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HERE FOR YOU. At INTEGRIS, we are proud to say we’re Oklahoma’s largest health care system. And because we have specialists in more areas of care, we make certain that you have access to The Most Challenging Healing ™. INTEGRIS HEALTH EDMOND CAMPUS INTEGRIS HEALTH EDMOND HOSPITAL Services include 24/7 Emergency Room, Med/Surg and ICU Patient Rooms, Women’s Center, Surgery & Endoscopy, Cardiac Catheterization Lab and Diagnostic Imaging 4801 INTEGRIS Parkway Between 2nd & 15th on I-35 Access Road East 405-657-3000 PHYSICIANS BUILDING 4509 INTEGRIS Parkway INTEGRIS ENT & FACIAL PLASTIC SURGERY Scott Shadfar, M.D. 405-657-3895 INTEGRIS JIM THORPE REHABILITATION SUITE 100 405-657-3800 INTEGRIS FAMILY CARE EDMOND EAST Justin Sparkes, D.O., Internal Medicine Chris Hayes, M.D., Family Medicine Douglas Riddle, M.D., Family Medicine Heather Wheeler, D.O., Family Medicine Elizabeth Montgomery, PA-C, Family Medicine Suite 200 | 405-657-3950 PHYSICIANS BUILDING 4833 INTEGRIS Parkway INTEGRIS ORTHOPEDICS EDMOND Austin Taylor, M.D., Sports Medicine J. Keith Gannaway, M.D John Gruel, M.D., Non-Operative Suite 150 | 405-657-3990

INTEGRIS CARDIOVASCULAR PHYSICIANS Azhar Amil, M.D. Timothy Daly, M.D. Lance Garner, M.D. Santosh Prabhu, M.D. Steven Reiter, M.D. Gary Worcester, M.D. Suite 150 | 405-948-4040

Integris INTEGRIS EDMOND PHARMACY First Floor | 405-657-3900

INTEGRIS WOMEN’S CARE Elisa Sparkes, D.O., OB/GYN Julie Hansen, M.D., OB/GYN Sonja Hughes, M.D., Gynecology Dena O’Leary, M.D., Urogynecology Courtney Seacat, M.D., OB/GYN Katherine Shepherd, D.O., OB/GYN Laura Stearman, M.D., Female Urology Daniel Tallerico, M.D., Gynecology Suite 200 | 405-657-3825 INTEGRIS PAIN MANAGEMENT Atul Walia, D.O. Michael McLaughlin, D.O. Suite 150 | 405-945-4359 INTEGRIS HEALTH EDMOND GENERAL SURGERY Patrick Bell, M.D., General Surgery Joshua Carey, M.D., General Surgery 405-657-3690

INTEGRIS FAMILY CARE COFFEE CREEK Joel Grubbs, D.O., Family Medicine Emily Reed, M.D., Internal Medicine/Pediatrics S. Christopher Shadid, M.D., Family Medicine 2916 N. Kelly Avenue 405-715-5300 INTEGRIS ORTHOPEDICS EDMOND Michael Williams, M.D. 2916 N. Kelly Avenue 405-715-5320 INTEGRIS FAMILY CARE EDMOND RENAISSANCE Grand Wong, M.D., Family Medicine Audrey Goodwin, M.D., Internal Medicine/ Pediatrics Doug Haynes, M.D., Family Medicine Caroline Merritt, D.O., Internal Medicine Brooke Nida, M.D., Pediatrics Amie Prough, M.D., Pediatrics 1700 Renaissance Blvd. 405-844-4300




Learn more about The Kindness Project at

Worship at Sequoyah Middle School - Sundays at 11 a.m.



September 2016

Crosstown Trifecta

“Yes, Mr. Miller, your new sunglasses are ready. Would you like to pick them up today? We close at 5pm.” I’ve heard it said that mistakes come in threes. This was my first answer was yes. Traveling clear across Edmond at drive-time to pick up a vanity item before the weekend? Sign me up. I’ll accept that challenge. Hmmm…what car do I take? I could take my late wife’s SUV. Seems like a smart choice—a safe vehicle offering a commanding view of the traffic around me. Nah, I opt for my little sports car. Two mistakes down; one to go. My midlife crisis vehicle is built for speed, maneuverability, the occasional trackday event. Plus it’s been lowered, which offers an excellent view of the bumper of the car in front of me. I take a moment to prepare myself mentally—no, I don’t, the clock is ticking. I need my fashion accessory and every moment I’m not on my way, cars are flooding my intended route. I pull out of my neighborhood and inject myself into 15th Street traffic. Less than a minute later, I’m in the heart of what the City of Edmond spends millions on—traffic planning. I drive patiently and then wait patiently at traffic signals. I deny the urge to constantly switch lanes and jockey for the optimum position at every stop light. Very Zen like (yet I enjoy judging others who do—not very Zen like). This goes on for miles, then my resolve starts to weaken. I am now regretting every missed opportunity to shave valuable seconds off my itinerary. Then it happens. I look, signal, abruptly change lanes and accelerate past the situation that I deemed unacceptable—and BAM! I’ve just been hit by someone executing the same time-saving maneuver except they didn’t do the ‘look’ part. Mistake number three happens less than a mile from my destination. No new sunglasses for me. I pull off on a side street. The other car does the same. I exit my vehicle and approach the driver who looks no more than 16. He says “I’m sorry I hit you. I don’t have insurance. I don’t even have a license.” After a long pause, I smile and ask him “Have you ever heard that mistakes come in threes?”

26 Mom of a Medalist

Kathy Plummer takes pride in supporting her son—all the way to the Olympics

8 Facts & Figures 10 Louise

The Challenge of Change

13 Food

The Burger Boom

16 Business

Peace Home Solutions Oklahoma Allergy & Asthma Clinic

34 My Outlook

Gia Rose & Travis Neely, Interior Designers for Oklahoma Designer Show House

Front cover photography by Marshall Hawkins


18 Tri’d & Tested

Triathlete Mat Jones overcomes adversity and encourages others to do the same

23 Helping Hungry Kids

The Regional Food Bank provides backpacks filled with food for struggling students to take home each weekend

30 Fitness Fun

Four unique workout ideas anyone can enjoy

32 Conducting Excellence

After 25 years, Windsong Choir says goodbye to their founder and starts a year of new leadership

To advertise, contact Laura Beam at (405) 301-3926 or

Dave Miller, Back40 Design President


80 East 5th Street, Suite 130, Edmond, OK 73034 Volume 12, Number 9



Outlook is a publication of Back40 Design, Inc.

