__MAIN_TEXT__
feature-image

Page 1

January 2021

A Bulldog Breaks Out of the Yard Senior Sean Pedulla Signs with Virginia Tech

Students Develop Gamer’s Paradise Train Whistle Goes Quiet Local Eats: Dolci Paradiso


4

l

EDMONDOUTLOOK.COM

l

JANUARY 2021


6

l

EDMONDOUTLOOK.COM

l

JANUARY 2021


Features 8

ASK EDMOND What is your “silver lining” of 2020?

I used to think I needed to save everything. How else would the future exhibits in the Dave Miller Museum get populated. That was years ago. I have since come to realize that in all likelihood there will not be a dedicated space to display all the belongings I collected over the years - all the keepsakes that mean nothing to anyone but me. Yes, I have some hoarder tendencies. My wife Alison, is just the opposite. She knows how to travel light. She can let go of things. They say you can’t take it with you, but when we combined households - I did take it with me. And if it didn’t fit in our “new to us” house, I took it to storage. I feel like the second wave of paring down is calling me. Some nights I find myself lying awake in bed thinking about the vast amount of stuff above me, literally, in the attic. A 20-year-old mountain bike that I used and abused - but that adventure is over. Time to let it go. A Hello Kitty desk lamp that I’m sure is collectable, if it wasn’t broken. My old trusty Homelite chainsaw that I swear I’m going to get fixed someday - I’ve got to get top dollar for that. Hundreds of items like these literally weigh on the rafters - and me. I need to lighten the load. The simple answer? Donate. The great thing about donating is - it’s easy. There’s no taking photos, composing and posting a Facebook or Craigslist ad, fielding inquiries and price haggling from potential buyers. That’s exhausting - with very little pay off. Donating is on my schedule. Just load up the car, drive to one of several local non-profits and unload. It’s a win-win-win. For me, for the organization, and for the bargain hunter that finds that ‘something’ I finally was willing to free from storage purgatory. A few places I like to dropoff donations are EARC, The HOPE Center and Salvation Army. Dave Miller Back40 Design President

10

TRAIN WHISTLE GOES QUIET Quiet Zone implemented along the railroad

12

STUDENTS DEVELOP GAMER’S PARADISE UCO students pioneer Esports and gaming arena

14

A BULLDOG BREAKS OUT OF THE YARD Senior Sean Pedulla signs with Virginia Tech

20

THE PURSUIT OF PEACE Artio Services empowers clients to move forward in a new way

24

DOLCI PARADISO Brightly-colored sweet shop elevates dessert scene

26

COME OUT FROM THE SHADOW OF DEBT GreenPath leads clients through debt to financial wellness

30

NONPROFIT PROVIDES SENIORS FOOD AND MEDS FOR THEIR PETS Pet Food Pantry helps families provide for their pets

Business 22

SCISSORTAIL RUNNING Personalized coaching, 3D gait analysis, and more

23

LOCK IT UP SAFES Providing customers a safe for every need

Columns 18

RECIPE: DEAD PAN CHILI Warm up with this local chili recipe from The Meat House

28

LOUISE TUCKER JONES That Ain’t Normal!

ADVERTISING l 405-301-3926 l sales@edmondoutlook.com MAILED MONTHLY TO 50,000 HOMES IN THE EDMOND AREA 1024 W Covell, Edmond, OK 73003 l 405-341-5599 l edmondoutlook.com l info@edmondoutlook.com January 2021 Volume 17, Number 1

l

Edmond Outlook is a publication of Back40 Design, Inc.

l

© 2021 Back40 Design, Inc.

PUBLISHER Dave Miller l EDITOR Jennay Wangen l ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Angie Clemens Byers l GRAPHIC DESIGN Adrian Townsend, Anne Richardson PHOTOGRAPHY Marshall Hawkins www.sundancephotographyokc.com l DISTRIBUTION Edmond Outlook is delivered FREE by direct-mail to 50,000 Edmond area 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.


LOCALLOOK

Ask Edmond

What was your silver lining for 2020?

