Oklahoma Treasures For Tomorrow 2016

Oklahoma Health Center Foundation Announces its 2016 Oklahoma Treasures For Tomorrow Honorees –

Wes Welker and Mike Knopp

Pictured are (left to right) David Harlow, OHCF board chair, Dr. David Fields, Children’s Hospital Foundation Chickasaw Nation Endowed Research Chair in Pediatric Diabetes, Wes Welker, Mike Knopp, Dr. Jason Sanders, Sr. Vice President and Provost, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, and Rhonda Hooper, OHCF board member.


The Oklahoma Health Center Foundation welcomed two new Oklahoma Treasures, NFL football player and Wes Welker Foundation Founder Wes Welker and Executive Director of the OKC Boathouse Foundation Mike Knopp, last night at an event held at the Embassy Suites on the Oklahoma Health Center campus. 

The Oklahoma Treasures For Tomorrow honor pays tribute to individuals whose passion for life, courage and inspiring actions serve as a model for quality values and goodness in our community. David Harlow and Rhonda Hooper are emcees for the event.

Wes Welker

NFL football player, Wes Welker, created his Oklahoma City-based foundation in 2006 to influence at-risk youth, by encouraging their full potential through athletics and positive role models.

Since the inception of its grants program, the Wes Welker Foundation has distributed over one million dollars to Oklahoma City public schools and non-profits. Since 2007, along with community partners, the Foundation has provided equipment for a number of football, soccer, baseball and softball fields at OKC public schools. In addition to hosting free summer camps, the Foundation funds a character development program, ELEVATE, for all middle schools and high schools in the Oklahoma City school district.

Wes played at Heritage Hall and Texas Tech University.  Undrafted in 2004, Wes overcame odds to become a highly-successful NFL receiver and continues to hold many NFL records to date.


Mike Knopp

A passion for rowing and paddling and a vision for bringing national and international sports to the Oklahoma River have been the driving force behind Mike Knopp’s leadership in developing the Oklahoma City rowing community, the Chesapeake Boathouse, national and international sporting events, and ultimately, the master plan development of the Oklahoma River.

Originally a practicing attorney, Mike left his legal career in 2003 to establish the Oklahoma City University varsity rowing program and assume the position of executive director of the Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation. Bringing corporate, civic and community leaders together, Mike has led multiple Oklahoma River initiatives.

Originally from Minnesota, Mike discovered rowing as a high school student in Annapolis, Maryland, watching the crew from the U.S. Naval Academy.


The Project

Over the last 15 years, Oklahoma Treasures For Tomorrow event proceeds and generous donors have raised significant funds for beautification projects across the Oklahoma Health Center campus. In 2016, the committee directing the Oklahoma Treasures For Tomorrow program changed its focus to raise funds for health-related research projects for campus organizations. The recipient of the 2016 Oklahoma Treasures For Tomorrow proceeds will be a research project, led by David Fields, PhD., CHF Chickasaw Nation Endowed Chair, associate professor, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Department of Pediatrics. Dr. Fields and his team are examining the health of pregnant women with regard to maternal obesity and diabetes and the risk of obesity and diabetes to their children. The theme of this research is to better understand how these maternal factors affect the child with the ultimate goal of preventing the development of diabetes and related metabolic disease. Through Oklahoma Treasures For Tomorrow, the goal was met to raise $50,000 to be awarded to OUHSC and the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center to further the research on this existing project focusing on diabetes. 

The Oklahoma Health Center is a consortium of 20 private, educational, governmental and nonprofit organizations, located on nearly 300 acres just south of the Capitol complex in Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma Health Center collectively employs more than 17,000 people and contributes $3 billion to the Oklahoma economy on an annual basis. These organizations represent the areas of patient care, research, technology, education and community support with the common goal of improving health and creating high-tech jobs in Oklahoma and the nation. Visit www.oklahomahealthcenter.com for more information.

Videos for event


Diabetes Project


Mike Knopp Honoree Video


Wes Welker Honoree Video




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