Creative Director Bethany Marshall

PHOTOGRAPHY Marshall Hawkins © 2016 Back40 Design, Inc.


DISTRIBUTION Outlook is delivered FREE by direct-mail to 50,000 Edmond & North OKC homes.

Articles and advertisements in the Outlook do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the magazine or Back40 Design. Back40 Design does not assume responsibility for statements made by advertisers or editorial contributors. The acceptance of advertising by the Outlook does not constitute endorsement of the products, services or information. We do not knowingly present any product or service that is fraudulent or misleading in nature. The Outlook assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials.





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f a c

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All About Autumn Around The term “equinox” is from the Latin meaning “equal night”

Pumpkin is the most craved-for food in autumn

A “Harvest Moon” is the full moon closest to the autumn equinox

Autumn is the time when more singles change their status to “In a Relationship” or “Engaged” than the yearly average

Each autumn, monarch butterflies migrate from the US to Mexico flying at speeds from 12 to 25 mph

The word “harvest” comes from the Old Norse word haust, which means “to gather or pluck.” City dwellers began to use “fall of the leaf,” which was shortened to “fall”

Autumn babies are more likely to live to 100

According to superstition, catching leaves in autumn brings good luck. Every leaf means a lucky month next year.

Autumnal depression or seasonal affective disorder affects 4-5% of the population, although 1020% have symptoms related to it


Get ready for some family fun! The Pops Arcadia Corn Maze opens Sept. 23! Enjoy bounce houses, fishing, face painting, trivia, paintball shoot, hay fort, pumpkin patch and much more, along with Pops food truck. Located east of Edmond on Hwy 66 next to Pops. Adults and children $10, seniors $8 and kids under 3 free. Don’t miss the Canterbury Arts & Crafts Faire on Saturday, Oct. 1 from 9am-4pm! Enjoy the day’s festivities at St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church, 14700 North May Ave, OKC, with fun for all ages, including artwork, fine crafts, food, specialty goods and services and much more. Call (405) 751-7874 or visit for more information. Put your mystery-solving skills to the test in Clue Quest’s new Hospital Room 151 escape room, now open! Great for families, friends and team-building, your group has one hour in a locked room to solve the mystery, get the door code and escape to victory. Call (405) 625-3706 to book your group of 2-6 people or visit Located at 151 E. 33rd St., Suite 101 in Edmond.

Statistics provided by:; The weather Channel


Home Care Assistance is celebrating its two year anniversary! Please join us for an open house to show our appreciation to everyone who has contributed to our success - our caregivers, our clients and their families and our community. Thursday, September 15th 2pm-7pm Ribbon Cutting will be held at 4pm by the Edmond Chamber of Commerce

We invite you to meet our team, enjoy light refreshments and enter to win exciting prizes! Talk to us about how you or your loved can remain independent in your own home with a higher class of care.


Facebook: Home Care Assistance Oklahoma


Outlook September 2016

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Challenge of Change by Louise Tucker Jones

As I was folding laundry the other day, I noticed how worn my bath towels were. Interesting. They were brand new when we moved into this house. I got them to match the tile in the bathroom. But that was years ago and I haven’t updated. I should have. The washcloths are even more ragged than the towels but I like them. They are soft and great for removing makeup. You don’t have to worry about stains. They’re already there! And even though I finally bought new towels to place in the hall bath for guests, I continue using the old ones because I don’t like change. That’s right. Change. It’s difficult for many of us. Nor do I like making major decisions. For instance, my oldest son thinks I should buy a new car since I drive back and forth to Arkansas several times a year, but I like my old one. I know what all the gadgets and buttons are for and don’t want to learn something new. Even minor changes bother me. Recently, my microwave went out due to a power surge. I knew I couldn’t exactly replace it—been too many years. I didn’t want to get something different but I had to. And guess what—I got used to the new microwave immediately. So yes, I CAN change, I just don’t like it. I think this is the way we get stuck in life at times. Things happen. Friends move away. Loved ones die. Families change. And if we don’t find a way to accept these changes, we often feel depressed and lonely. I don’t want that so I’m trying to make changes in my life. Positive ones. A few months ago I was walking daily on my treadmill when the belt became dangerously frayed. It took some weeks to get it replaced and I never got back into the habit of that daily walk. I plan to change that. My diet needs to change also. I absolutely love


Outlook September 2016

cheeseburgers and chocolate. I don’t see that I need to stop eating them completely, especially since this is my birthday month and I think I deserve to celebrate with a chocolate cake. But outside of special occasions, maybe I should cut back on this delicious delicacy. I want to be healthy. I also want to have a positive spirit and a joyful heart. And if a few changes in my life will produce that, I’m willing to try. My greatest challenge came when my husband died. It took courage and work just to keep living life. To eat. To sleep. To do everyday things like shopping, cooking, driving and more. Grieving is difficult. It requires time and energy that most of us don’t have when our hearts are broken. I say all of this to remind each of us to be gentle and understanding when others are going through hard times. They may be like me and can’t handle change quickly or easily. The way I see it, life is full of challenges and changes. But it’s also brimming with love, hope, joy and peace. Maybe not all at once. Maybe not just when we want it. But rest assured, when we are at our lowest—our worst—God comes near. We may not fully recognize or accept it right away. That’s okay. God is patient. God is kind. He loves us. He never holds a grudge. We may judge ourselves harshly at times, but our heavenly Father does not. And the best part. God NEVER changes. I like that!

About the Author Louise Tucker Jones is an award-winning author, inspirational speaker and founder of the organization, Wives With Heavenly Husbands, a support group for widows. Email LouiseTJ@cox. net or visit

*Savings applied at your estimate appointment upon mention of this ad. May not be combined with any other offers or savings or on previous product or service. Offer good through September 31, 2016. No cash value. Max savings of 10% of total invoice. Estimates scheduled by phone or online prior to this ad are eligible.



