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Tilt-back also available in fabric and/or as a recliner

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Day or Evening Classes Available!

*Programs offered vary by campus Licensed by O.B.P.V.S.

Practical Nursing • BSN in Nursing A.S. Nursing (LPN to RN) Dental Asst. • Pharmacy Technician Medical Assistant/Phlebotomy A.S. Culinary Arts • Pastry Arts A.S. Medical Laboratory Technician A.S. Respiratory Care Surgical Technologist Medical Office Admin. Specialist

749-2433 946-7799 912-3260 North Campus


Central Campus

Moore Campus

For important program information, go to 3

January 2012


Teaching school-age students self-confidence, self-worth and self-defense through Martial Arts Anti-Bullying Programs.


26 W/O Boundaries

Edmond mom uses her education in an unconventional way, providing practical advice for families.

What one local mom is doing to save the lives of thousands of orphans in China.

22 Stop-Motion

28 A Positive Impact

From “Wall-E meets Michael Jackson” to “Battle of the Bonds,” local filmmaker Kyle Roberts tells all.

How one Edmond family is making a difference in the community with used clothing and books.




Tough Act to Follow



Zabel ’s Tug


Hello Neighbor!


Cool Deals


Blue Nile Ethiopian Cuisine What’s New?


Computer Zone All American Fitness Xpress


Estate Sales


Edmond Kitchen & Bath



Rumble the Bison

To advertise, call Laura at 405-301-3926


13431 N. Broadway Ste. 104 OKC, OK 73114 Office: 405-341-5599 Fax: 405-341-2020

PUBLISHER Dave Miller EDITORIAL & ADVERTISING MANAGER Krystal Harlow EDITOR Erica Smith ADVERTISING SALES Laura Beam Lori Cathey PRODUCTION DESIGN Tanner Yeomans Karen Munger PHOTOGRAPHY Marshall Hawkins DISTRIBUTION The Edmond Outlook is delivered FREE by direct mail to 50,000 Edmond homes and businesses.

(Volume 8, Number 1) Edmond Outlook is a publication of Back40 Design, Inc. Š 2012 Back40 Design, Inc. Articles and advertisements in Edmond 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 Edmond 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. Edmond Outlook assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials. 5

TOUGH ACT TO FOLLOW by Radina Gigova


ew people can say they have their dream job, but Erin Spencer is one of those people. She is an actress who has appeared on the hit show “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” and played in several films and commercials. She has also been a magician’s assistant in Biloxi, Mississippi, a dancer in “Chicago the Musical” in New Zealand, a commercial actor aboard a boat headed toward Catalina Island, a motion capture performer in the virtual world of video games and the spokesperson for Olay Pro-X Clear. Spencer lives in Los Angeles and attended Idyllwild Arts Academy in California. But it was from the Sooner State that Spencer began building her artistic foundation. She was chosen to become a member of the StarDanceSwan dance company as a fifth-grader at Will Rogers Elementary. Her heart has been set on being a performer ever since. “StarDanceSwan was really pre-professional training. Not only was (artistic director) Lorrie Keller so creative, she encouraged us to be co-creators with her. Lorrie Keller has been a major inspiration in my life,” said Spencer. The actress still remembers her first performance with StarDanceSwan. She was 10 years

old and was to open the show with her partner. “I was so nervous. I went to the bathroom because I thought I was going to be sick and everybody kept knocking on the door,” she said. The show couldn’t start until she pulled herself together, but then all went well. “I loved being part of the creative process,” said Spencer. Rehearsals for the show were some of her favorite times. “My mom would bring us dinner in a Thermos and we’d hang around the theater until we were called on stage.” Spencer is working on a variety of projects, including voice-overs and modeling for print publications, but wants to concentrate on acting for television. “I would absolutely love to be on a series that runs for 10 years, working with the same people and having the character develop over time.” She said if she could work on a show that runs currently, it would be “Mad Men.” Spencer watches a lot of movies and her favorite actresses are Meryl Streep, Christina Hendricks and Diane Lane. “Diane Lane is definitely talented,” she said. “She is very good at what she does. She’s so beautiful, and I was really excited to work with her.” Acting is a very competitive field and often there are as many as 1,500 candidates vying for a

Acting is intensely competitive with 1,500 candidates vying for a single role.


Erin Spencer on the cover of SAG Magazine taken by Moshe Brakha

single role. Auditions are scheduled on short notice and actors have to be ready all the time. “In general you have about a night to prepare for an audition,” Spencer explained. Sometimes actors don’t even see the script. “For ‘Mad Men’ or some of those big shows, they don’t want scripts floating around, because they don’t want storylines to get out to the public.” And even if she doesn’t get selected for a role, Spencer has learned not to take it personally. “In my mind, every ‘no’ is one step closer to a ‘yes’! Everybody who dreams of Hollywood and being discovered at the 7-Eleven will move to L.A. and soon after will find out that is not the way it works at all. You really have to put the work in every single day.” Spencer has had all kinds of surprises while performing - costumes that fall off or things that break. Once, what should have been a light firstday rehearsal turned into a vigorous workout. Spencer and a group of actors were trying to repeat the movement of a Japanese instructor for motion-capture roles in a video game. The moves

got more difficult until the actors started doing cartwheels holding pistols and machetes. “It started getting crazy, but it was the first day on the job and nobody wanted to get fired,” she joked. Spencer still keeps in touch with her Edmond friends. Although she enjoys the ocean and mountains of California, she has not forgotten the excitement of an Oklahoma lightning strike, the sound of heavy rain beating down, or the ominous feeling of an approaching storm. “Acting is such a joy and sometimes it looks so easy, but it takes a lot more work than people realize,” said Spencer. “It’s hard even if you love it.” Spencer never stopped loving her craft and chances are that won’t change any time soon. 7

ZABEL'S TUG by Nathan Winfrey

ACE Certified trainers Jake Carney and David Taylor in a Tug battle


ollege and professional sports programs across the nation have found a new way to build strong, unstoppable players, and the key is an invention by Edmond resident and former football star Steve Zabel. “The Tug” is filled with water and it uses inertia to offer a new spin on the millennia-old game tugof-war. Disc-shaped and fixed with four handles, it boasts an innovative design for increased safety and added features to create a workout reminiscent of dangerous strength-training exercises of the past. The idea came from Zabel’s football days at the University of Oklahoma. In the off-season after his sophomore year, his team conditioned with “stick wrestling,” a battle of brute strength where participants wrestled over a 24-inch segment of a broom handle. The exercise proved to be a very bloody fiasco, with his teammates getting gouged and hit with the stick, butting heads and catching elbows. Thirty years later, after a decade of NFL play for the Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots and Denver Broncos, Zabel started coaching at Curry College in Milton, Massachusetts. There he met a


young coach who suggested having the team play tug-of-war using tires. Instead of running sprints after practice, the team had six tires for the exercise. “This is what stick-wrestling was like, except nobody got hurt,” Zabel explained. However, someone did get hurt at Harvard when a defensive coordinator decided to increase the weight by upgrading to tractor tires. As a result, an athlete broke a femur. This caused Zabel to realize his still-primitive idea for The Tug would have to factor in weight variation and safety. In the off-season, Zabel applied for a patent and developed a prototype for his invention. It was 18 months before he got a response from the patent office in 2004. After that, he found a manufacturer in Gainesville, Texas, and The Tug went into production. “It’s been a fun ride so far,” Zabel says. He started going to football conventions and high school and college football clinics across the country to promote The Tug. One of his former Philadelphia teammates, who was coaching at Baylor University at the time, bought six. Less than a week later, The University of Texas bought 12. Soon, OU,

The idea came from Zabel's football days at the University of Oklahoma. Oklahoma State, Tennessee, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and many other Division I schools were placing orders and integrating The Tug into their athletic programs. “It’s kind of taken on a life of its own,” Zabel says. High-profile appearances in an article about Syracuse in ESPN The Magazine and on a