Sheryl Janis Autoworks 200 W 1st St. 405-348-6522

Tad Kennedy Kennedy Tire & Auto Service 530 W. Edmond Road 405-341-8767

Trish Maxwell Journey Quilt Company www.JourneyQuiltCo.com 405-340-0444

The Silver Lining for our family in 2020 has been the addition of our daughter’s husband to our family in March. The Silver Lining for our business in 2020 is the addition of new customers that we now consider part of the Autoworks family.

Life has been more of an uphill battle than normal. I’m a believer that “adversity reveals character”. We all have an opportunity to be a better version of ourselves after we get through this and our character should be better for it.

Our customers have shown up for us in a huge way. By supporting our business, they have let us know that a locally-owned quilt shop in their community is really important. We are so blessed to help customers celebrate their families’ memories while looking forward to a brighter future.

Chris Berry, M.Ed., CPRP District Executive Director Mitch Park YMCA

Joe Biby Independent Distributor Pepperidge Farm

Haley Carter Graphic Designer 4k Concepts

Even in a year like 2020, I’ve found several silver linings. I’ve seen creativity flow more freely, people around me prioritize personal joys such as family and discoveries of new hobbies or more time to revisit old ones.

During a Global pandemic, I was able to discover my dream job. Despite these difficult times, I’m thankful to be able to turn that dream into reality as an independent distributor for Pepperidge Farm.

2020 has made me be more aware and thankful for things we sometimes take for granted: the health and love of my family, staying employed, the encouragement of friends, the ability to work from home, and activities in nature.

Interested in participating in our Ask Edmond feature? Email us at AskEdmond@EdmondOutlook.com. We’d love to hear from you! 8

l

EDMONDOUTLOOK.COM

l

JANUARY 2021


JANUARY 2021

l

EDMONDOUTLOOK.COM

l

9


FEATURELOOK

By Amy Dee Stephens

Train Whistle Goes Quiet Whooo-oooo! It was the sound heard dozens of times daily until mid-December, when the train horn-blowing came to a gradual silence in Edmond. Residents and business owners along the track had long requested relief from the loud interruptions of the train whistle at each intersection, which interfered with sleep, meetings, and phone conversations. “I’m so excited that the horns will not be blaring while I’m doing business,” said Stephanie Carel, who lives and works in downtown Edmond. Carel had an early voice in requesting a Quiet Zone. “It will be wonderful to not have that piercing horn during downtown events.” “Economically, developers don’t want to build near tracks,” said Tom Minnick, Transportation Planner. “You don’t even have to be close to hear it. I live five miles away, and with the right atmospheric conditions, I can hear it clearly.” Safety Enhancements In 2017, the City Council felt ready to address the tremendous cost, nearly 4 million dollars, needed to create a Quiet Zone. “Safety enhancements were needed at each intersection between 33rd Street and Sorghum Mill Road to meet federal standards,” Minnick said. “We put in center medians and additional bells at ten intersections to prevent vehicles from going around the gates. The railroad had to upgrade electronic circuits at each gate crossing, which dated back to the 1940s.” A traffic horn will blow toward cars at Coffee Creek Road because the track is so close to the turn onto Broadway. At Danforth Road, additional pedestrian lights were added for the high school students walking across the tracks. “Even students wearing headphones should see the lights and feel the train vibrations,” said Minnick. 10

l

EDMONDOUTLOOK.COM

l

JANUARY 2021

From 2 to 25 Trains a Day For 135 years, trains have been traveling the track through Edmond, a town that owes its existence to the railroad. In 1886, the railroad began laying tracks across the Indian Territory prairie. The location now known as 2nd & Broadway was selected as a watering station in 1886. Back then, Edmond had two trains come through each day. Now, the number is about 25 trains per day! “Edmond has had trains blowing whistles since before the Land Run,” said Mayor Dan O’Neil. “The Quiet Zone is a small change that makes a big impact on the quality of life here.” Although the sound, or lack of sound, is a significant change to the Edmond landscape, an occasional whistle will still be heard. “A train engineer can choose to blow the whistle anytime there is imminent danger ahead, such as kids walking on the track or a stopped car,” Minnick said. For train fans in the area, hearing that occasional whistle will have to suffice. “I’m going to miss the whistle,” said ten-year-old Levi Wisner, who attended the “Toodle-oo to the Choo Choo Whistle” event hosted by the Edmond Museum at the Dental Depot. “I like hearing it every day. It’s what this town sounds like to me.” Those who have faced the blaring 100-decibel interruption for years, however, feel the Quiet Zone is worthy of celebration. “I applaud the City of Edmond, the Downtown Edmond Business Association and Burlington North railroad for coming together to get this done,” said Carel. “We owe the history of Edmond to the railroad – and I am still happy to have the trains coming through town, but now they will be a little more tolerable.”


