allow us to continue to focus the attention of the community on the needs of children, youth and families in Stillwater, Payne County and the surrounding areas. Watch for a kick off video message for this campaign from President Burns and First Cowgirl Ann Hargis, to be premiered at the gala. 

Reservations, sponsorships or donations may be taken care of on our Payne County Youth Services Facebook page, our website, or by calling 405-377-3380. And remember, It’s All for the Kids!

– Tanner Holubar