How can you enter to win $500? Get vaccinated in Blackwell.

by Jordan Green

The Blackwell Community Foundation is launching an incentive program to hit people with their best shot: the COVID-19 vaccine, that is. To encourage people from the area to be

immunized against the coronavirus, the foundation will enter those who become fully vaccinated into a drawing for monetary rewards, said Jim Rodgers, the foundation president.

Under the terms of the program, 10 people who are fully vaccinated will receive $500, and five people will receive $100. “We want our people in our community as healthy as possible,” Rodgers said. “Oklahoma is lagging behind a lot of the other states in the rate of the vaccine. We may be a little complacent right now.”

Those who wish to enter into the drawing must receive their first vaccine dose between June 26 and July 7, Rodgers said. They must get their second and final dose between July 26 and August 6. People at least 18 years old who have not yet been vaccinated are eligible to enter.

After receiving their second shots, participants will fill out contact information cards and place them in bins at the vaccination site they choose. Vaccinations are available at Hutton Pharmacy and Walmart in Blackwell, Rodgers said. The Kay County Health Department administers vaccines only on Wednesdays, he said.

The foundation will conduct the drawing at the Top of Oklahoma Museum on August 7, and winners do not need to be present to win, Rodgers said. However, winners must show foundation officials their completed vaccination cards when they pick up their prizes. The community foundation, formed in 1991, serves the western part of Kay County and the eastern part of Grant County, Rodgers said.

The drawing isn’t just open to Blackwell residents, however.

The foundation is advertising the program to Blackwell and Tonkawa residents, but will not exclude people from the drawing based on their residency, Rodgers said. The foundation started the incentive program to help the community by using leftover funds allotted for COVID-19 relief, Rodgers said.

“The trust originally decided to try to do some programs when [the pandemic] first came out, like help people for some rent and maybe even some utility bills,” Rodgers said. “There weren’t that many claims for those reasons. So, we had some money left over, and that gave us a start.

“This might be another angle to come back in. They’re doing this in a lot of places, and it seems to be successful.” Foundation member Pat Hullet shared those sentiments. “I am delighted that we are doing this because I hope we reach a bunch of folks that have not been vaccinated,” Hullet said. “It makes us all safer.”