Thanksgiving Day football game gave The Tug a big kick in sales. Now, professional sports teams including the Dallas Cowboys, Tennessee Titans and St. Louis Rams are using The Tug and Zabel has shipped several thousand units. It’s also used in training for hockey, wrestling, lacrosse, football, women’s soccer and other applications. What’s unique about The Tug is that it can hold about 15 gallons of water, which makes it 80 pounds when half full. While being fought over, the water sloshes around, creating inertia. So, when two people are playing tug-of-war with the device, it’s like there are three, the third being the inertia created by the battle. “You’re not just going against your opponent,” says Zabel. “You’re going against that third guy, The Tug.” Users have found solo ways to implement The

Athletes doing Tug drills at Kearney HS in Kansas

Tug as well, in exercises including lunges, duck walks and squats. The fact that the water is always moving turns routine exercises into unique, coreengaging workouts because it’s like trying to balance an 80-pound level, Zabel explains. “The Tug has fit a pretty good niche in that world,” he says. The handles are 36 inches apart, which makes using The Tug safer than old-school

stick-wrestling. It’s made of bendable resin, which is softer and more forgiving than plastic. Its weight also serves as a safety feature. When full, The Tug weighs about 150 pounds, which makes it harder to throw around and hurt someone. “The heavier it is, the safer it is,” Zabel says. While The Tug is marketed mostly to athletic programs, Edmond inventor and former NFL Zabel is working on a smaller, star, Steve Zabel with Water Slog more versatile version called “The Tugger” that will be intended for the public. Zabel says he hopes that one day every elementary school in America will have a Tugger. Another product that’s now available from his company, Competitive Action Sports, is the “Water Slog.” It is designed for more traditional weight lifting and holds 16 gallons of water. Zabel continues to travel the country promoting and selling his products. “It’s been something that I’ve enjoyed. It allows me to stay in the world of athletics,” he says. Not only is he still part of that world, he’s helping shape the way athletes of the future will train. For more information, visit 9

HELLO NEIGHBOR! by Louise Tucker Jones


his cold January weather brings some “moving” experiences to my mind. Though my family is far from nomadic, we have lived in 10 different houses during our 45 years of marriage. Our first move came when my husband Carl and I abandoned our tiny one-bedroom duplex in Tulsa for a 12’ x 52’ two-bedroom mobile home that sat between a creek that overflowed during heavy rains and the Arkansas River. My mother was certain her daughter would float away. The move took place on our 2nd anniversary but since utilities weren’t on, we had to stay at a motel that cold March night. The motel attendant thought it strange that a young couple would want a room late at night, especially since Carl couldn’t remember our new address and wrote his parents’ address, which happened to be on Smith Street. Yep, Carl Jones on Smith Street, 10 p.m. and a young lady waiting in the car. Not a pretty picture to a motel manager in 1968. The last straw for Carl came when the man remarked about my tired husband’s “shiny new ring” (his wedding band of two years). Carl said, “I’ll get my wife out of the car. She’s eight months pregnant!” But before he got to the door the man handed over a key. An interesting memory to record in our scrapbook and eventually tell our son, Aaron who was born two weeks later. Every move was memorable in its own way but one took place on New Year’s Eve, right here


in Edmond, with some interesting results. Who would move on New Year’s Eve anyway with snow and cold weather? Well, we did and our friends Tom and Cheryl braved the elements and helped us move to our home in the Foxbriar addition. In those days (over 30 years ago) the little square of houses was in the country, sitting all to itself with only one

“Let's resolve to meet, greet and support our neighbors.” entrance. No surrounding neighborhoods. Just open country on all sides—the reason we moved there. Problem was, you had to go up a hill to get out of the addition and January 1978, presented some major weather challenges. Our house sat at the bottom of that hill which proved to be a great way to meet new neighbors. Over and over stranded motorists knocked at our door, asking to use the phone—no cell phones in those days. I learned to keep a pot of coffee brewing and some homemade goodies around, not knowing who my guests might be on those cold, icy January days. Sometimes there would be more than one person sitting in my kitchen, sipping coffee while waiting

About the Author Louise Tucker Jones is an award-winning author and inspirational speaker. Author and co-author of four books, her work has been featured in numerous publications. Contact her at: or

for help or to have their cars towed. Some of those neighbors became long-time friends. So it was only natural that many new neighborhood activities took place in our home for the first time. We started a bunco club, a neighborhood association and a monthly newsletter that my kids and their friends delivered. We had ceramic classes at another friend’s house and parades for most holidays. We lived in that cozy house and friendly neighborhood for 23 years and would have stayed longer had it not been for new housing additions crowding out our “country” perimeters, with builders cutting down huge old oak trees where my older children and their friends once built tree houses and a forested area where Jay and I used to walk which we called the Hundred Acre Woods. I’m glad we now have cell phones to call for help when we need it, but we still want good neighbors so I’m suggesting a simple New Year’s resolution. Let’s resolve to meet, greet and support our neighbors. When bad weather or hardships come, we need each other. My husband assisted many stranded motorists and I have learned first hand how helpful neighbors can be. And rest assured, whether you are the one giving or receiving, it’s a win/win situation!

Loabi Boutique carries the latest in women's and children's apparel, shoes, gifts & handbags from brands like Fossil, Toms Haute Baby, Aden & Anais, Miss Me and Hannah Banana. Open M-F 10-6 and Sat 10-5 454 W. Main Street in Yukon • 494-7447 Find us on Facebook!

Our Sisters’ Closet, is an upscale Edmond resale shop benefiting battered women and children receiving services at the YWCA OKC. Quality resale women’s wear, shoes, purses & jewelry at incredible prices. Shop, donate clothes, money or volunteer. Located 3 blocks North of 2nd, between Broadway & Boulevard at 101 E. Hurd. Open Tues-Fri 10-5:30 and Sat 10-5. 348-2442 • Also in OKC at I-240 & S. Penn.

FREE Local Student to Student Textbook Classifieds! College Students: Tired of paying outrageous prices for used text books and selling them back for next to nothing? Now there's a free site where you can buy and sell text books directly to other students. Save time and money and skip the bookstore. Check out today!

Blessings and Blooms is a fabulous home decor and gift shop on Main Street in Yukon. We feature Pandora & Sorrelli Jewelry and many other great gifts for friends, family, or yourself! We also have beautiful home and seasonal decor. It's worth the drive! Open Mon-Fri 10-6 & Sat 10-5 at 419 W. Main Street in Yukon. Find us on Facebook! • 577-6790

Beadle Dee Bead & Gift Shop Just opened, Edmond's only bead boutique offers a dazzling variety of gemstone, glass, crystal, Freshwater pearl and other unique beads, supplies and gift items. Create your own jewelry and accessories or have them custom designed - perfect for gifts or that hard-to-accessorize outfit. Be sure and ask about classes and parties. Located at Danforth & Santa Fe in 7-11 shopping plaza 715-5820 • Find us on Facebook!

Make your first new year's resolution to quit doing housework and leave the cleaning to us! We’ll take care of all the sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, laundry, dusting, bed linens & more! We offer years of experience and competitve rates. For a free estimate call 740-6004.

renewal salon & spa

LADIES, MELT OFF THOSE HOLIDAY POUNDS! Enjoy a total body workout at a women’s gym complete with toning tables and aerobic circuits as well as massage therapy and spray tanning. Plus, don’t miss the Renewal Spa & Salon right next door, offering everything from shellac nails to threading. 15 E. 4th (behind Arby’s) Renewal Salon & Spa - 348-5357 • Dreambodies - 285-9699

Bloomin Outdoors is Yukon's newest boutique featuring Men's and Women's outdoor lifestyle apparel like this Marmot ROM Jacket. It's windproof, water resistant & breathable with an attached adjustable hood! You'll also find products from Teva, Lucky, Silver, Mt. Hardware, Keen, Patagonia and Old Gringo. Open Mon-Fri 10-6 & Sat 10-5 at 451 W. Main St. in Yukon. Find us on Facebook! • 494-7676

Visit Edmond’s only plus-size consignment shop, ReDesigning Women, for quality clothing in sizes 14 & up, shoes and accessories at great prices! With new inventory arriving daily, you’ll want to shop often. Open Tues - Sat 10-6 11 at 2nd & Kelly • 844-0505

Dan ce for fitn ess an d fun!

