OASIS still facing funding crisis

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File Photo / Northwest Florida Daily News
Published: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 10:15 AM.

FORT WALTON BEACH — Supporters have pledged more than $20,000 in donations to the struggling Okaloosa AIDS Support and Informational Service.

The agency, which has served local AIDS and HIV patients since 1991, announced Dec. 24 that dwindling revenue might force it to close in the coming months.

The community’s response was a welcome surprise, said Butch McKay, executive director of the organization.

“It felt good. It was encouraging,” he said. “I’m a lot more hopeful than I was on Christmas Eve.”

Since going public with its funding woes, OASIS has received about $6,000 in small, private donations as well as a $10,000 commitment from an anonymous donor in Tallahassee.

The organization also received a pledge for $5,000 from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, a national and international AIDS outreach group that has a location in Pensacola.

“Then we’ve got another $25,000 in additional prevention funds from the state (Department of Health),” McKay said. “So that’s going to help.”

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