First United Bank, Pruett’s Food donate water to first responders throughout Bryan County

Staff photo.

DURANT – First responders throughout Bryan County were blessed on Tuesday through a community effort.

First United Bank raised funds to purchase bottled water for county fire departments and first responders to help during the summer months.

Brett Rogers, a regional credit officer at First United, spoke about the efforts involved, both within the bank and in the community.

“Every year we have a water and Gatorade challenge, and I usually reach out to our friends here at Pruett’s to do a matching contribution,” Rogers said. “We do an internal fundraiser at the bank, which we did June 30, and we raise money for the fan drive, for United Way, and as well as this water challenge.

“And Mike Ritter and his team and Ray Pruett always are gracious to match our donations here and so we were able to raise money for two pallets and Pruett’s matched two, so we’re donating four pallets to Bryan County, Durant, and the surrounding emergency management teams, fire departments, etc.”

First United collected 18,198 bottles of water across the region and 6,341 bottles in Durant alone. Pruett’s Food matched that donation on Tuesday with water that was given out.

Fire trucks and other first responder vehicles from departments representing Bokchito, Caddo, Calera, Colbert, Durant, Kemp, Philadelphia, West Bryan and Yuba were on hand to receive the water.

Rogers said it was a great turnout.

“It’s great showing the community support and the teams that show up to pick this up,” Rogers said. “They’re front-line people out there protecting us. And for them to take the time to drive up here versus just going to a warehouse next week or in two weeks, to pick it up from emergency management, it’s nice that they come out and show their love and support of their community stepping up and donating on their behalf. “

Rogers said it was a corporate-wide effort throughout the First United locations and each community does its own thing locally. And although it was a rainy and wet morning as the delivery was being made, he said he knows the summer weather in southern Oklahoma will bring less pleasant temperatures.

“I’m just glad to be a part of this community and to help these folks. We know it’s a cool day today, which we’re grateful for, but we know this water will be desperately needed this summer and throughout the days ahead. So I’m glad to do it.”

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