Outlook September 2016


The Burger Boom Burgers are having a moment. Specialty restaurants are popping up around every corner, enticing us to rediscover this timeless staple. Most of us enjoy a hamburger now and then and we don’t intend to waste the indulgence on a sub-par patty. The recent emphasis on quality beef and fresh veggies has broadened the burger’s appeal, but it’s the wildly diverse toppings that have elevated it to trendsetter status. Seems once you put a fried egg or Sriracha on pretty much anything, it’s destined to be a hit. Who can complain? We love our trendy burgers, and when they can be enjoyed at a classic hometown joint, even better! There’s something about that local diner that just feels right, as if the hamburger must surely have been invented right there. It’s a place where the owners greet you and customers perch on bar stools amid retro decor, lingering over good conversation even longer than dessert. There’s a simplicity to it all that’s delicious, just like the food. Next time you want to get your fix of good old-fashioned diner food, visit a local joint where the fresh take on burgers is still a nod to the classic goodness we love.

Colby’s Grill

For nine years, Colby’s Grill in downtown Edmond has delighted locals with sizzling burgers made from freshly prepared patties

seared to perfection on a flat-top grill. There’s something magical about the glisteny, slightly toasted buns that come off that grill. So good it takes you back to a different era. Whether you order a classic like the old fashioned fried onion burger or kick it up a notch with a specialty burger, you’re in for a treat. Among the top selections, the Kick Burger lives up to its name with the help of fried jalapeños, onion

by Laura Beam

Colby’s Grill continued on next page


The Burger Boom, cont.

strings, pepper jack cheese and spicy Ranch dressing. Other favorites include the Cowboy Burger with BBQ sauce, onion strings, bacon and cheese, the patty melt on rye with sautéed onions and the chicken sandwich with bacon and Ranch dressing. Their most unique burger, available any time of day, is the Right-A-Way Breakfast Burger, loaded Burgers with bacon, cheese, egg, hashbrowns and sauce. Owners Colby and Jessica Mason, who recently opened a second location in North Edmond, take pride in serving up a variety of other great old-fashioned diner foods, too, like hand-breaded chicken fried steak, meatloaf, fried mushrooms, thick-cut fries and the most delectable breakfast biscuits, gravy and pancakes you can imagine. Nothing better on a chilly fall morning, especially when you take breakfast biscuits back to everyone at the office. You’ll make instant friends! Visit Colby’s Grill at 511 S. Broadway or Colby’s Grill at the Station, 5725 E. Covell Rd. or find them on Facebook.

Right-A-way Burgers

As Edmond continues to grow and expand, the northeast area has new reason to celebrate. Right-A-Way Burger owners Jimmy and

Kiesha Johnson and Nathan Howard saw the area developing and wanted to offer a new dining option. Prepare to be delighted by this rustic little burger retreat. Chef Jimmy is all about quality and you can taste it in every bite of these show-stopping burgers. It starts with fresh, never frozen, beef transported from Wichita. The 81/19 lean-to-fat ratio and optimal cooking gives each burger a juicy, nongreasy finish, and the large patties cover the whole bun so every bite is complete with flavor. The signature Right-A-Way burger with honey bacon, cheddar, fried onions, coleslaw and house sauce gives you that classic burger taste with a little something special from the crunch of the coleslaw and creaminess of the house sauce. The Zen, another customer favorite, combines sweet chili sauce, peanut butter (yes, peanut butter!), Thai slaw and Sriracha for a tangy burger with a mild kick everyone can love. Don’t be scared by the peanut butter/Sriracha combo. Its tasty, subtle blend will surprise you...and hook you! Other toppings like grilled pineapple and roasted red peppers, plus hearty sides like the Right-A-Way beans and the not-to-be missed cinnamon rolls and pineapple upside down cake round out the exciting menu. Dine at 2917 E. Waterloo Rd., at Coltrane, or visit

Laura Beam is a business and food writer and 20-year advertising and marketing executive in radio, newspaper and magazines. Share new business tips and trends with her on LinkedIn or email


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Outlook September 2016

©2016 Tailored Living, LLC. All rights reserved. Each franchise independently owned and operated. Tailored Living featuring PremierGarage is a trademark of Tailored Living, LLC and a Home Franchise Concepts brand.



Peace Home Solutions by Morgan Day Brian Peace, Owner of Peace Home Solutions

Three years ago, U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Brian Peace began to envision life beyond the military. As he began his transition from infantry Marine to civilian, Peace received a series of job rejections from employers looking for candidates with college degrees. Not to be deterred, he called on his military-taught leadership and organizational skills, as well as his construction background, to start something all his own: Peace Home Solutions. Having cut his teeth at commercial job sites as a kid, and having worked for six years at Flintco Constructive Solutions, Peace had found a new calling—quality fence construction. “I started in April 2013 when I was still in the military, and then kept rolling with it since then,” he said. “I would do construction jobs when I got off work, and it just kind of took off at the end of 2013.”


Outlook September 2016

The Oklahoma City-based business, which serves the metro area, can construct several types of fences, including livestock enclosures, fences around acreages, large composite fences around homeowners’ associations or the standard backyard fence. Peace Home Solutions even handles miscellaneous concrete work for driveways, sidewalks and patios. “We offer the homeowner a quality fence at a reasonable cost, and we do all custom work,” Peace said. “We actually build the fence on site at their home or business. Nothing is prefabricated, so the homeowner gets exactly the look they want.” Peace manages a staff of two, but the company takes on more workers as demand shifts. Peace’s wife Melinda, a local school teacher, also helps out with the business. The two live in Oklahoma City with their son, Cody, 7, and daughter, Kaitlyn, 6.

Peace chalks his company’s success up to great customer service and professionalism that leaves the customer with a positive lasting impression. All this helps his company build a reputation of excellence in the community. He and his crew complete the projects in a timely manner and build a rapport with customers, who often aren’t able to be on the property while the construction takes place. “We’ll install a fence that will last, and we take pride in knowing we helped someone out,” Peace said. “We don’t ever leave the job until we’re done. We go until the homeowner is happy with it. And if the homeowner is happy, we’re happy. That’s what we strive for.” Learn more about Peace Home Solutions by visiting, by calling (405) 708-3247 or emailing

Oklahoma Allergy & Asthma Clinic by Morgan Day Board-Certified Allergist Greg Metz, M.D., and Karen Gregory, DNP (doctor of nursing practice), confer over a patient.

