Mary Blankenship Pointer

The Red Andrews Christmas Dinner is a seventy-one year tradition of serving Oklahomans. It started as a simple dinner feeding eight people and has now grown into an event that feeds thousands. The dinner feeds people from all walks of life, from the working poor, to military that is stationed in Oklahoma City and not able to travel home, to those that are alone. It amazes Mary that over 500 people will come out to serve others on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Four years ago, the family announced the Red Andrews Dinner would be discontinued due to health problems of a family member. Mary Pointer and a few other people would not accept this and formed a 501 (c)3 to continue the dinner. The dinner now feeds approximately 7,000 people, every child has their photo taken with Santa, receives a toy, and the traditional fruit and candy “stocking”. She has coordinated with Feed the Children to provide a box of essential personal hygiene products. Three years ago a coat and blanket drive was added. Thousands of new and nearly new coats are provided.
Being a banker, Mary Pointer wanted to insure the sustainability of the dinner for future generations. She contacted Frank Merrick with Communities Foundation of Oklahoma to establish an endowment. In four short years they have accumulated over $200,000 in the endowment. Mary’s goal is to reach one million dollars. She knows that one million dollars will sustain the organization and will provide Christmas for generations to come. Mary’s favorite holiday movie is “It’s a Wonderful Life”, and Mary believes the Red Andrews Christmas Dinner proves it is a wonder life!

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Nominated by Philip Wong