JANUARY 2021

l

EDMONDOUTLOOK.COM

l

11


FEATURELOOK

By Amy Dee Stephens

Students Develop Gamer’s Paradise The Co-Op Esports and Gaming Arena didn’t exist when William Katsigiannis entered college at the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO). Now, as he graduates, he leaves school knowing he not only helped spark the idea of developing Esports at UCO, he helped design the gaming arena which came to fruition in September. The Esports arena is available to campus students by day and to the public at night, with options that include computer battle stations, virtual reality stations, and traditional tabletop board games. It all started in 2018 when William took a gaming music class under Dr. David Hanan, the band director. The two bonded over a mutual interest in electronic gaming and wondered if others might see value in Esports on campus. A fellow student, Anwarul Zulkifli, and Robert Howard of the Office of Global Affairs joined the discussion, and the four formed an organization. “We posted meeting flyers, and nearly 40 people showed up!” William said.

He feels extremely pleased to have contributed to the final product, from selecting color schemes to cable drop locations. “Gamers like it dark, so we picked black walls with licensed game characters everywhere. There’s an arena and stage for competitions, comfortable couches and vending machines,” William said, “But what really grabs your eye is the ocean of computer screens and LED lights. It’s beautiful, fantastic, a gamer’s paradise.”

A Lasting Legacy Now, as William leaves UCO with the title of Co-Founder and President of UCO Esports, he hopes his grassroots program continues to evolve. “Many of the universities, technical schools and even the YMCA are expanding into Esports. My vision for the UCO program’s future would be bringing the community together by building rivalry tournaments,” William said. “You can have all the football players on the field, but if nobody’s watching or covering it—why To the Drawing Board does it matter?” (L-R) William Katsigiannis, Dr. David Hanan, The school’s leadership, seeking creative William was just six years old when he and Dr. Dennis Dunham with the Office of ways to embrace new technologies, quickly started playing on the Nintendo GameCube Global Affairs. got on board with the idea. The International and making online friends. He never Office was also receiving inquiries from prospective students dreamed that his pastime could become a viable career. He about Esports opportunities. The idea went from the dream believes the university’s investment into the Esports arena is a stage to the actual drawing board, resulting in a 5,700 square testament to the future of gaming, not just for entertainment, foot, multi-million dollar facility along University Drive. but for industry. “I hope the school will create an educational William had a voice in every aspect of the design, from curriculum, starting with a minor degree, and maybe moving floorplan to the atmosphere. “The entire framework was towards a major. Gaming is close to my heart. I look forward to designed by students, but it was this great collaborative effort coming back five or ten years later and seeing the growth of this with faculty and staff. They came to our meetings because they program. I’m proud to leave this legacy.” saw us as the subject-matter experts, and we were using what Visit www.coopgamingarena.com to learn more. we learned in their classes to bring it all together. It’s been a great experience.” 12