Physicians at Oklahoma Allergy and Asthma Clinic realize many Oklahomans suffering from allergies need to be vigilant about knowing what’s in the air and how it can affect them—not just sometimes, but every day. To help people combat the constant battle they are waging against allergies and asthma, the OAAC staff is hosting two new patient clinics on Sept. 30 and Oct. 14. The special clinics will be held at the Oklahoma Health Center location, 750 NE 13th Street. “When you don’t feel well and you suspect allergies are the cause,” Terri Folks, the clinic’s PR consultant, said, “these special days have been set aside for new patients so they can talk to the doctor about what problems they’re having and be tested. If they haven’t been in before, this is a great day to do it. We’ll have all hands on deck.”

Oklahoma is a perfect storm for allergies and asthma. That’s why you’ll see the clinic share a mold and pollen count every day from its Facebook account and Twitter page at @okallergyasthma. The clinic is a certified pollen and mold counting station for the National Allergy Bureau and supplies counts to the local media to ensure not only their patients, but also the metro population, is prepared. “We get a big following on social media because so many people suffer from allergies in Oklahoma, and many of these parents’ children are affected greatly, too. It really helps them prepare for their day,” said Folks. “It’s a reminder for them to be extra cautious, to stay inside in the air conditioning, to not mow their grass and to carry their EpiPen.” Founded in 1925, Oklahoma Allergy and Asthma Clinic is one of the largest allergy

clinics in the US. Folks said the allergists pride themselves on being patient and thorough, and they truly enjoy providing care that helps their patients live, and breathe, easier. “We have nine dedicated boardcertified allergists in addition to wonderful staff members who can help you find that great quality of life and quit struggling with allergies,” she said. Learn more about the Oklahoma Allergy and Asthma Clinic by visiting Call 405-235-0040 to make an appointment at one of its five locations in Downtown OKC, Midwest City, North OKC by Mercy Hospital, Edmond and Norman. A new building is under construction in Norman and is expected to open October 2016. The Edmond location is at 120 E. Bryant Avenue.


Tri'd & Tested

by Austin Marshall

Triathlete Mat Jones overcomes adversity and encourages others to do the same Mat Jones looks out over the water of Arcadia Lake and dries off from the hour-long swim practice he just finished in 95-degree heat. Like other athletes on Team Terra Tri, he is eager to find some shade after tossing around in waves and a 25-mph wind. Jones encourages everyone around him in one way or another—a knowing nod here, an enthused high-five there. He’s about to start his third workout of the day, this time focusing on swim technique. Despite the searing heat, persistent wind and the mile of swimming behind him, he looks like he wants do it all over again. He’s come a long way since December 2007. Then, Jones was physically and mentally broken. Weighing more than 500 pounds, he tired from short walks and was winded by a few stairs or a brief walk uphill. Particularly worrisome was the fact that four of his immediate family members died due to various cardiovascular ailments—he was on his way to a premature and preventable death. “We were all morbidly obese. I had my own close call, going to the ER once with terrible chest pains. A doctor I knew urged me to do something about my health.” Progress came excruciatingly slow at first, as Jones tried to


Outlook September 2016

reconcile his new calorie-restrictive diet with his calorie-intense cardio workouts. “I’d lose 100 pounds and then gain 120 right back. Nothing seemed to sustain my weight loss.” Frustrated, embarrassed, and concerned for his life, he scheduled a gastric sleeve operation for March 2008 and resolved to completely overhaul his lifestyle. Jones rediscovered a love for hiking, particularly for long My kids were still distances at mind-boggling elevations. young and I realized Prone to extremes, he found himself they were going to traveling the world and summiting some of the most treacherous terrain on Earthgrow up without a -traveling to Katmandu, Nepal and then father if I didn’t do to the base camp of Mount Everest. something. Jones realized that his newfound passion for endurance sports might be his way out of his sedentary lifestyle.“My kids were still young and I realized they were going to grow up without a father if I didn’t do something,” he recalls. “I started doing mixed martial arts to lose weight, but I was breaking bones every six weeks. I had to find

something a little easier on my body.” Jones didn’t yet know it, but he was about to sign up for a race that would alter the trajectory of his life. “I had a bike and I started riding at Lake Hefner on 40 to 50 mile rides pretty regularly. I signed up for a splash-anddash in June 2012 without any practical swim experience. I emailed the race director—Steve “Buzz” Bussjaeger, a local triathlon legend—and he told me to come find him at the race and promised to look after me in the water. “I started the swim way too fast and had to take a break at the turnaround. I came back in and finished the run, and immediately signed up for a sprint triathlon later that week.” Jones recalls the hospitality of other racers more than anything. “Everyone was just so incredibly nice. I was swarmed by people as soon as I crossed the finish line, and that was enough. I was hooked.” He’s made tremendous progress in his quest to better himself, but he thinks he’s capable of even more. In June alone, Jones completed back-to-back Olympic distance triathlons—one in El Reno and one in Lawrence, KS—and completed the Boulder Ironman 70.3 triathlon a week later. He trains anywhere from three to six hours per workout during racing season. As if that wouldn’t be exhausting enough, he’s on the Board of Directors for the Triathlon Club of Oklahoma City and regularly volunteers at races before or after he competes in them. He is one of the key organizers for this year’s Redman Triathlon in Oklahoma City, which will host the International Triathlon Union World Championship at Lake Hefner. Jones’ passion for triathlons is fueled by his numerous charitable and volunteer efforts. Jones works for and runs the LoveWorks Leadership initiative, Everyone was just so an after-school program for atrisk youth in the Norman school incredibly nice. I was district. “We serve about 400 kids swarmed by people per week and have a culinary as soon as I crossed studio, a media center, computer and art labs and a fashion studio. the finish line, and Each kid focuses on one skill that was enough. I per semester which helps them develop life skills. We can serve was hooked. about 100 kids each day. My main goals are to fundraise and be a positive role model for them.” He sees triathlon as an extension of being a role model, since it requires discipline, patience, and hard work. “I want to show these kids that they are capable of so much if they will put 100% into it.” He also raises money for the nonprofit Zero: the End of Prostate Cancer. “My wife lost her first husband to prostate cancer. I got involved with Zero to be an example for her two boys. I’ll never replace