Call today to reserve your spot!


3900 S. Broadway, Bldg. 3


BLUE NILE by Dena A. Edwards


he phrase “silverware available upon request” printed on the menu is an indicator that the new Blue Nile Ethiopian Cuisine, 3209 S. Broadway, is more than a restaurant, it’s a dining experience. Dining in Ethiopia is characterized by eating from the same plate, even placing food in the mouth of another diner from one’s own hand, said Selam Abebe, owner and chef at Blue Nile. “It signifies the bonds of loyalty and friendship.” Some diners might not be adventurous enough to feed their companions, but even so, Blue Nile offers them an authentic taste of Ethiopia. Brightly colored dishes are cooked in the traditional manner, such as injera, which according to their website is a pancakelike bread that is part of every entrée. In Ethiopia, diners break off bites of injera and scoop up mouthfuls of food to eat. According to Blue Nile’s website, their injera is made from self-rising wheat flour and teff flour, a grain native to Ethiopia. They strictly follow the tradition instilled in them by their mothers and grandmothers and never used baking powder, baking soda or processed yeast in making injera. Abebe learned to cook from her mother and

Euleyoel and Blue Nile owner, Selam Abebe aunt, who owned a restaurant in Ethiopia. Abebe’s father also once owned a restaurant, the first Ethiopian establishment in Dallas, she said, and it was called the Blue Nile as well. The first traditional dish Abebe learned to prepare is on the Blue Nile menu – Ye-Doro Wot, a chicken leg on a bone in a thick stew made with seasoned red hot pepper, onion, garlic, ginger root and clarified herbed butter, served with a boiled egg and ayib (Ethiopian homemade cottage cheese made from buttermilk). In Ethiopia, they use the whole chicken, Abebe said, and it takes a half day to cook in the thick stew. “People made fun of you (in Ethiopia) if you didn’t know how to cook it when you married,” Abebe said. “After you wed, you cooked it and took it to your in-laws at Easter time and that’s how they measured you.” Abebe, who has a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and food service management from University of

No artificial coloring, flavoring or preservatives - only flavorful cuisine.

Central Oklahoma, uses no artificial coloring, flavoring or preservatives, and no eggs, milk or honey, in keeping with common food practices in her home country. “Vegetarian dishes are very popular in Ethiopian cuisine,” Abebe said. Their website explains that Orthodox Christians are prohibited from eating meat and meat by-products during Lent and most Wednesdays and Fridays. Other traditional Ethiopian dishes served at Blue Nile include kitfo, an Ethiopian-style steak tartar seasoned with a special blend of hot spices and herbed butter; and wot, a stew that can be made with vegetables, beef, lamb, chicken or fish, and ranges from spicy to mild. Native coffee, brewed from yergacheffe beans with a dash of cloves, is offered by the cup or in a traditional ceremony for small groups. “(Blue Nile) is different,” Abebe said. “Edmond people like to travel, to try different things. I have the knowledge and experience to bring my culture to Edmond, and to allow people here to experience it.” The moderately-priced Blue Nile is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and noon to 10 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, call 330-9987 or visit 13

WHAT'SNEW? by Krystal Harlow

Vin Dolce Wine Bar

Inca Trail Restaurant

Looking for a warm, cozy place to wine down? Head over to the new Vin Dolce wine bar in downtown Edmond. They feature truly unique small plate entrees such as Gorgonzola Dates wrapped in bacon and stuffed with gorgonzola cheese or Brandied Cherries with caramelized goat cheese, plus delicious homemade desserts. Choose from 104 wines by the bottle, 40 by the glass, and 15 beers. Ask the bartender about their unique WineStation that offers 16 wines to sample by the ounce. No other wine bar in the state offers this revolutionary technology. Located at 16 S. Broadway or call 285-5333.

Inca Trail brings authentic Peruvian cuisine to OKC. Dishes are prepared fresh daily, using only traditional spices. Don't miss the Peruvian-style rotisserie chicken, marinated for 48 hours with nearly 30 herbs and spices, then cooked to perfection in a charcoal-fired oven. The result is tender, juicy chicken with golden-brown skin served with spicy Aji Amarillo and Salsa Verde. Inca Trail also serves authentic specialties like ceviche and lomo saltado plus other seafood, beef and vegetarian dishes from the Andes. Inca Trail is located at 10408 N May Ave. and at Or call 286-0407.


Edmond Wine Shop

Rediscover an Edmond classic! Now under new management, this Mexican hot spot serves up favorite homemade entrees like no other. Sink your teeth into the house special Chile Relleno or try the Tilapia fish tacos, sizzling fajitas, tasty quesidillas or giant burrito. Satisfying portions are a mainstay at this cozy cantina with an upbeat atmosphere. Enjoy 15% off one entree when you mention this ad. Look for their new location in January, next to Sonic, just one block east of their current location at Broadway and Waterloo. It's worth the short drive! For more information call 359-3319.

Find a new wine-by-the-glass at your favorite restaurant that you just can't resist? Stop by Edmond Wine Shop and stock up on all your favorites for home entertaining! This inviting neighborhood shop offers Edmond's most impressive, world-class wine and champagne selection and an expert staff to suggest many exciting new tastes. Handwritten descriptions throughout the shop make it easy to browse at your leisure. Choose from a superb variety of collectible, limited edition vintages for quick and easy gifts throughout the year. Stop by 1520 S. Boulevard or call 341-9122.


Roma's Italian Restaurant Treat the family to an easy drive to Guthrie for a taste of Italy like you've never had it. The Roma family serves up sensational homemade pasta, pizza, stromboli, steaks and decadent seafood entrees in delicious Old World fashion. Dine on Lobster Ravioli, veal, homemade bread and exquisite creations with your favorite wine or beer in this warm hometown eatery. Open for lunch or dinner, Tues.-Sun. Worth the short trip, Roma's is just off the highway as you enter Guthrie, at 1202 S. Division. Call 260-1552 or browse their signature delights at

Red Velvet Bakery If you haven't yet tried the fantastic new Mediterranean to-go foods at this cozy bakery, you're in for a real treat. Scrumptious flatbreads loaded with chicken, spinach, onions and more, plus hummus, Pita bread, tabouli and Baba Ghanoush are expertly prepared by Zena, formerly of The Garden restaurant, and ready to take home and enjoy. Pick up family-sized meat pies in five hearty varieties for dinner tonight or an easy homestyle meal from your freezer anytime. Treat yourself to their signature cookies, cupcakes and sweets, too! Stop by 2824 E. 2nd or visit

With ad - One offer per table per visit • Max. $7 - Restrictions do apply • Exp. 01/31/12

