Heroes Ball Seen as Model for Nonprofits Across Nation

Voting Open for People’s Choice Awards at oica.org


OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) invites members of the public to cast votes for outstanding individuals and organizations and honor their work for children and families across the state.

It is all part of OICA’s annual Heroes Ball slated for Friday, July 31. The event happens each summer to recognize those Oklahomans who have worked to improve the quality of life for the state’s youngest residents and to raise money for OICA’s ongoing mission of child advocacy.

This year’s Heroes Ball is unique in that it is the first attempt by a nonprofit organization in the nation to conduct a virtual event of this size with meal delivery. OICA’s fourth annual event is being held virtually due to the need for social distancing as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. According to OICA CEO Joe Dorman, other nonprofits struggling to find ways to continue operating are watching OICA closely to see if an event of this magnitude is viable in the post-COVID-19 world.

The Ball will be presented from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City as a webcast via the Zoom platform for attendees. In addition to the awards ceremony, ticket holders will have the chance to bid on exciting live auction items during the event and silent auction items will be available to view and bid on both prior to and throughout the evening.

Along with the webcast, OICA has partnered with Postmates, one of this year’s newest sponsors, to deliver meals directly to the homes of Heroes Ball ticket holders and sponsors who purchase a meal for the evening. Tickets without the meal option are also available.

Dorman emphasized that the event also is special because of the honorees celebrated at the ball. Among the most prestigious of the awards presented are the Anne Roberts People’s Choice Awards.

“The Anne Roberts People’s Choice Award is given annually to an Oklahoma individual and an organization that the public feels deserves special acknowledgment,” said Dorman. “We accept nominations from the public and finalists are narrowed down by a committee of OICA board members. Advocates get to vote on who receives this annual recognition.”

OICA is honored to announce the following finalists for the 2020 Anne Roberts People’s Choice Award: 


  • Ashley Chapman – The Red Cord
  • Maria Rosales-Lambert – Oklahoma Interviewing Services
  • Mike Barcum – Peaceful Family Solutions
  • Stacy McNeiland – The CARE Center
  • Ryan Abernathy – The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma


  • Camp Fire Heart of Oklahoma Council (Camp DaKaNi)
  • Diabetes Solutions of Oklahoma
  • Hunger Free Oklahoma
  • Kehila Park
  • Hearts for Hearing

Those wishing to help select the winners in each category should point their browser to http://oica.org/awards/anne-roberts-peoples-choice-award/ and cast their vote.  Each individual award finalist has a short bio and video, and the organizational finalists describe their efforts on the page to help you make your choice. Voting will be open until 5 p.m. on Friday, July 31. The individual and organizational winners will be announced toward the conclusion of the 2020 Heroes Ball, which begins at 6 p.m. CST that evening.

To learn more about how to purchase tickets, donate auction items, or secure a sponsorship, please visit oica.org or call Peyton Stacy directly at (405) 236-5437.

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