Debby Hampton Honored at American Tourist 2024 Event


May 17, 2024 Conna Dewart: Development and Public Relations Manager

(405) 232-5507, Ext. 113


Debby Hampton Honored at American Tourist 2024 Event


Left to Right: Mike Hampton, Debby Hampton, Teresa Rose, Tim Denny

OKLAHOMA CITY – Local non-profit, Upward Transitions, held its annual fundraising gala on the evening of Friday, May 10, 2024, at the Historic Farmers Public Market. Each year the organization recognizes one community leader who embodies the phrase, “Inspiring hope in our neighbors…” taken from the mission statement of the nearly 100-year-old institution. The Inspiring Hope Award recipient for the 2024 event was Debby Hampton, former president and CEO of United Way of Central Oklahoma.

Hampton, who served as the head of United Way of Central Oklahoma since 2010, retired in 2023. During her tenure, United Way raised over $278 million to support disaster relief and programs of non-profit partner agencies, including Upward Transitions, that provide health and human services. She was also president and CEO of the Oklahoma Center for non-profits for four years and the CEO of the American Red Cross. Her exemplary service and long-time devotion to Oklahomans in need sets her apart as a person who inspires hope and encourages others to become involved in helping the Central Oklahoma community.

“Debby Hampton dedicated her career to meeting the needs of the most vulnerable in our community and the organizations who serve them,” said Periann Pulliam, Upward Transitions CEO. “I am so grateful for the incredible support and encouragement she gave me as a new CEO navigating a pandemic and devastating ice storm in October 2020.”


The American Tourist gala is an annual event inviting donors and guests to an evening of food and beverages inspired by a chosen destination city with dancing and live music to raise funds for Upward Transitions’ charitable mission to “prevent generational poverty” in the Oklahoma City and Oklahoma County areas. The 2024 theme city was “New Orleans.” Guests were treated to a “Big Easy” themed Cajun food buffet catered by The Social Deck as well as salads provided by Hideaway Pizza, desserts by Francis Tuttle Culinary Arts, and drinks sponsored by Cannon & Associates and Grand Cru Wine & Spirits.

Live jazz was provided by Justin Echols and His Band and a welcome Second Line Band featuring Vince Norman.  Funds were raised through live, silent, and online auctions; a raffle; a wine pull; and a jewelry pull all of which took place during the evening’s festivities.

Upward Transitions is an Oklahoma County non-profit that serves families and individuals who are homeless, at risk of becoming homeless, or stranded by providing case management and stabilizing resources to help meet basic social needs.

For nearly 100 years, Upward Transitions has touched the lives of Oklahomans in need. Upward Transitions’ mission is to prevent generational poverty through community collaboration, emergency relief, and empowerment, therefore inspiring hope in families and individuals experiencing housing instability.

Sponsors supporting the American Tourist Event for 2024 included a diverse number of both individuals and local corporations:

St. Charles Avenue Sponsors

Hattie and Tripp Bryant

Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores

Esplanade Avenue Sponsors

Bank of Oklahoma

Cannon & Associates

Chicago Title Oklahoma

Claims Management Resources

Debby & Mike Hampton


Home Creations

Hugh Fudge and Randy Fudge


Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak &

Stewart, P.C.

Scott Love & Larry Cassil and

Joe Norton


The Chickasaw Nation

Timothy C. Dowd, Attorney at Law

Wade & Rebecca Brawley

Tulane Avenue Sponsors


First United Bank

Lopez Foods

McAfee & Taft

The Oklahoma City Thunder

Pat Rooney and First National Bank


To learn more about Upward Transitions or the American Tourist annual event, go to or contact Conna Dewart, Development and Public Relations Manager at 405-232-5507 or



Help end generational poverty.

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