Buy 1 Entree Get 1 FREE! *LUNCH ONLY*

of equal or lesser value with ad & purchase of 2 drinks

One coupon per customer. Cannot be combined with any other offers. Exp. 01/31/12

Mon-Fri 10:30 am - 4 pm


Edmond Rd. & Santa Fe

Serving Ice Cold Beer! 15

Computer Zone Your Computer's ER by Lindsay Whelchel For many of us, our computers are our lives. Or at least, they contain a large portion of our lives within their mysterious walls. Access to important files, photos and our connection to the Internet all rely on the proper functioning of what is, for many people, an unimaginably complicated invention. So when something goes wrong, naturally we panic. Wayne Hing started the Edmond company Computer Zone in 1996 to ease some of that anxiety. Computer Zone is essentially the emergency room for computer ills. “Our goal has always been the same — trying to make sure we fix every computer that comes into the shop and (the customers) are happy when they leave,” said Hing. And like the waiting room at any real ER, time is of the essence. “Customers have been looking for fast turnaround whenever they have problems and that is something we have to meet every day,” Hing says. They work to fix a host of problems. The most common ones, Hing explains, have to do with popular viruses, lost data and hardware malfunction. Contributing to Computer Zone’s success is


customer loyalty. “We believe repeat business is the key to the success in our business and I’m very fortunate to have a team that works very hard with me every day to meet the consistency of excellent service,” says Hing. Among this customer base are even a few wellknown customers like television newscasters. “That makes us feel very good that they trust us,” Hing says, but emphasizes that to the employees of Computer Zone, all of their customers are well-known. “We get to know customers very well. In fact we know every customer that comes in here by name,” Hing says. He enjoys the small-town feel of Edmond and there was never any other place he considered starting a business. “I’m very comfortable living in Edmond,” he says. Hing came to the United States from Malaysia in 1990 and graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma in 1995. This is his home and, until four years ago, it was the sole home for Computer Zone. In time, Hing recognized a need to and opened another location in Norman to provide that community with

Owner Wayne Hing the same service Edmond has been enjoying. Hing says he wants new customers to come in and give Computer Zone a chance, reiterating his gratitude for long-time customers. “We are very fortunate to have a very broad customer base,” he says. And for those of us needing to rush our precious computers to immediate medical attention, Hing and the rest of his team are waiting. Computer Zone is located at 29 W. Main Street in downtown Edmond. To learn more visit, call 844-5520 or e-mail

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All American Fitness Xpress Where Convenience is Key by Dena A. Edwards The season to get back into shape is here. The weeks of holiday celebrations are behind us, as are those pesky new pounds … literally. Edmond’s All American Fitness Xpress 24/7 provides ample opportunity to fulfill that New Year’s resolution to lose weight, especially for those with difficult schedules. Members of All American Fitness Xpress 24/7, 204 S. Littler off 2nd street, have 24-hour access to the facility, seven days a week, through the use of a key card. The center is staffed from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, but members can access the fitness club any time they are in the mood to work out, said owner Jim Benien. “The Xpress 24/7 facilities were designed specifically for convenience, as opposed to the larger clubs, which are more about the amenities,” he said. Xpress has everything you need to get a good workout, but is great for people to come and go when they want, Benien said. The Xpress is one of six in the state, all of which are part of the All American Fitness (AAF) Club family.

An Oklahoma company, AAF began in 1976 with two locations and now has 13, making it the most diversified fitness company in the state, according to Benien, who is also AAF president. “The larger clubs have been around for years, but technology has changed dramatically in the past decade, which has allowed us to create a new kind of club, to fill a new niche — convenience,” he said. These technological advances allow the facility to be used safely even when staff members aren’t present. Six to eight cameras are constantly scanning and recording, and the doors remain locked, allowing access only to members with key cards. Open since March 2007, the Edmond All American Fitness Xpress 24/7 is an 8,400-squarefoot facility with an open floor plan and private locker rooms with restrooms and showers. The cardio area has private television viewing, and each piece of cardio equipment - including treadmills, elliptical trainers, recumbent and upright bikes - has its own electronic LCD entertainment system. Xpress resistance equipment includes plate-load and pin-

Manager Rocky Addington select weight machines, as well as rubber free weights and dumbbells, all on a specialized rubber flooring to provide extra cushion for gym-goers’ joints. Along with the convenience of 24/7 access, they offer several membership options including monthto-month as well as special student, military and group discounts. “Our membership tends to come from about a 3-mile radius, and we don’t aggressively market (Xpress 24/7 clubs) because we like to keep the membership numbers down enough to keep them from being overcrowded,” Benien said. For more information, call 562-1100, or visit 17

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n antique armoire. A half-empty bottle of glass cleaner. A worn pair of blue jeans. Cans of green beans. An old collection of dolls. Oriental rugs. Rolls of toilet paper. This hodge-podge assortment and more is what can be found and purchased at estate sales. “The craziest thing we have sold yet were military flight suits and other military paraphernalia from one of the wars,” said Ginny Hawkins, an Edmond real estate agent who has recently started a business conducting estate sales with fellow agent Kristyn Grewell. “But most of the stuff (we sell) is the same stuff we all have.” “Another time, we were going to take down the silk flowers along the top of the kitchen cabinets, but when we climbed up there, they were not only all dusty and dirty, but they were stapled in, so we left them, thinking no one would want them anyway,” Hawkins said. “Then a couple came through and bought every one of them!” “You can never predict what will sell,” Grewell said. “An item that we think is a prized item will be left at the end of the day, while another we debated on throwing away will be the first thing to sell. You can just never tell.” Grewell and Hawkins entered the estate sale business somewhat by chance. The two always had attended estate sales, and Grewell had a friend that was hosting one, so she helped. That gave her the idea for a new business, one in which Hawkins was glad to partner with her. Given their real estate background, they had an inside track on situations in which their services might be needed. “If someone has passed away, or is downsizing, or moving into a retirement center ... those are times in which estate sales are beneficial,” Grewell said. “It’s really any time

the personal property needs to be liquidated on a larger scale than just a garage sale can handle.” The first step is the women’s visit to the property to identify any items that will not be sold. Grewell and Hawkins recommend these items be removed from the property to avoid any confusion. They also discuss with the owner any items that will have a minimum price that needs to be met in order for the client to let it sell. “These are usually ‘I don’t want to take it with us, but need to get at least this amount or it will break my heart’ types of pieces,” Grewell explained. Grewell and Hawkins also refer clients to dealers for the sale of any firearms. They make note of what items need to be appraised and what they need to research in order to be able to accurately price. “The furniture varies from house to house - some pieces are originals and some are reproductions,” Hawkins said, and the owners aren’t always sure which is which. “Things that (the owner) has looked at all their life and sees as valueless can be valuable, and vice versa.” The client then turns over the key and the real work begins. Grewell and Hawkins go through every single item in the house and price each one. The golden rule in estate sales is everything sells as is, where it is. So they price the dishes, but return them to the cupboard. They open up dresser drawers and price the clothing, but leave the items folded in the drawers. Half-empty products are not exempt from the process and also get priced. “And people buy them! It’s amazing what people will buy,” she said. “But if it’s something they will use, and can get a great price on it, then why wouldn’t they buy it?” Prices generally fall in between garage sale pricing and retail — more of a wholesale type scale, Hawkins explained. The women charge 35 percent of

the gross sales and, in return, handle every detail of the process. Hawkins’ and Grewell’s sales last for three days, usually 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays, and noon to 3 p.m. Sundays, with Sunday most generally being half-price day. When the women arrive to begin their sale on Fridays, people always are lined up, waiting to get in and start shopping. Many customers have shopped the women’s sales before and are estate sales “groupies.” And with the downturn in the nation’s economy, more and more people are looking to estate sales, rather than buying retail. Clients find the estate sales from local newspaper advertising, email lists for repeat shoppers, signage and Internet resources such as Craigslist and Facebook. Once the sale is open to the public, the women strongly discourage the homeowners or family from being present. “It’s hard watching people touching and going through your stuff, watching your life go out the door. There is such an emotional connection,” Grewell said. Hawkins and Grewell said they often play somewhat of a unique counselor

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Realtors Ginny Hawkins and Kristyn Grewell

role. In the event of a death, the family is grateful to not have to deal with selling pieces that have such emotional ties; in the case of downsizing, they deal with a person who, whether they chose to downsize or are forced to, is coming to terms with a new lifestyle. When the sale is over, the women box up the remaining items and help their client set up donation pickups. They even provide the option of consigning valuables in their booth at the Broadway Antiques & Market in downtown Edmond. The entrepreneurs’ long-term goal is to evolve into a full-service estate sale company — one that liquidates real property as well as personal property, by bringing in their real estate component and offering the sale of the house itself, as well as the items inside. “Handling every aspect (of the property liquidation) would relieve home owners of the burden of dealing with it, and allow them to instead focus on the emotional issues involved,” Grewell said. 19