l

EDMONDOUTLOOK.COM

l

JANUARY 2021


JANUARY 2021

l

EDMONDOUTLOOK.COM

l

13


FEATURELOOK By Cale Michael

A Bulldog Breaks Out of the Yard Senior Sean Pedulla Signs with Virginia Tech

14

l

EDMONDOUTLOOK.COM

l

JANUARY 2021

For every player who laces up their cleats, picks up a basketball, or slides on a glove, the end goal is almost always to push themselves as far as they possibly can while playing a sport they enjoy. Not everyone gets to take that passion beyond the high school level, but Edmond Memorial senior Sean Pedulla is. Pedulla signed with Virginia Tech in November. He had been a known commodity within Oklahoma basketball circuits and in the high school game for a few years, but it wasn’t until last summer when he truly exploded onto the national scene. He was an unranked prospect prior to competing on the Summer AAU circuit with former Oklahoma, now Sacramento Kings, guard Buddy Hield’s youth development team Team Buddy Buckets. In several standout performances against the likes of Drive Nation and five-star recruit Keyonte George, Pedulla put himself on the map and earned a three-star ranking from several national recruiting boards with his scoring, on-ball skills, and basketball IQ. “I would say I am best at scoring,” Pedulla says. “Any coach would probably say that too, but I also like locking someone up on defense just as much depending on the situation.” During his junior season, Pedulla averaged 17.2 points per game for the Memorial Bulldogs, helping lead them to the Class 6A state quarterfinals before the event was canceled due to COVID-19, and being named to several end-of-season teams like The Oklahoman’s Super 5 third team. At the time of signing his letter of intent with Virginia Tech, Pedulla was touted as the second-best player overall coming out of Oklahoma and ranked 141st in the 247Sports Composite Rankings. Pedulla credits the college’s coaching staff as the main reason he decided to commit to Virginia Tech over Oklahoma State, Minnesota, and Colorado State. “The most important aspect for me was the coaching staff, and not just Mike Young, but coach [Kevin] Giltner, coach [Christian] Webster, and coach [Chester] Frazier,” Pedulla says. “They were all communicating with me a lot, specifically Giltner, about what type of environment they are trying to build this year.” Head coach Mike Young is well-known for loving players that can shoot and handle the ball, so heavily recruiting Pedulla for a Virginia Tech team that could really use his on-ball presence and shooting touch makes a world of sense. Reflecting on his journey, Pedulla thanks his coaches, namely Buddy Buckets developmental coach Trey Slate, but most of all, his older siblings for teaching him how to be competitive while also supporting him. “I’ll never forget the driveway battles just playing with my older brothers and them beating me down,” Pedulla says. “That’s the most competitive environment I have ever been in, no matter how close these high school games are, those were always the most insane, the most rough. Those are always the moments I will look and think back to as making me the competitor and tough player I am today.” Pedulla will finish out the 2020-21 high school season with the Bulldogs before moving on to become a Hokie.


JANUARY 2021

l

EDMONDOUTLOOK.COM

l

15


FRESHLOOK

Recipe by The Meat House

Dead Pan Chili INGREDIENTS • 2lbs 85/15% The Meat House chili-ground hamburger • 1 can FRENZY Dead Pan Stout Porter Beer • 1⁄ 2 large yellow onion, diced • 1-2 fresh jalapeños, diced • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced

• • • • • • •

1/3 cup light brown sugar 1 ⁄ 2 cup roasted Tomatoes, diced 2 tsp of The Meat House Spice Blend 1-2 Tbsp ancho chili powder 2 tsp cumin 1 Tbsp smoked paprika salt & pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS In a large skillet, brown The Meat House chili-ground hamburger meat over medium heat. Remove from heat and drain. Add onion and jalapeños, cook until soft (about 4-5 minutes) then add garlic and tomatoes until garlic is fragrant. Turn heat up, add FRENZY beer and bring to a boil. Return hamburger meat to the pan, add brown sugar and spices. Let simmer for 45-60 minutes. Garnish with sour cream, green onion and shredded cheese.