Mat Jones climbing Imja Tse, Himalayas near the Kumbu Ice Fall at Mount Everest

their dad, but I want them to know that I care about them.” If that wasn’t enough, Jones also coaches the Terra Tri youth triathlon team. Most of the youth team members are from Santa Fe South High School in OKC, which is one of the most impoverished schools in the state. “We take these kids that have little direction or opportunity and let them thrive. We use grant funding to purchase race equipment for the kids. All they need is a pair of running shoes— we take care of the rest.” Jones sees himself as an encouragement to others, which also means he can’t take the shortcuts that are so tempting during months of triathlon training. “I never want to be a hypocrite. I’m not going to preach what I don’t practice. People are watching all the time, so I have to back up my message with my actions. I want to be the guy that motivates people to improve their own lives.” Jones’ enthusiasm for multi-sport is infectious. So infectious, in fact, that his wife has picked up the sport. “Mikel decided that if she ever wanted to see me, she’d have to get started! She traveled with me to Boulder and got the bug. Her first triathlon will be the Tie-Dye Tri in Norman at the end of August.” Jones understands how intimidating a triathlon can be, and is well aware the sport has a reputation for hyper-competitive athletes. He urges anyone wanting to bust themselves out of a rut to just start moving, even if in small increments. He’s a testament to the difficulty many face when trying to lose weight, even after undergoing a surgical procedure. “The triathlon community in Oklahoma City is like family,” Jones explains. “You’ll see all types of people at the finish line. Plus, there’s no better training than competition. That’s why I race every time I can. It’s just too much fun to resist.” Learn more about Mat at




Outlook September 2016

Helping Hungry Kids by Austin Marshall

The Regional Food Bank provides backpacks filled with food for struggling students to take home each weekend

Rodney Bivens, the Executive Director of the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, received a phone call from a concerned elementary school principal from Oklahoma City in 2003. A child languishing from hunger after a weekend with nearly no food had collapsed while waiting in line for breakfast in the school cafeteria. School personnel learned the child’s entire food intake over the weekend was a single hot dog with no bun. Bivens and his staff knew that this incident couldn’t be an isolated one in a state with hundreds of thousands living in poverty. The US Census Bureau estimates more than 200,000 children live in poverty throughout the state. Thousands of these children face persistent hunger or live in homes that are designated as “food insecure,” meaning they lack access to healthy foods for economic and geographic reasons. Oklahoma’s rural landscape and the sprawling size of the metro area create pockets of poor access to healthy foods— many people are effectively isolated for reasons beyond their control. The Food for Kids Backpack Program now serves 18,500 hungry students in more than 500 elementary schools in central and western Oklahoma. Through its massive volunteer base and operational efficiency, the food bank provides desperately needed nutritional assistance to children who would otherwise go without. “Sacks filled with nutritious, kid-friendly, shelf-stable food are packed by volunteers and provided, at no cost to the school or the student, every Friday throughout the school year,” explains Dawn Burroughs, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at the Regional Food Bank. “The food provides the equivalent of four meals and has made a significant impact on the lives of thousands of Oklahoma’s children. Extra sacks of food are sent home with any child who has a sibling at home who is not yet schoolage.” The popularity and growth of the Food for Kids Program is a mixed blessing. On one hand, the food bank is able to help thousands of children. On the other hand, it means that food insecurity in Oklahoma is more prevalent than it was when the program was first started in 2003. “The Food for Kids program also expanded in 2012 to include a School Pantry Program that provides an on-campus solution for chronically hungry middle and high school students. This provides food for nearly 6,000 students in 124 middle and high schools,” Burroughs adds.

Photo by Clifton Roberts with the Regional Food Bank of OK

Food insecurity is a difficult concept to address through public policy, due in no small part to the misconception that a child in a food insecure home is a victim of neglect or inadequate parenting. “The reality is that, although some students are living in less than ideal home environments, the majority have parents who love them and are doing everything they can to keep food on the table for their family. The majority of people served by the Regional Food Bank are the working poor, seniors and children,” Burroughs explains. “Parents are working one and often two jobs just trying to make ends meet and rarely have enough money left at the end of the month to buy food. And, if anything out of the ordinary happens, like the car breaks down, or someone in the family gets sick, it can push them further into debt and more likely to need food assistance for a longer period of time. These parents are no different from anyone else in that they want what is best for their children and a better life for them.” Malnourished children are more likely to perform poorly in school, so providing them with healthy meals can also improve their academic lives. “It helps them be ready to learn on Monday morning and can help break the cycle of poverty,” Burroughs says. Funding is a constant concern for the food bank as the Food for Kids Program continues to expand. “While it only takes $200 to provide food for one child every weekend throughout an entire school continued on next page


Helping Hungry Kids, Cont’d

Photo by Clifton Roberts with the Regional Food Bank of OK

year, when you multiply that times the nearly 25,000 chronically hungry children served by the Food for Kids program, that’s close to $5 million that has to be raised annually just to sustain the program. Additional funding must be raised to expand the program and provide summer feeding in every county so that children are well-nourished and ready to start the school year strong in the fall,” Burroughs notes. Like thousands of other social service nonprofits in Oklahoma, the Regional Food Bank is at the mercy of socioeconomic trends beyond its control. Ending poverty is a Gordian’s knot to policymakers—its resolution will only be reached with innovative ideas supported by adequate funding. “We have to address the root causes of hunger,”


Outlook September 2016

Burroughs explains. “Too many Oklahomans are having to make tough decisions every month about whether to pay the electric bill or put food on the table; whether to fill a prescription or put food on the table; whether to put gas in the car to get to work or put food on the table. The stress of worrying about how to provide food for their family is real and can be overwhelming.” The Regional Food Bank’s work is further complicated by reductions in funding to state agencies that address poverty. “These programs keep hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans out of deep poverty, and must be part of every serious conversation about ending food insecurity in the US,” Burroughs says. Schools are increasingly asked to do more with less, so the Food for Kids Program fills a service gap that only seems to be increasing. Financial support to the food bank is one of the best ways to support its mission, Burroughs says. “Right now, every donation to the Food for Kids program will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to $150,000 thanks to the generosity of the Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma, Top of the World, David Gorham and two anonymous families. This is a great opportunity to double the impact of your gift and make a difference in the lives of chronically hungry children throughout central and western Oklahoma.” As the school year begins and thousands of children are back in the classroom, remember that one in four of them is food insecure. Also remember that supporting the Regional Food Bank is an excellent way for you to do something about it. More information about the Food for Kids Program and others administered by the Regional Food Bank can be found at