ASK MOM RN By Melanie Phillips Clemens

Mom RN Tamara Walker


efore the invention of television, families gathered around the radio to listen to live broadcasts of music, drama, comedy, news and weather. Although technology has changed from ‘The Golden Age of Radio,’ live radio programming remains part of the American lifestyle. Tamara Walker, Edmond resident, unexpectedly found her niche in the Internet version of radio. “I worked as a full-time RN until 1993 when I started a home daycare so I could stay home with my oldest child. Parents began calling me to ask me for advice on health or parenting. Then it became calls from friends of friends and then complete strangers were asking for advice. My husband recognized what was happening and created a website that would be a ministry to share my knowledge,” said Walker. In March of 2001, launched and became a place to share insight with thousands of parents. When Walker offered to be a resource at a local radio station, she was instead offered her own talk show and the “Ask MomRN” show was born. “For two years, I broadcasted live from 91 FM, now known as AirOne. The Ask MomRN show aired once a month during the lunch break, then more often


until the station sold in 2006,” said Walker. Although the show ended with a change in management, the future of Ask MomRN was far from over. As fate would have it, Walker became good friends with Marla Cilley, also known as ‘FlyLady,’ the host of an online network. Cilley encouraged Walker to bring her show back on the air. “FlyLady is a home and lifestyle organizational guru with over half a million subscribers worldwide. She’s allowed me and several hosts with varying areas of expertise to be on her network,” said Walker. The Ask MomRN show returned to the airwaves via Internet on in April 2008. “Our mission is to provide practical advice for raising a happy, healthy family. We offer parenting, health, safety and family entertainment information. There’s a wide scope of topics that fall within those categories so there’s something for any family,” said Walker. The hour-long show broadcasts Mondays at noon when most moms, whether working or stay-

at-home, would have the best opportunity to tune in. With four shows monthly, Ask MomRN averages 8,500 listeners a month. Every episode airs live and is also recorded for listening on the website, downloaded from iTunes or to an mp3 player. Not only does Walker share her own experience as a mother, home educator, nurse and childcare provider, she hosts a wealth of experts and celebrities on her talk show. “With our celebrity guests, high-profile doctors and other experts, sometimes it’s recorded interviews and not live due to their schedules,” said Walker. “My guests call in to the show’s switchboard for the interviews and we can either do a live interview or record them for a future episode. I’ve interviewed nationally-known pediatricians such as Dr. William Sears and Dr. Jim Sears as well as parenting expert Dr. Kevin Leman,” said Walker. Celebrities and authors are interviewed when the nature of their cause benefits Walker’s audience. “I’ve hosted Kathy Ireland because she wrote a book for moms and Nancy O’Dell wrote one on pregnancy. Lucy Liu promoted a campaign for the Heinz Corporation when they provided vitamin packets to third-world countries. Sometimes it’s talking about a family movie like ‘Fireproof’ where I interviewed Kirk Cameron and Stephen Kendrick. Doing the show on ‘Fireproof’ was one of the neatest things I’ve done. I had so many people tell me they went to see it and it caused them to look at their own marriage. launched and became a place to share insight with thousands of parents.

They told me they wouldn’t have seen the movie if they hadn’t heard about it on my show. We’re an outlet for helping people,” Walker explained. In keeping with family-friendly radio, Walker is very protective of her guests and callers. “I have a lot of moms who listen from home with their children around,” she said. “When I have a producer, we open lines for callers depending on our guests or topics. But with Internet radio, sometimes we get prank callers so if we cannot open the phone lines, listeners can still post questions and interact in our chat room during the show.” As the mother of two teenagers, Walker’s family values are paramount to her success on the show and at home. “The Ask MomRN show has allowed me a lot of flexibility to be home with my kids full time. I am able to be involved in their activities and it’s rare that I ever have to miss something. My husband, Dustin, is extremely supportive. He designed the original website and has been my IT guy over the years,” said Walker. “Although I use my nursing knowledge in a nontraditional way, I’ve kept my nursing license and stay current on health news. My plan was to go back to nursing but God changed that plan,” said Walker. “As a Christian, I openly share my faith but I want people of other faiths to know they’re welcome because the majority of what we share applies to everyone. It’s everyday family and parenting information. … This has completely been a God thing because I would’ve never pictured myself doing or the Ask MomRN show. But it’s in line with what I love doing and I’m able to use my education and knowledge to help people,” said Walker. Listen, browse, find or follow at,, or Twitter@momrn. 21

STOP-MOTION by Nathan Winfrey

Chase Kerby singing Limelight for music video


ot long ago, a telephone was just a device that let you talk to someone who was beyond shouting range. A few waves of advancement later, many of us carry movie-quality video cameras (that also happen to make phone calls) in our pockets. Coupled with the advent of YouTube, for the first time in history, the door is truly open for backyard Spielbergs and local filmmaker Kyle Roberts is taking advantage of that fact. Most recently, Roberts released a video for Defining Times, a local supergroup comprised of talented musicians from some of the metro’s best bands, fronted by The City Lives’ Chase Kerby. It was shot entirely on the GoPro 2, a tiny camera meant to be clipped to bicycle helmets and surf boards. Roberts employed a setting on the camera to film 120 frames per second, putting the action in slow motion.


Roberts fixed the GoPro 2 to the back of his car and pulled Kerby along on a skateboard. To sync Kerby’s lips to the slow-motion video without slowing down the song, “Limelight,” Kerby had to sing four times the song’s normal speed. “We had to have a slow song,” Roberts explained. “If you took any regular song, it’s just too fast. You couldn’t even try to sing it. That’s the challenge of this video. It took him a week and a half to practice this, even though it’s a really slow song, to really get that down.” Using special effects software, Roberts further slowed some of the skateboard tricks (performed by a stunt double) to

Productions. Many have been shot with handheld devices and some have delved into stop animation. Combined, they’ve gotten more than a million views. Last spring, Roberts made a music video for “Sarsaparilla Girl” for local band Dr. Pants. Roberts shot it entirely on an iPhone 4. After that, Nokia contacted him to shoot a short film with their smartphone, the Nokia N8, for a competition. Roberts’ entry was a video for local musician Denver Duncan’s “Stalker.” “It didn’t win the contest, but it was the second-most ‘liked’ in all the hundreds of people who entered,” he says. “That got more buzz than any of my other videos.” Special effects trickery is Roberts’ playground, which is clear in videos like “Dum Dum Dah Dah” for the Nghiems, which features humans and dolls filmed in stop-motion, spliced together and fighting each other to music. “The day after it posted it was the 17th most ‘favorited’ video on YouTube in the world,” Roberts says. The production, which features the band members’ heads superimposed onto 1/6-scale Bruce Lee and Michael