18

l

EDMONDOUTLOOK.COM

l

JANUARY 2021

The Meat House is located at 2249 W. Danforth Road in Edmond. Store hours: Monday- Friday 10 am-7 pm Saturday 9 am-7 pm Sunday 11 am-6 pm


JANUARY 2021

l

EDMONDOUTLOOK.COM

l

19


FEATURELOOK

By Maggie Murdock Nichols

The Pursuit of Peace When life throws disruption, trauma or conflict in your path, what gets you back on track? Artio Services offers a cooperative team of leaders, teachers, coaches and facilitators who bring a multi-faceted approach to resolution in the human experience. Their services help you identify your core focus and give you the tools to integrate diplomacy into your daily interactions with a problem-solving lens. Collectively, their areas of expertise include: conflict resolution and post conflict reconstruction, mental health, grief, diversity and inclusion, leadership enhancement and cultural management. Momma Bear Collective In Celtic mythology, Artio is the bear goddess of transformation and abundance. Artio Services is inspired by and made up of strong women. Their approach is nurturing but powerful. They encounter difficult issues head on and empower their clients to move forward in a new way. Jennifer “Jenn” Maynord, founder of Artio Services, grew up in Edmond. She graduated from Edmond Memorial and went on to OSU to pursue an English degree. She later received her masters in International Affairs and Post-Conflict State Reconstruction & Sustainability Graduate Certification from Seton Hall University. She is a musical performing artist, Third Degree Reiki Master, yoga instructor, personal trainer, is certified with the Krav Maga Alliance Next Generation teaching program and is mother to eight year old Lelu. 20

l

EDMONDOUTLOOK.COM

l

JANUARY 2021

Jennifer Maynord (right) and her founding partner, Cherie Glass (left)

Return Home Leading Artio has allowed Jenn to flex the culmination of her professional and personal experiences. A move back to Central Oklahoma in the midst of a pandemic and rising racial tensions spurred Jenn to tap into her roots and existing connections and utilize her skills to improve the place she was raised. “We each have our own flavors,” Jenn says when describing the Artio team. Artio works with businesses, communities and individuals to promote effective communication, transform conflict, and improve overall wellness. Diplomacy Meets Day-to-Day With companies, large and small, Artio uses everyday diplomacy to create and sustain workplace relationships among those of various backgrounds, empowering them to transcend barriers and divides. In communities, art-based classes and workshops promote conflict resolution and peace building in neutral spaces. Their Development Den membership based e-learning community and Osa Peace Project are for those who wish to join alongside like-minded learners in pursuit of peace. Artio also works with individuals guiding them to uncover tools for a holistically happy and peaceful lifestyle. Jenn says, “Grass roots peace transforms communities from the bottom up.” Artio Services can be accessed via YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and by visiting www.artioservices.com.


JANUARY 2021

l

EDMONDOUTLOOK.COM

l

21


BIZLOOK

Scissortail Running By Maria Veres

Oklahoma is poised to become the next running hot spot in the U.S., and Kyle McKinley can help local athletes go the distance. A champion athlete himself, he offers personalized coaching, 3D gait analysis, and more for runners of all skill levels. Helping Runners Achieve Their Best Until this year, Oklahoma athletes had to travel hundreds of miles to get a 3D gait analysis. But now it’s available locally at Scissortail Running. An electronic camera breaks down the motion of every joint, highlighting a

22

l

EDMONDOUTLOOK.COM

l

JANUARY 2021

runner’s strengths and weaknesses. Kyle also emphasizes an overlooked area of training—nutrition. “Recovery can be as important as the run itself,” he says, “and the two key factors of recovery are sleep and nutrition.” He works with athletes to create individualized plans that support their bodies without making them feel deprived. All training is customized for each runner. “I try to make the training fit the athlete rather than making the athlete fit the training,” he says. Full Speed Ahead Oklahoma may seem like an unlikely spot for elite runners to train. But with proper safety precautions, running through our summer heat can actually offer a competitive boost. “There’s growing evidence that training in hot and humid conditions can have similar effects to training at altitude,” says Kyle. With the success of the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon and our growing network of excellent trails, Oklahoma

Kyle McKinley

could become the next Boulder or Flagstaff. “We’ve got a big advantage in that we don’t have brutal winters,” says Kyle. He’s committed to being part of Oklahoma’s success, including fielding an elite-level team in the near future. “I would love to be a part of bringing more running culture to Oklahoma,” he says. Contact Scissortail Running at www.scissortailrunning.com or 405-823-7059.