Mom of a Medalist by Amy Dee Stephens

Olympic athletes spend countless hours in training. Behind every Olympic athlete is that someone who invested even more hours in raising, training, watching and waiting. Lots of waiting. For swimmer, David Plummer, it was his mom. Kathy Plummer is so proud of her son’s accomplishments. She’s amazed that the simple act of fostering his interest in swimming led him to the Rio Olympics. “We had David in the pool from the time he was a baby,” Kathy said. “David was the third of four boys, and his older brothers swam, so he got dragged along. In junior high he started thinking seriously about going to the Olympics someday. In high school and college, he started competing successfully.” At 30-years-old, David’s the oldest first-time Olympic swimmer in over 100 years. This year was his fourth attempt at making the swim team. In 2012, his missed by twelve-hundredths of a second, and he wasn’t sure he would try again. With encouragement from his wife, David decided to give it one last shot. In Rio, David competed in the 100-meter backstroke and the 4x100meter medley relay—winning bronze in the backstroke and gold in the relay. Kathy never dreamed that she would be able to witness the win herself. As a single mom, working as an occupational therapy assistant in Northwest Oklahoma City, she never expected to make the expensive trip. Although family members are able to travel with the athletes, no financial assistance is provided. This year, thanks to crowd fundraising from friends, family and David’s fans, Kathy was able to attend a few days of the competition with seven other family members, including her two older sons and David’s wife. It was an unexpected blessing. “David was tickled to have us there. Being a professional swimmer isn’t the same as being a paid football or basketball player,” Kathy said. “Only the high-profile athletes get sponsorships, so David and his wife worked hard to afford this Olympic dream while supporting two young children. He probably hasn’t done as much training as some, because he’s working around his high school coaching schedule.” Attending the Rio Olympics as a spectator was an adventure in itself. Fortunately, Kathy’s cousin and her husband live in Brazil, so they served as translator and tour guide. Each day, the group rode on the new train


Outlook September 2016

then caught a bus that took them fairly close to the swimming arena in Baha. A highlight for the family was watching David “be a celebrity” as he was interviewed by various media outlets. The family was able to sit in the stands and watching David swim in the 100-meter semi rounds and then the finals. “We just screamed and yelled the whole race,” Kathy said. “It was pretty emotional, but that much adrenaline really takes it out of you. I wonder how the athletes manage that much excitement multiple days in a row.” Despite their supporters, Olympic athletes actually have very little contact with family and fans. Kathy’s family only had a few minutes in the stands to congratulate David on his bronze medal before he was whisked away. Their other short, face-to-face meeting occurred on a sidewalk. “It’s tough on the family, because we are his support system,” Kathy said. “It’s a bummer that we couldn’t see him more, but I’m going to say that it is for the best, too. The athletes don’t need the distraction, they need to concentrate.” Exhausted, Kathy returned home to watch the rest of the Olympics on television. Those few precious moments with David in Rio will sustain her until she is able to again see him in person. Although David grew up in Oklahoma, he currently lives in Minneapolis, where he coaches high school swimming. As a mom, she’s more pleased by his accomplishments as swim coach than she is by his medals. “By coaching kids to swim, he’s changed his perspective from the individual athlete to focusing on the team effort. He’s thinking outside of himself,” Kathy said. Kathy, too, coached swimming and lifeguarding when her boys were young. It was a way to keep herself busy at the pool, “while the kids were doing their thing.” She occasionally hears from her former students about how their life was affected by her teaching. “That’s the part of teaching that you have no idea about until a student comes back and tells you that you made an impact,” Kathy said. “One of the best things that happened in Rio was at the NBC media center. They surprised David with a live reading of letters written by some of the swimmers that he’s coached. Everyone was in tears, hearing how he’s impacted their lives.” “That’s the kind of thing that tears at your heartstrings. It’s not only about being an Olympian, but it‘s more about the things he’s learned on his journey to help other people. That’s what makes you feel like you’ve done a good job with your child.”

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Outlook September 2016

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Fitness Fun

Four unique workout ideas anyone can do!

by Chloe Shelby

Workouts can help relieve stress, blow off steam, build confidence, provide relaxation, and the list goes on. Exercising can either be a dreaded part of the day, or the best part, it’s all about how people choose to view it. Being active provides mental, physical and psychological benefits, so it’s important to schedule a few times a week to get sweaty. If someone finds an exercise style that they enjoy, it won’t even feel like a workout. Edmond and surrounding areas are full of exciting things to do to get the body moving.

Trampoline Boot Camp

Jumping on a trampoline can make any adult feel like a kid again. This workout is perfect for adults who need to throw their cares away. “It adds a different element to exercise, using small stabilizing muscles that we often do not give enough attention to in a workout,” says Megan VinZant, a boot camp participant. “Having fun while continuing a fitness journey is what keeps me coming back!” Elevation Trampoline Park partnered with OneHealthyBod to create a trampoline boot camp for adults 18 years old and up. For a


Outlook September 2016

workout that burns more than 500 calories every hour, this boot camp will get the body in tip top shape! This class may be high intensity, but it’s equally high fun. This class focuses on cardio and strength to create the best workout mix, and no equipment is needed. Visit and for more information.

Ballroom Dancing

Ballroom dancing is a workout that combines music and passion. This form of exercise is enjoyable for people who love to feel the beat and take a mental break. Choreographed dancing keeps people focused and their worries are danced away in the form of the Waltz, Tango, Cha-Cha and more. Some may be intimidated, but Dadbeh Jafari, dance instructor from Ballroom on Broadway, assures each new dancer that it’s fine to feel uncomfortable during the first few practices and encourages them to keep coming back. Dancing is a great full body workout that incorporates many muscles of the body that are typically forgotten in traditional workouts. Jafari shares that in running, people are just moving one foot in front of the other, but in dancing they are moving muscles they didn’t even know they had. To learn more, visit or stop by their location at 711 S. Broadway in Edmond.