After the video hit YouTube, more than 20 bands contacted him in hopes that he would make videos for them as well. give the illusion of 1,000 frames per second. During the past year, Roberts has released a variety of films to his YouTube channel, “ocdeuce22,” under the banner of his company, Reckless Abandonment

eight months to create, stars Sideshow Collectibles, the mouths, but it adds the difficult task of matching Jackson dolls, depicts the musical trio in an oldthe same brand of $200, 1/6-scale dolls featured in real human lips to arguing, plastic people. “It’s really school, arcade-style fighting game, where they all the “Dum Dum Dah Dah” video. They are bigger than tough,” he says. On location, Roberts normally has have powers related to their musical instruments. normal action figures, and are highly detailed and a crew of three or four people, many of whom have “It’s kind of like Mario — save the princess, save the posable. Unfortunately, there was no Daniel Craig done a lot of independent movies. “I don’t think world,” he explains. “The special effects and stuff took (people) understand quite how much work the longest part (We had to) basically create goes into stop-motion, but I think they a video game from action figures.” After the understand that it takes a long time.” video for The Nghiems hit YouTube, more Roberts takes inspiration from other than 20 bands from all over the country stop-motion films, especially “Fantastic Mr. contacted him in hopes that he would make Fox,” because it tells a good story in addition videos for them as well. to the beautiful visuals. “I really do watch Roberts’ other forays into stop-motion are as much as possible. One, to get ideas and “Wall-E Meets Michael Jackson,” “Iron Man get inspiration and just respect what other vs. Batman,” and “Battle of the Bonds.” “Iron people are doing, and just to know what else Man vs. Batman” showcases a brawl between is out there,” he says. two of the world’s most famous crime-fighters Roberts started teaching himself stopset before an Oklahoma City backdrop. The motion while his wife, Sarah, took grad film is interactive, like a “Choose Your Own Kyle Roberts filming Sarsaparilla Girl for the band Dr. Pants school classes at night. “I just started playing Adventure” book, and allows the viewer to “Bond” in the inventory, so Roberts had to have one with toys and somehow made a career out of it,” he decide who wins. To date, the video has had more than 260,000 views on YouTube and has been featured in custom made in Singapore. The bill for these films says. Although deadlines can be stressful and his the L.A. Times and Wired Magazine. “That’s the first can be high, so Roberts gets sponsorships so he can projects are time-consuming, he and Sarah, make time one that really took off,” said Roberts. focus all his attention on the creative aspect. to go on dates. “It’s very stressful, but we find a way “Battle of the Bonds” is a six-minute James Bond For “Battle of the Bonds,” he enlisted voice talent to make it work,” Roberts says. “She says I play with parody featuring six cinematic 007s, from Sean from across the untamed reaches of YouTube and toys, or she calls them dolls, but they’re not. They’re Connery to Daniel Craig, animated with more than superimposed the actors’ mouths onto the dolls. action figures.” 5,000 individual photos. The short film, which took Roberts says the process is easier than animating continued on page 24 23

continued from page 23 “It’s rewarding. At the beginning of it, I just did it A scholarship to Oklahoma Christian University brought because I wanted to learn it,” he says. “I wanted to tell a him to Edmond and he stayed. As a video intern at church story with action figures ... to see if I could pull it off. After camps, one in Colorado and one in California, he had to it got a lot of response, I thought make videos every day which taught to myself, ‘Maybe this is something him to work quickly. He was offered I could actually do.’” Roberts also a two-year internship shooting music credits faith for his success. “My faith videos in L.A. for Redband Pictures is a big part of my life and work,” but it was two years with no pay Roberts explains. “Even though not and 80 hours a week. Roberts says everything is ‘Christian’ I always he was close to taking the offer, but try to keep it fairly clean and my instead took a job at, production company name, Reckless producing a biweekly show called Abandonment, stands for leaving “Static.” your old life (for) your new life Roberts says when he graduated, with Christ.” people told him he needed to go to Roberts made his first video in L.A. to make it. “It was true then, but college in 2007, but his video career it’s not the case now,” he explained. didn’t take off until a year-and-aRoberts wants to prove that he can half ago. However, he started down become a successful filmmaker here this career in high school when a in Oklahoma. To all the hope-to-be broken foot directed him away from Wes Andersons and Tim Burtons out Kyle Roberts with 007 action figure basketball and into broadcasting. “I’m glad I did because it’s there, Roberts says, “Just go do it. Whether you have an kind of picking up now. I doubt I would have gotten very far iPhone or a Flip camera, or whatever — you’ve just got to in basketball. I’m 5’10.” ” His school in Columbia, Missouri get out there and do it.” had a strong broadcasting program and Roberts was involved To see Roberts’ work, visit or check out in a weekly news program with other students. That led him his YouTube channel, ocdeuce22. His filmmaker-themed to make music videos and his teacher gave him a key to the T-shirt line can be found at broadcast office so he could edit on weekends.






When construction and design intermingle, Robert and Brenda Helms are in the midst of doing what they do best. Edmond Kitchen & Bath LLC and their crew have been renovating homes in Oklahoma for over 10 years. “When we first started, Robert and I had been doing work for builders and other designers. We were using each other’s ideas and realized that together we had something unique that could be marketed for ourselves” said Brenda. “It was our projects done together that really stood out. We truly love this business and are inspired by quality design that we can represent in our community.” To the Helms, redesigning or remodeling doesn’t necessarily mean gut and rebuild, though sometimes this is the most cost-effective for the results desired (as was the case in these photos). “The budget often determines this, but we always work with the client to create a look they’ll love” said Brenda. According to Brenda, the client in this kitchen wanted a mid-level makeover, but as ideas and possibilities for the space were discussed, it became evident that a full remodel was the best solution for their family. “This homeowner cooks regularly, and entertains with family and friends often” said


by Melanie Phillips Clemens

Brenda. “Our goal was to create a working kitchen while providing a bit of classic elegance.” From floor plans and cabinet design, to window treatments and accessorizing, Brenda and Junior Designer Megan Greve enjoy every aspect of a project. “As a designer, you appreciate seeing all the pieces come together for your client. We take design very seriously and give everyone their own unique look.” Helms says that she and Megan enjoy interpreting each client’s ‘design personality.’ “We don’t repeat what we did on our last renovation and apply it to the next. We come up with new ideas so each client has their own fresh look.” Their design services, coupled with integrity and quality of craftsmanship, have earned Edmond Kitchen & Bath LLC a great reputation among clients. Helms shared, “We’ve had many clients say

they came to us because we’re approachable, and they wanted to give their business to a company they felt good about. When people tell us they handpicked our company to have this journey with, it stands out as gold to us. We have amazing clients that we truly become friends with.” Brenda and Megan are both licensed and registered interior designers with the Oklahoma State Board of Governors, and Edmond Kitchen & Bath LLC is a registered member of NKBA, the local chapter of NARI, and the Edmond Chamber of Commerce. Located downtown at 243 N. Broadway in Edmond, their showroom is open by appointment only. For more information, visit or call 285-1926. Stop by the Home & Garden Show January 20-22 to see their newest showroom displays! | 285-1926 25



my Eldridge believes every time a baby’s life is saved, the world changes for the better. Eldridge is the founder and executive director of the nonprofit Love Without Boundaries, which helps orphaned children in China by providing medical assistance, nutrition, education, foster care and facilitating adoption.

Eldridge had adopted a little Chinese girl who was about 3 years old at the time. “She started asking a lot of questions about her life in China and I didn’t have the answers.” Eldridge decided to go back and visit the orphanage. “What I experienced on that trip changed my life forever,” she said. The orphanage was crowded with abandoned babies. Eldridge saw a baby boy, who was so small and weak that his body was almost blue. “I’ve never seen a baby dying of heart disease before,” said Eldridge. The little boy needed urgent surgery but there were not enough funds for the operation. That day she met four more children who had heart defects and needed medical help too. When Eldridge returned to Edmond, she couldn’t stop thinking about the children. “One night around 2 a.m., I just pushed back the covers of my bed and went to my computer knowing I had to do something to help them.” She tried to arrange surgeries for the children, who otherwise would have passed away. “I will never forget the two words that I typed into my computer that night all those nights ago, just ‘baby heart.’ ” She reached out to family and friends for help. In China, the cost of the surgery was the equivalent of $5,000. “We got help from people all over the world for that baby. And instead of raising $5,000 from that initial plea, we ended up raising $60,000,” said Eldridge. This is how the foundation started. The initial money helped save the lives of 12 children. Since then, Love Without Boundaries has directly helped more than 6,000 children and about 2,000 of them have been permanently adopted in the United States. After the first surgeries were completed,

Eldridge was invited to visit the children and see how they were recovering. The local government of the city where the surgeries were performed gave her a flag with words that read in Chinese ‘Love makes no boundaries between countries.’ That is how Eldridge picked the name for her foundation. “I still have that flag,” she said. Eldridge believes poverty is the main reason why not only babies but also older children are abandoned. “We’ve had children as old as 12 and that’s always so hard,” she said. Plus, there is a very strong stigma surrounding babies born with medical needs. The Chinese government recently revised its poverty line, announcing that currently 128 million Chinese, most of them in rural areas, qualify as poor, living on about a dollar a day. “If they give birth to a child with a heart defect, they would need the equivalent of 15 years of their total wages to pay for the surgery. That is an impossible figure — and so the baby is abandoned.” The most common birth defect among the abandoned children is cleft lip and palate, followed by heart defects and spinal tumors. Often preemies and babies born with abdominal defects require surgery within 24 hours. Eldridge said cleft lip surgery in China ranges from $500 to $1,000 depending on the province. Spinal tumor operations average $3,000 and heart surgeries around $5,000. The costs include transportation to the hospital and hiring a caregiver. “We honestly see every medical condition possible though — from babies who were burned to children who are deaf or blind or have (cerebral palsy).” Winter is the toughest time of year for the children and the orphanage staff. Most of

"My ultimate goal is to save as many children as possible."