Lock It Up Safes By Maria Veres

Lock It Up Safes isn’t hard to spot. Just look for the bright yellow elevenfoot safe outside their store. It’s a promotional display, but if you need a working safe of that size, the store can order one—and they offer expert delivery, too. An Experienced Team You Can Trust There’s no high-pressure sales pitch at Lock It Up Safes. Instead, the team strives to educate guests and find them the perfect safe. “The same guys who sell you the safe are also the guys who will deliver it,” says co-owner

and founder Stephen Hall. “That gives our guests a high level of trust and confidence.” Delivering safes is challenging, but Stephen and his team have the expertise and equipment to get it done right. They complete most deliveries in under an hour. Lock It Up Safes is a family business, with Stephen’s wife Meghan taking care of the administrative side and his mother Jayne taking care of the accounting side. Before opening their own store, Stephen and co-owners Sam Hixson and Kent Swenson were a part of a safe store at a popular OKC shooting range. They each have many years of experience in the industry. A Safe for Every Need “We don’t sell gun safes, we sell everything safes,” says Stephen. “You don’t have to be a gun enthusiast or even own a gun.” Sam sees safes as an essential appliance, like a refrigerator. “Every home needs a safe,” he says. They urge consumers to do careful

BIZLOOK

Lock It Up Safes showroom and store

research before buying. Safes at box stores may be cheaper, but many aren’t UL listed, and the steel is too thin to withstand extreme conditions. Whether you’re storing firearms, jewelry, keepsakes, or documents, the Lock It Up team will help you protect your valuables for decades to come. Visit Lock It Up Safes at 716 West 15th Street in Edmond and online at www.lockitupsafes.com.

JANUARY 2021

l

EDMONDOUTLOOK.COM

l

23


FOODLOOK By Maggie Murdock Nichols

Dolci Paradiso

Dolci Paradiso provides a space for connection over confection at the corner of 5th and Littler in Park 17. This brightly-colored sweet shop has elevated Edmond’s dessert scene. A Sweet Spot in 2020 A taste of gelato while on vacation became the inspiration for Dolci Paradiso. On a mission to bring quality desserts closer to home, Hema Patel began perfecting her recipe. “Gelato contains a third of the butter fat of traditional ice cream. With less air, the texture is more dense and decadent. Gelato is served at a warmer temperature than ice cream, allowing the flavors to shine,” Hema says. She makes her gelato in small batches, using the finest ingredients. After opening the first Dolci Paradiso on the Southside of Oklahoma City, Hema discovered that many Edmondites would make the trek for a treat. A corner shop overlooking Stephenson Park has proven to be the perfect spot for the second location that opened in September of this year. Family is of utmost importance to Hema. It brings her joy to see families admire the display case together, discussing what they’ll get and ensuring they can take a bite of what the other orders. Dolci Paradiso is a place where families and friends can unplug and connect over something sweet. Creating Everyday Celebrations Hema offers custom cakes and savors the opportunity to discuss sponge, filling, cream and color choices. She also has ready-made cakes for the more spontaneous of celebrations. Dessert trays and custom catering options are perfect for businesses or gatherings. Macarons are the crown jewels of the pastry case, their airy texture and indulgent flavors are crowd pleasers. The gelato affogato is a perfect treat for winter, where icy and sweet gelato meets warm and toasty espresso. The keto creme brûlée is perfect for those who wish to not stray too far from their diet. The giant cream puffs are a favorite, piled high and filled with fluffy vanilla bean cream. Hema, a nurse by trade, says, “I live by the idea that everything is good in moderation. Indulging once in a while is not a bad thing, in fact it’s necessary!” The pastry case is as much a treat for the eyes as for the stomach. Authentic French pastries, eclairs, and tarts are masterfully prepared. Hema was sure to include everyone with gluten free, dairy free, vegan and keto offerings. Hema explains, “Our gelato and sorbets are all-natural, preservative-free and dye-free, made using gelato makers like you’d find in Italy. Our pastries are handcrafted in-house by our pastry chef.” The attention to detail is what sets them apart, it’s a difference you can taste. Hema would love to serve you at Dolci Paradiso and help you find your new favorite dessert! Stop by 17 E 5th Street or find them on social Instagram@dolciparadisoedmond, on Facebook, or by visiting Hema Patel www.dolciparadiso.com.