Horseback Riding

Horseback riding is perfect for those looking to feel more grounded and experience nature. Many people think of horseback riding as more of a workout for the legs, however, it’s a total body workout. Horseback riding requires cardiovascular endurance, core strength and balance. Calories burned while riding largely depends on the type of riding that the person is doing. “For the style of riding we teach; an average sized adult can expect to burn between 175 to 250 calories in thirty minutes,” said Katie Spencer, Cross Creek Stables lesson instructor. If someone doesn’t have a horse, that’s not a problem. Cross Creek Stables teaches over 100 lessons a week to kids and adults who do not own their own horse. Visit for more information.


Kayaking is a fabulous workout that engages many muscles of the body. If you are tired of gyms, kayaking will be perfect to change up the scenery. Kayaking engages the core the entire time, and builds upper body strength. Participants won’t forget about their legs though; they are important to stabilize the boat. By the time a kayaker becomes more confident in their moves, it becomes a total body workout. People interested in activities in the water can also look into other activities offered at the Oklahoma City Boathouse District. People can buy an all-access pass to kayak, paddleboard, zip line and more. Learn about the Boathouse District at

Activity Anywhere

There are plenty of other activities that don’t cost anything and still scorch major calories.

Photo by Georgia Reed

Family bike rides can be a great way to spend quality time together, enjoy the outdoors, and have fun, all while getting the body moving! There are countless trails in Edmond that are perfect for bike riding. Some notable trails in the area include Hafer Park and Mitch Park. If Edmond residents don’t mind the drive, they can go a little farther to Lake Hefner or Lake Overholser. Walking works wonders and can be fun with a good friend. Instead of talking on the phone this week, why not schedule a walk around a beautiful park? Swimming is a great way to trick the mind into not feeling like a workout! Similar to jumping on a trampoline, people feel weightless when they are swimming. Many gyms and neighborhoods have pools, so people should explore the options surrounding them. No matter what a person chooses, they must make it a habit. Having a habit of doing something active can be super important for those days when the to do list is a mile long. It’s important to take time for healthy activities and there will definitely be a recognized increase in energy levels.

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Conducting Excellence by Amy Dee Stephens

Windsong Chamber Choir might be the metro’s best kept musical secret. Thirty trained vocalists comprise this prestigious, mid-sized chamber choir. The sound of classical acapella is their mainstay, but their concerts include an array of music, from Mozart and madrigals to jazz. “Choir music isn’t for everyone, but when people hear us, they know they are listening to quality—even if they don’t know why we sound so good,” said Kerry Barnett, founder of Windsong. “We have powerful singers with a distinctly unified sound.” The long-term force behind that sound is artistic director, Kerry Barnett. He and his wife, Marilee, formed Windsong in 1991 with the goal of providing Oklahoma City with virtuoso music, both sacred and secular. The first rehearsals were held in their home, with the family dog sitting at their feet. Eventually, the choir performed at a variety of venues, but for many years, their home base was at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Oklahoma City, where Barnett was the music minister. In order to welcome a larger cross-section of the community to their concerts, Windsong stopped selling tickets for most of their concerts. Since then, both attendance and donations have steadily risen. Now, the choir is celebrating


Outlook September 2016

its 25th anniversary. For Barnett, it’s a time to reflect on the choir’s rich history and his personal career as a professional baritone. In truth, Barnett might never have gone far as a performer, if not for the mighty quest to find a girlfriend. Barnett had no musical aspirations as a child in California, but he did enjoy singing in the church choir during junior high. Because of his rich voice, he was invited to bump up to the church’s adult choir. “I noticed that my friend from another choir was always talking to a really cute girls,” Barnett said. “I thought he was kind of a nerdy dude, so I asked him how he was getting all this attention. He said, ‘I sing in the choir.’ I said, ‘How do I get in?’” So he auditioned, and it paid off. Barnett got his first girlfriend. By high school, the choir was singing advanced works by Brahms and Mozart. Barnett felt behind because he didn’t know how to read music. “I came into music late, but I soaked it up as fast as I could,” Barnett said. “I had the remarkable opportunity to learn from the great choral director, William Hatcher in college.” After prompting, Barnett auditioned for the world-recognized Roger Wagoner Chorale in Los Angeles. “Roger Wagner handed me a sheet of music and said, ‘Sight read this.’ I sang through it, but he kept interrupting to say, ‘No, no, no, you got that wrong.’ So, I left with my tail between my legs.” Surprisingly, Barnett received a contract three months later. For the next seven years, he toured the world as a baritone with the Roger Wagner Chorale. When he wasn’t singing, he was surfing. He also took jobs as a voice artist for television, commercials and movies. When Barnett married Marilee and needed to settle on a career, he decided, “I really like this choir directing thing.” He went to college in earnest this time, where a professor encouraged him to pursue his doctorate in music at the University of Oklahoma. Once in Oklahoma, he became particularly famous for performing a difficult piece from the opera Carmina Burana. In 1991, he and Marilee started Windsong to bring European-style ensemble music to the Oklahoma scene. Over the years, the choir was selected to perform for the American Choral Directors Association four times, which Barnett considers his greatest achievement. The choir is at the brink of transition as Barnett faces retirement. In 2010, his beloved Marilee passed away, and Barnett lost his integral co-companion in organizing Windsong. Afterward, he invited Jeanise

Morton to serve as assistant director and recently promoted her into the role of artistic director. The two work closely together to continue the founding ideals of Windsong. Morton began singing with Windsong ten years ago. The choir actually got a package deal, because she auditioned at the same time as her mother and father—and all three were accepted. Unlike Barnett, Morton came from a musical background. She began playing flute at age seven and discovered her singing ability in high school. She enrolled as a pre-med student at Oklahoma Christian University, but when she auditioned for the Chorale, her talent came to the forefront. Morton changed course to a double-major in flute and vocal music and even had the rare honor of conducting a musical as a student. Her career took a different turn after she spent a year as a missionary in Japan. Upon return, Morton entered the accounting world and is now the Business Manager at Edmond Public Schools. For several years, her only connection to music was singing with her church’s praise team. Being accepted into Windsong alongside her parents was fulfilling. Once again, music was at the forefront of Morton’s life. In 2011, Barnett invited her to conduct three songs for a concert. Morton realized that conducting was something she was “born to do,” and Barnett recognized her talent. “She shares my vision of Windsong,” Barnett said. “It’s unusual for a choir to have dual artistic directors, but we work well together and both have a high level of expectation.” Adding one more layer of music to her life, Morton also directs the contemporary worship service at Southern Hills Christian Church in Edmond, which is now the home base for Windsong operations. To celebrate Windsong’s 25th anniversary, the choir will perform Handel’s Messiah this Christmas at Southern Hills. Next May, the choir and alumni will perform their most-requested music back at Westminster. Both Barnett and Morton are thrilled to share the stage at this historic event “The legacy that Kerry and Marilee began has continued to grow,” Morton said. “Windsong is stronger than ever and brings a depth of talent and musicality I’ve never seen before.” “From the beginning, I wanted professional singers that understood our tenants of diction, resonance and vibrato,” Barnett said. “Our continuing excellence is something that really pleases me, and I love that Jeanise is an artistic director who’s looking to the future of Windsong.” Visit for more information.

The legacy that Kerry and Marilee began has continued to grow—Windsong is stronger than ever.

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Gia Rose & Travis Neely, Interior Designers for the Oklahoma Designer Show House by Bethany Marshall What is the Oklahoma Designer Show House? TN: It’s a home tour involving local designers and their teams, each assigned a different space to create. The public is then invited to visit the home, and to enjoy the lavishly appointed rooms. GR: The designer show house concept was created by designers in order to gain complete artistic freedom to best display their talent. This year features a new, 5,200-square-foot home built by Steve McClean of Coldwater Creek Homes, so people can see the latest trends in not only home decor, but architectural finishes. How long has Designer’s Market been supporting the event? GR: Last year Andrea Meister, a local designer, came to me and asked for our help by donating furniture and accessories to the designers participating. Andrea asked if our designers would like to design a room this year and I jumped at the opportunity. TN: This is the 2nd annual event, and Designer’s Market has generously supported the designers both years by loaning furnishings, artwork and accessories for their spaces.

Show house room design by Gia Rose

How is the show house chosen each year? TN: We collaborate with local builders and realtors to find a home with the desired square footage to allow multiple design teams to get involved. We also seek out locations that we believe the public will enjoy visiting.

How many designers are featured and how are they selected? GR: There are ten designers this year. They are not only notable for their work but diverse in their talent. TN: The board of the Show House nominates a variety of local designers to be involved. Our goal is to showcase a wide variety of Oklahoma’s design talent, so each year, we include both previously involved designers and new talent. Can guests shop at Designer’s Market for items they see at the show home? GR: Yes! What they will see in the show house is available in the showroom and much more. The furniture and accessories in the house are all on sale as well. So if you see


Outlook September 2016

something you love, you can buy it and pick it up after the show. Does the show house inspire homeowners to update their style? GR: We all get in a rut when it comes to design and decorating. Sometimes we just need a boost in the right direction by exposing ourselves to new visual experiences. I guarantee that after leaving the show house, it will be just the boost you need. TN: The Oklahoma Designer Show House is the perfect place to witness creativity at its finest. We hope guests complete the tour with a myriad of fresh ideas. Are all the furnishings and accessories original designs? GR: Designers use furnishings and products from their own personal showrooms or custom create them for the space and then augment them with furnishings from Designer’s Market. TN: Each space is the creative endeavor of the designer, so every room is custom designed. The furnishings and accessories found throughout the home are a mix of custom pieces and those supplied by a variety of each designer’s vendors. What are the biggest trends in interior design this year? GR: Light bright colors and natural textures are inspirations of coastal retreats that we have been reticent to take. I believe this will evolve into even brighter tones and more rustic textures. TN: One of the most prevalent trends is the inclusion of marble accents. The show house’s fireplace, bathroom tile and many accessories are marble or have faux marble finishes. Matte finishes are quite popular and can be seen in many forms, from glass tile, metals and wood finishes. What’s something a homeowner can do to update their home? GR: Add a new unique piece of art or statement piece of furniture to your space. Adding a colorful, contemporary art piece, is an easy way to move your space from traditional to transitional, a look just short of true modern. TN: Fresh paint is a great, inexpensive way to breathe new life into any space. While grays have currently surpassed beiges as the go-to neutrals, there are actually many colors that can create soft, inviting spaces and still be neutral enough to work in many environments. Try a very soft blue or green as your new neutral. If you long for something new, but are stumped on the color, consult a design professional for help. Visit the show home Sept. 9-11, 16-18 from 10am-4pm at 3101 Oakdale Ridge Ct. in Edmond. Tickets available at Designer’s Market, 11900 N. Santa Fe.

(minimum of 300 sq. ft.) Time to say out with the old tile and carpet and in with new wood floors. Are you dreaming of new wood floors, but dread the mess associated with tearing out your tile? Are you tired of your 70’s carpet, but the thought of working with unreliable installers stop you in your tracks? Kregger’s Floors and More is here to help. Not only does Paul Kregger and his crew offer outstanding friendly and dependable service, but they have also created a system that eliminates many of the hassles most associated with tile removal. Their new dust collection system minimizes the dust. Although their technique is not dust-free, Kregger says it is “light-years ahead of the rest.” With most companies, replacing tile can take a week or more. Besides eliminating much of the dust, with Kreggers, your floor can be free of tile and prepped for new flooring in no time. “Most people think that the task of replacing tile is more construction than they want to deal with. With our manpower and no ‘middle man,’ your tile can be gone in as little as one day!” said Kregger. The installers are what set Kregger’s apart. This ensures customers are getting someone who knows and shows skills he’s familiar with to install their flooring. “In some stores the installers are folks the store has known maybe a day, maybe a year. It’s hard to say. At Kregger’s all of our installers are long-time

employees or family members.” Edmondite Christy Dowell says, “We have a home full of Kregger’s floors! New wood floors, tile floors, rugs, a shower and soon to be carpet. Paul and Chris and the rest of their crew have been a pleasure to work with; always courteous, respectful and punctual. They are also very trustworthy. We left our home to them for a week and came back to beautiful wood floors. It seems to me that ‘satisfaction’ is their number one goal...and I am completely satisfied! I highly recommend Kregger’s Floors and More.” Kreggers is now offering an unbeatable $5.99 psf on genuine Mohawk hand-scraped wood

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floors installed. “What every customer is looking for is great quality at a great price. With our low overhead environment, they always get a great price and workmanship that’s second to none.” For more information call 348-6777 or stop by the store at 2702 S. Broadway in Edmond.

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Outlook Magazine: September 2016