Amy Eldridge at the Fuyang Orphanage Based in Edmond, Love Without Boundaries works with more than 200 orphanages in different provinces in China and has branches in 13 countries, including the Netherlands, Spain, Ireland and the U.K. About 200 volunteers are directly involved in the various programs. “I still have a hard time believing how big it has become,” said Eldridge. “I’ve been blessed with the most amazing team members.” It all started with a trip to China back in 2003.


Babies receiving TLC at the Love Without Boundaries' Healing Home in the Henan Province “My ultimate goal is to save as many children as possible,” said Eldridge. the orphanages don’t have heat. Pneumonia is very common during the Among the thousands of lives that she and her organization already have winter months and, sadly, some babies don’t make it. In addition, other saved was a sick baby boy, abandoned in a very poor babies are usually abandoned outside and by the time orphanage in the Guizhou province. “He was so tiny they are found it’s often too late. “It’s easy to become and weak that his mouth was opening to cry but no disheartened during the winter season, but I just sound would come out.” He underwent surgery and is keep reminding myself of all the miracles that happen now a healthy one-year-old. Another little girl with a every day when a baby is found and we get them to severe heart defect was so weak that the staff thought the weight they need, and the surgeries they need, and she wouldn’t survive. “Now she is like a Gerber baby,” then adopted.” she joked. Eldridge said the adoption process of a child with a Eldridge believes anyone can make a difference. “You medical condition could be completed in 10 months. just have to take that first step. My first step was to China, “I tell people all the time, love has nothing to do with but, of course, there are needs all over the world.” She genetics. It has everything to do with your heart.” Eldridge hopes more people will decide to take that first step. is a mother of seven, ages 7 to 24 and her two youngest For more information about Love Without Boundaries children are adopted. “Adoption has been the greatest and ways to help, go to blessing in my life.” All of her children are very supportive Eldridge with Julia, recovering from and involved in their mom’s work. a life saving open heart surgery 27

A POSITIVE IMPACT by Lindsay Whelchel

Catherine and Ted Godwin


hat began for Catherine Godwin, as the normal task of grant writing for a local company ended up opening her eyes to an entirely surprising and disconcerting array of statistics. Those statistics screamed to the Edmond mother, “Do something!” and so she did. What Godwin learned was the impact of the number of Oklahoma’s incarcerated women and the connected issue of the overburdened foster care system that plagues the state. Doing something to ease the burden was a natural step for Godwin, who has spent time in the military, helped raise her and her husband’s five children, and is continuing her education at the University of Central Oklahoma. “In my family, doing community service is a huge part of who we are and making a positive footprint in the world,” she says. This time, it started as the desire to collect clothing for families at the treatment center for Eagle Ridge Institute. As a nonprofit organization, they provide rehabilitation services for substance abusing women with the opportunity to keep their children with them during the process. “Edmond is an affluent area,” Godwin says. “So I said we should ask our friends to donate their children’s clothes that were all brand-name and barely used, as you can imagine. We ended up with an overwhelming amount of clothes,” she explains ...collecting 15 bags of clothes.

Donations are crucial to the mission of Eagle Ridge’s family treatment center, explains Executive Director John Mayfield. “We need help from the public to really make a holistic program where we’re really meeting the needs of our clients in all areas, so donations are greatly appreciated,” he says. He also echoes the concern Godwin has over the burden of so many incarcerated women. “We think it makes more sense to send women who have a drug problem to long-term treatment,” he says. Their program lasts from 12 to 18 months and since many of the women have lost everything during this process, donations are more than needed. Currently, he says, the center is in need of a new washer and dryer. And of course, clothes. That is where Godwin saw her opportunity and would like to do future donations for the center. But Godwin didn’t stop with the clothes. She realized that not every woman battling drug addiction gets an opportunity like Eagle Ridge and many have wound up in jail for nonviolent drug crimes. According to the website for Oklahoma Watch, an effort of a local journalistic impact team, “for 14 of the past 15 years, Oklahoma has locked up more women per capita than any other state.” They cite that “more than 65 percent of the women in prison were convicted of nonviolent crimes and more than 85 percent leave children behind, whose care becomes the responsibility of a family member or the state.” This knowledge moved Godwin to act. “I can’t comprehend losing your children to the foster care system and then on top of that being in an environment where you hope to come out a better

"In my family, doing community service is a huge part of who we are."

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person, but not having the tools there that we have every day in the outside world,” she says. One such tool Godwin puts great importance on is reading books, reading every morning as it helps her begin her day right. She hopes to positively influence the women and men in the Oklahoma County jail through books. Godwin and her family began asking their friends and using social media, like Facebook, to collect motivational or inspirational books to donate. She now has over 100 books scattered all over her den. The books are specialized, usually from leaders and professionals to inspire life changes, Godwin says. “My hope is that someone will read something, so that when they start to make a decision they will remember what they read,” Godwin says. The donation has been cleared through the county jail, according to Godwin. Now, they are just waiting on the logistics to give the books over. Godwin hopes to set a good example for her children ages 14 to 25. “If you start people when they’re younger understanding that they sort of owe something to their community then that spreads when they’re an adult.” In terms of her community, Godwin knows she is lucky to call Edmond home and wants others to be inspired to act in their communities in whatever ways they can. “We’re so blessed in Edmond,” she said, “and it almost feels like we have everything and I keep telling my children ‘yes, we have a lot, but this is our chance to make something better.’ ” For more information about Eagle Ridge Institute, call 840-1359. To make a book or clothing donation, email

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TAKING A STAND by Heide Brandes


ason Epps, owner and chief instructor at Pride Martial Arts in Edmond, knows what it’s like to be threatened and want to fight. He grew up in a rough area of Dallas and was continually threatened by classmates. As the only Caucasian in a gang-related at-risk neighborhood, Epps said he was the kid that everyone wanted to beat up. “I got chased home and was in a fight every day after school,” he said. “When I first started martial arts, I just wanted to fight. I wanted to know how to beat people up. When the instructor asked why we study martial arts, I said, ‘To fight.’ Another kid said, ‘To be better people.’ I remember thinking that was stupid at the time.”

least not as much,” Epps said. “Secondly, we teach them to understand boundaries and to set their own boundaries. Many martial arts schools aren’t equipped and have no training in the psychology of teaching kids to deal with bullying.” At Lovato’s School of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Oklahoma City, more students are learning how to strengthen their spirit as well. With his legs spread in a strong stance and his body encased in a white gi, 12-year-old Kendle James of Edmond towers over the other boys in his 12 to 14-year-old jiu-jitsu class. Tall with deep, intense eyes set into a round and kind face, he has an adult-like concentration and focus. Kendle sets his eyes on the instructor as he shows him the proper way to do a strike. His opponent is a smaller boy, but Kendle doesn’t take advantage of his height. He knows how hurtful that can be. He doesn’t have to push his own strength, and he also doesn’t have to be afraid anymore. “My son was being bullied and picked on a lot,” said Haylee James, Kendle’s mother. “He was the new kid. The bullies would try to slam his locker on him, called him names, things like that. Kendle is a kind boy; he wouldn’t stick up for himself.” James turned to Lovato’s and since enrolling Kendle in the martial arts class, she’s been amazed at the changes she’s seen. “He’s developed self-confidence. He knows he Jason Epps of Pride Martial Arts teaching students has worth,” she said. “Now, he doesn’t care Now Epps teaches just that in his anti-bullying as much about the bullies, and as soon as they found program at Pride Martial Arts. Above all else, the out he was learning jiu-jitsu, they left him alone.” program teaches youths to develop confidence Kendle isn’t alone when it comes to bullying. through goal-setting and testing. The students first According to, one in seven learn they can stand up and be confident, and then students in grades K-12 has been a victim of bullying. they are put into situations in class that mimic realIn addition, 15 percent of all students who don’t life scenarios. “Confident kids don’t get bullied, at show up for school say it’s because of a bully, and one


out of every 10 students has dropped out or changed schools because of a bully. Most bullying occurs from fourth to eighth grades. “It’s about self-confidence and self-esteem,” said Bekah Graham, who runs Martial Arts Ministries in Edmond. “When you enroll in martial arts, it’s not about fighting, but the kids develop a skill set that allows them to stand up to bullying.” More and more parents are enrolling children into martial arts classes to help combat feelings of victimization by bullies. What their children discover, however, is so much more than just throwing a punch. They discover a way of life that helps not only those being bullied, but even the bullies themselves. At Pride Martial Arts, Epps teaches “verbal Judo,” which uses words and communication to diffuse

"I got chased home and was in a fight every day after school." threatening situations. “They learn how to block words and deal with the teasing. There are different options besides fighting, but if it does get physical, the students have the tools to defend themselves there too,” Epps said. “There are different kinds of bullying. With the younger kids, they don’t respect boundaries, like taking someone’s toys and not giving them back. With older kids, they can’t communicate effectively, so they get frustrated and lash out.” Through the anti-bullying program at Pride, students learn self-discipline, self-control, selfconfidence and self-defense. “The biggest tool we can give them is confidence,” Epps said. “We teach confidence through goal setting, but we also give them the tools to deal with any situation, whether it’s

Kendle James with classmates at Lovato Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu verbal or having to defend themselves.” At Martial Arts Ministries in Edmond, 70 students ages 3 to adult attend weekly classes, learning self-defense and the skills of martial arts. Many have been enrolled by parents concerned about bullies. “Some of our students have been horribly bullied,” said Graham. “Quite a few of our students were the video gamers, and they were bullied a lot. Our classes encourage our students to become more confident so they aren’t bullied.” Fighting isn’t the key, but knowing that one can defend oneself is a big part of the needed confidence. Many times, the martial arts schools focus more on honor and life skills that create not only physical strength, but mental strength as well. Graham knows how hurtful bullying can be, so she has a special mission to help children deal with the problem in a positive way. “My daughter was bullied in pre-K, so this is a problem we’ve personally dealt with,” she said. “We encourage them to speak up, but not to whine. They learn to use the right words. We teach virtues like honesty, integrity and self-control. Usually in the second to third week, we see a lot more confidence in how our students carry themselves.” Rafael Lovato, Jr., who runs Lovato’s School of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, is a lifelong martial arts enthusiast. His father ran the studio before him, and now Lovato and his wife, Tina, teach the skills of Brazilian fighting and philosophy. Students at his

school don't start out sparring. They are taught harder skills, like respect, determination, responsibility and focus. Every month, a life skill is focused on, and the children are given homework like “doing a chore without being asked to” or “do something for someone else.” They also learn self-defense, which includes take-downs and ground positions. Jiu-jitsu is a martial art more like wrestling, teaching kids how to get away if someone is holding or pinning them down. “Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a grappling art. It’s about closing the distance on an opponent so he can’t hurt you,” Lovato said. “If you can hold someone down and talk it out, then you aren’t hurting them, but they aren't hurting you. Having the confidence that you can control a situation and control yourself is what allows kids to not feel threatened.” Having control and skill means these students can deal with bullying in a much more calm and effective manner. In addition, all students bond through the class, developing friendship and character together, which also boosts their self-esteem, Lovato said. “Right away, they make friends and get involved. The socialization and developing friendships are important parts of confidence,” he said. “We see them start to ask about competitions. They lose weight and feel better. They get better grades in school and they start getting involved with sports. But, with this confidence, they don’t feel the need to brag about it. They are just confident in their ability.” Martial arts not only helps those who are victims of bullies, but those who bully as well. Kids bully for a wide range of reasons. Sometimes they need a victim — someone weaker or smaller — to feel more important or in control. Sometimes bullies act out because that’s how they’ve been treated by other children or even family members. “I honestly believe there are no victims, only volunteers. For us,” said Epps, “it’s about showing kids they have value, worth and strength.” 31

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OUTLOOK by Krystal Harlow Name: Rumble the Bison Have you had a lot of free time this season? The off-season didn't change my schedule much. I already work year round doing events and appearances. From birthday parties to bar mitzvahs, trade shows to school shows. You name it, I've done it. Married, single or just grazing? I feel like I'm married to the job...and it's a great marriage! I might start grazing later on if things slow down a bit, but there is no time right now. What conditioner do you use to get that shiny coat? Any other grooming tips for hairy guys or bovine-types? Luckily I'm blessed with a natural conditioner needed. My only grooming tip is to stay fresh. People might say they like the beast in you, but they don't want to smell it! Is it safe to say you're a vegetarian? Actually, after I was struck by lightning (feel free to read my back story), I developed a more human-like appetite. What makes Thunder fans the best NBA fans anywhere? I've performed at many NBA arenas and can speak to this with firsthand knowledge. Thunder fans have a positive and uplifting energy. Instead of using their cheering power for negative feelings towards the opposing team, they energize and motivate our team. As a team we do NOT take this for granted. Bison burgers? Do you have an opinion either way on those? As the Famous San Diego Chicken says "If you can't beat 'em, eat 'em!" Helps eliminate my competition. Have you made any major TV appearances since the Ellen Show? I've been featured in many FOX Sports, ESPN and TNT segments. I've been on commercials, billboards and even video games, but it's going to be tough to top The Ellen Show. The day I was on-set they were also shooting the Lady GaGa episode. It was crazy! Is there a special union or club for NBA mascots? The NBA mascots have an unofficial group. Some might call it a 'fur-turnity.' I rarely go a week without tweeting (@rumblethebison), facebooking (rumblethebison) or emailing other NBA mascots. There are only 30 of us in the world that do what we do. Every summer we get together and have a conference to discuss skits, stunts and creative ideas. We also vote on a number of awards like Mascot of the Year, Skit of the Year and Stunt of the Year among others. I had the honor of winning Mascot of the Year my first season in 2008. It was a humbling time to get such an award that is voted on by your peers. I'll never forget that. Some say you talked Harden into a beard. Is that true? I cannot confirm or deny that claim. It looks pretty good though, don't you think? Favorite activity after the game? Games are quite exhausting. It usually takes me an hour to pack up and shower after a game. By that time, I'm ready for some nachos and some sleep. Yes, I have a weird craving for nachos after every game. The trainer says it might be from a lack of salt...I tend to sweat a little during games. 33


Profile for Outlook Magazine

January 2012  

The Edmond Outlook is Edmond, Oklahoma's monthly community magazine. Since 2005, we've published hundreds of stories about Edmond residents,...

January 2012  

The Edmond Outlook is Edmond, Oklahoma's monthly community magazine. Since 2005, we've published hundreds of stories about Edmond residents,...

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