24

l

EDMONDOUTLOOK.COM

l

JANUARY 2021


JANUARY 2021

l

EDMONDOUTLOOK.COM

l

25


FEATURELOOK

By Gina A. Dabney

Come Out From the Shadow of Debt Thinking of lightening your financial burdens? Check out GreenPath, a national company with offices in northwest Oklahoma City that empowers people to lead financially healthy lives through various programs and services like debt management and financial coaching. Every day, this nonprofit talks with 2,500 people to make plans for a more positive financial future. Overseeing the Oklahoma City branch is Emily Reed, who has also assisted people to healthier financial paths in Texas, Michigan and across the East Coast. “I’ve been with GreenPath for 18 years,” Reed said. On average, each household in the United States carries $90,000 in debt. Since COVID-19, the company is now seeing the largest housing debt needs in history. All debt, in general, has been amplified due to the pandemic. However, there is hope for each person. “They are not alone,” Reed said. “We are here to help.” In 2020, GreenPath assisted 503 Oklahoma City clients on their way to financial wellness. Of those clients, 316 are in the Debt Management Plan. By understanding each person’s unique situation, GreenPath can guide clients through any financial crisis whether it be overwhelming debt, foreclosure, bankruptcy or credit challenges. Once the financial situation is assessed, programs can then be offered for a solution. Such programs include credit counseling, debt management, financial education, housing counseling and bankruptcy counseling/education services. “It is customizable,” Reed said.

One success story is from an Oklahoma City area client who had accrued $37,000 in credit card debt. After incurring additional expenses due to her brother’s funeral, her payments and living expenses were no longer affordable on a fixed income. She was frequently facing overdrafts, often several hundred dollars short, in her checking account. After getting on a GreenPath Debt Management Plan, she saved $386 each month on her minimum monthly payments. Her average interest rate went from 21% to around 10%, and she saved a lot in interest. The savings helped her avoid overdrafts in her checking account. She is estimated to pay off her debt in February 2021. Many people, Reed explained, don’t want to admit they have a lot of debt. Some are ashamed and some feel as if it is their “dirty little secret.” It is a major reason why it is hard for people to get out of debt. But if they can take the first step in addressing it, financial wellness is a possibility. Reed recalled a long-ago client who did take the first step and contacted GreenPath for help. This person was reluctant to make any changes but once she heard about the Debt Management Plan, she made the leap. After six months on the plan, she paid off a credit card and was on her way to being debt-free. The client was so excited and sent Reed a photo of the credit card statement with a zero balance. Reed still has that photo and that happy memory. For more information, email Emily Reed at ereed@greenpath. com; call 1-800-476-7284; or visit www.greenpath.com

On average, each household in the United States carries $90,000 in debt

26

l

EDMONDOUTLOOK.COM

l

JANUARY 2021


ALOOKBACK

That Ain’t Normal! By Louise Tucker Jones

When I was in college, I spent summers working at my uncle’s restaurant in San Marcos, Texas. I also lived with my relatives, and since my aunt was close to my older sister’s age, we developed a strong kinship. Being the mother of three little boys, Fleeta was starved for adult conversation and loved hearing about college life. I especially liked talking about

28

l

EDMONDOUTLOOK.COM

l

JANUARY 2021

my boyfriend but also loved telling her some fun stories just to get her reaction. Once, I told her about a couple at school who got married secretly but never spent a single night together for weeks because they wanted to tell their parents first and just couldn’t find an opportune time. Fleeta looked at me in surprise and said, “Now Lou, that ain’t normal!” I laughed and agreed. Then, there was the girl in my dorm who barricaded herself in her room one night and even called the police because her dad threatened to come take her out of school when she told him she was going to marry her 60-year-old professor. Yep, Fleeta’s mouth dropped open and she exclaimed, “Now, that ain’t normal!” It was so much fun to tell her stories, and I had plenty to tell. We also loved to shop and would sometimes get the giggles over something and have to leave the store. Fleeta and I still laugh over those crazy days when we get together by phone for a long conversation about yesteryear.

And sometimes, I wonder what we would have done had someone told us back in the “60s” that one day we would experience a worldwide pandemic where people had to wear masks in public or stay home for fear of the deadly virus. I’m sure we would have denied that possibility with Fleeta saying, “Now, that ain’t normal!” And no, it isn’t normal, and I’m praying that “2021” will bring an end to this pandemic and get our lives back to a semblance of normality. And if you are making resolutions this year, you might resolve to find a friend like Fleeta. Your life will definitely be blessed. Have a Healthy and Happy New Year! ABOUT THE AUTHOR Louise Tucker Jones is an award-winning author, inspirational speaker & founder of Wives With Heavenly Husbands, a support group for widows. LouiseTJ@cox.net or LouiseTuckerJones.com.


JANUARY 2021

l

EDMONDOUTLOOK.COM

l

29


FEATURELOOK

By Gina A. Dabney

Nonprofit Provides Seniors Food and Meds for Their Pets So often seniors, veterans, the homeless and those in domestic violence shelters choose to feed their pets instead of themselves because of financial hardships. To the rescue is Pet Food Pantry of OKC, which provides free pet food, medicine and supplies to these local Oklahomans. Every month, the nonprofit organization delivers nearly 10,000 pounds of pet food, along with flea/tick preventative and supplies such as beds and collars to more than 820 pets. Executive Director Candace Beaty, who started as a volunteer, spoke about the importance of delivering items as some are homebound, “We deliver to 250 homes.” There are 30 volunteer drivers with dedicated routes. Not only do they deliver pet food and supplies but often provide recipients social services information such as utility assistance. The nonprofit organization also provides pet items to domestic violence shelters and to the homeless community. Every two weeks, Beaty interacts with the homeless community in southwest Oklahoma City. “They love and care for their pets so much,” Beaty said. “It is always touching to see.” Increased Need for Donations In April, the Pet Food Pantry of OKC started the COVID-19 program. Because the pandemic created additional financial challenges for citizens, many were needing to surrender their pets. To address this issue, the Pet Food Pantry of OKC teamed up with others to serve in southwest Oklahoma City. The hardship continues. Recently, the organization delivered over 126,000 pounds of food. “The need is huge right now,” Beaty said. Hollywood Feed located at 1200 W. Covell in Edmond serves as one of the drop-off locations for donations. Store Manager 30

l

EDMONDOUTLOOK.COM

l

JANUARY 2021

Hollywood Feed Store Manager Dakoda Thomas

Dakoda Thomas has a passion for helping pets and people. Thomas described Edmond as a generous community and has witnessed customers who will buy their pet a toy, for example, and then buy a duplicate to donate. “The community is tight-knit,” said Thomas. Hollywood Feed works with ten charities and, on average, donates 50 tons of food per year across the entire company. Thomas gives the Pet Food Pantry of OKC, which has been in operation since 2010, high praise. “We are glad to be working with them,” Thomas said. “It is an amazing organization. They help so many people.” A Small Team Dependent on Volunteers With only two employees, the Pet Food Pantry of OKC accomplishes everything with the help of 170 volunteers. Volunteers are needed to break down large bags of pet food into smaller, more manageable bags for delivery. The top donation items needed are wet dog food, dry cat food and flea/tick medicine. Call the Pet Food Pantry of OKC at 405-664-2858 or visit www.petfoodpantryokc.org. The Edmond drop-off donation sites are A1 Pet Emporium 405509-6644; Circle E, Inc. 405-340-5425; Family Pet Hospital 405216-5200; Glen Eagles Pet Hospital 405-463-0600; Hollywood Feed 405-471-5518; Memorial Road Pet Hospital 405-478-3417; 2nd St Wine Co. 405-340-4307; PETCO 405-359-5671; Stoneridge Animal Hospital 405-359-3340; White Oaks Veterinary Clinic 405-330-0676.


1024 W Covell Rd., Edmond, OK 73003

Profile for Outlook Magazine

Edmond Outlook - January 2021  

Edmond Outlook - January 2021  

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded