July 2024

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It’s an exciting time when your child gets their first apartment. They’re on their own, working, paying bills, being responsible - figuring it all out. As proud parents, we can breathe a sigh of relief. Wait. Hold it - a dog? You don’t need a dog - that's a huge commitment. What if something happens, and then you can’t have a dog?

That’s how I met my best friend, Bailey, an energetic Australian Shepherd puppy. She needed a home, and I reluctantly took her in. I remember explaining to her that we needed to take it slow as I had recently switched teams and was now a cat person. She ignored that nonsense entirely, and we became inseparable.

We’ve been through so much. She’s been my office dog, camping canine, Hafer Park walking buddy, caretaker through my late wife’s illness, and chemo buddy through mine. She’s the best canine companion I’ve ever had.

She’s 16 now, and her squirrel-chasing days are over. Her bright orange markings have faded to a faint tan. She is nearly deaf, and I can see that her body hurts as she slowly, slowly positions herself to lie down. She doesn’t seem too bothered by any of this. She’s just happy to be near her human, go for short walks, or have her belly rubbed. She’s still having good days - she smiles a lot and wiggles her butt (she’d wag her tail if she had one). She’s taught me more about living in the moment than any book, program, or hour of therapy ever has. Thank you, Bailey. Now let’s go watch those squirrels.

Edmond’s Love of Parks - Not So Uncommon

Edmond has a long history with green spaces, dating back to the first park instituted by John Mitch in 1890. In June, Edmond officially added a new park, Uncommon Ground Sculpture Park, to its roster. Much like past projects, including Kickingbird Golf Course and Arcadia Lake, the Uncommon Ground park was a partnership between the City of Edmond and various stakeholders, requiring years of planning.

Edmond citizens have a track record of using their parks. They love them. All 33 of them! It was feared that remodeling Stephenson Park would destroy its character. Instead, it is now packed with people who are using the park in new and unexpected ways!

A New Kind of Park

The vision for park No. #34, Uncommon Ground, is unlike any of Edmond’s current green spaces because the artistic amenities take it to a new level. “I’m excited about the dog park, the playgrounds, the picnic areas—but what makes Uncommon Ground really special is the magnitude of its art,” said Cinda Covel, Edmond’s Public Art Director. “Art is for everyone! It is one of the few things in this world that is completely universal. Art can evoke feelings or memories, and it can be interpreted in countless ways.”

Currently, Edmond has 316 art pieces in its collection, which includes statues, murals, and paintings. In anticipation of Uncommon Ground, 38 pieces are already slated for the park, although that number will likely rise by its opening in a few years. The art is purchased in partnership with private donors--who invest a higher percentage of funding than the city.

“Our donors are the reason we have public art,” said Covel. “They donate for many reasons: to dress up a storefront or neighborhood, to remember a loved one lost, or to simply share a love of art.”

Most of the statues are made of bronze, steel or stainless steel, materials which hold up best to weather and aging. The artistic themes vary widely, from animals and abstracts to Native American pieces. Each will be intentionally placed, for example, the limestone bee will be placed near the pollinator garden. One exciting interactive statue is a lookout tower, called the Bird’s Nest, in which visitors can climb to the top to view the park.

Prestigious and Profitable

Edmond’s selection of art is not only diverse, but in many cases, prestigious—including works by gifted local artists and world-renown artists. “Edmond has already been featured in national and international magazines for its public art. In fact, we have pieces in our collection by nine of the artists featured in this year’s Prix de West International Art Show at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum,” Covel said.

In Covel’s opinion, the sculpture park will also help Edmond retain Oklahoma artists, who often move to Colorado or Arizona to pursue their art careers. “They will receive excellent training and exposure to the art in Edmond and Oklahoma City, and then, there is opportunity for them to stay here and thrive,” Covel said.

“Edmond is already known for its parks, but focusing on sculptures takes us to a new level. We needed a park on the east side of the city, but Uncommon Ground’s placement on Route 66 also increases tourism. That means more people are shopping, eating, staying, and enjoying our community,” Covel said. “I believe that ten years from now, we will easily see Edmond as a thriving art community because of Uncommon Ground.”

Visit EdmondArt.com to learn more about the current art collection.

"Valley of the Horse" sculpture by Oklahoma artist Paul Moore, located at the corner of 2nd Street and Coltrane Road.
Cinda Covel, Edmond Public Art Director

S&B’s Burger Joint

There’s no time like summer to kick back and enjoy all your favorite gourmet burgers and sliders at S&B’s Burger Joint! Their creative flavor combos are some of the most unique around, and their nostalgic music videos and rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia are always the life of the party. First opened in OKC in 2009, S&B’s has eight Oklahoma locations, including one in east and west Edmond. “Both locations have a large bar to hang out, great patios with games, the best happy hour in town – Rock Hour, and daily specials,” says Leah Belflower, Marketing Manager, who has been with the company for 11 years. “We do our best to make sure there’s something for everyone.” This lively burger joint is kid and family-friendly, too. Just try to resist the nationally recognized handspun milkshakes, show-stopping chicken tenders, and to-die-for dipping sauces that make every bite a smash hit.

Burger Up!

One of the most popular burgers, The Smashing Onions, was initially a limited time menu offering. Because of its fast fame, it recently made its way to the permanent menu. It’s a mix between an onion burger and garlic butter burger, served on an inside-out toasted brioche bun with loads of melted cheese. Another menu fave is The Old Town Road – a bacon/beef blend patty topped with cheddar, bacon, hand-breaded fried jalapenos, onions, and BBQ aioli.

Not only is the regular menu loaded with exciting tastes, but S&B’s limited time menu rotates with inventive seasonal creations. Current highlights are The Balboa – a fettuccine alfredo burger (yes, it’s a thing!), The PBJ with deep fried PBJ buns, and The Toby – a chicken fried steak sandwich.

Off the Bun

patty, dairy-free cheese and mayo options, and the best glutenfree bun around,” Leah comments. With a variety of bun options, a Keto Bowl, and bunless burgers on a bed of greens, no one goes hungry while sticking to their diet.

Excellent Encores

Hand-spun milkshakes, handcrafted signature cocktails, craft beer, and S&B’s famous Bloody Marys are just a few more reasons this burger joint is crushin’ it with locals. “We were among the first around OKC to really do over-the-top Bloody Marys,” Leah recalls. “We make our own mix and infused vodkas. Plus, who doesn’t want a pickle spear or piece of bacon as a bonus snack with their drink?”

S&B's offers catering with their fun burger bars, sandwiches, and salads. They also feature Singo every Thursday night. And

If you’re not in the mood for a burger, come for the chicken! Packing the perfect crunch and delicious seasoning, the madeto-order chicken tenders are a true fan fave. Right now, S&B’s is also featuring Pickle Boneless Wings marinated in pickle juice, seasoned with Ranch, and served with pickle Ranch – yum! The house-made dipping sauces are an attraction all their own, and no one will judge you if you dip and dunk your tenders, burgers, fries, and tots, or straight up eat it with a spoon. With 16 sauces, like Smoky Burger, Devil’s Honey BBQ, and marshmallow cream (perfect with sweet potato fries), you can sauce like a rockstar. Even the menu items for special diets are crafted with great attention. “We have a house-made veggie patty, Impossible

if you really want to be one of the cool kids, join their fantastic rewards program and get exclusive discounts and freebies while you stay up on all the new menu items rolling out each season. Visit in Edmond at 2088 E. 2nd or 1000 NW 192nd, or sandbburgers.com.


Account Executive, editor, and writer with experience in radio, newspaper and magazines. Interested in what Outlook can do for your business? Contact her at laura@edmondoutlook.com

Edmond’s Young Entrepreneurs High School Student Start-Ups

Five Edmond High School students walked into a May meeting armed with innovative ideas and left with a total of $16,500 in seed funding to turn their concepts into a reality.

The event was Francis Tuttle’s third annual Pitch Night, sponsored by Stride Bank. Participants in the technology center’s Entrepreneurship Program present their concepts to a panel of industry-leading judges in order to receive coaching and financial support.

“This year we had more than 20 teen entrepreneurs competing for seed funding for their business,” said Francis Tuttle Entrepreneurship Instructor Abby Williams. “Pitching to a panel of professionals helps students build confidence. And many of these ideas will have a real, lasting impact on the community.”

Each presentation was the product of a year of education, research, and revision. “The projects went through multiple stages before being presented on the final night,” Williams said. “It starts with students participating in a coaching session with 24 industry experts and consultants. Then they perfect a small 'elevator pitch', and dig into areas of improvement and feedback that push all of their ideas forward.”

the night, five Edmond seniors emerged as finalists.

Fernanda Rojo Arteaga placed first, receiving $6,000 of funding for her concept, Bananabilingo. The app decreases language barriers in the healthcare industry by allowing medical professionals to communicate efficiently with Spanish-speaking communities. Fernanda was inspired by her own experience translating for her parents, who immigrated to the United States.

“I had to learn very quickly to help my family translate documents in medical settings.” Fernanda said. “I want to help medical professionals figure out the medical terminology, how to speak it and listen for it so they can help others.”

Emily Mabery and Jack Price placed second with Spinsafe, a device and app that alerts users when battery-operated devices are thrown in the washing machine. “Our technology and app ensure that all of your devices stay dry, so that you save money, avoid hassle, and have peace of mind whenever you do laundry,” the creators said.

Pitching to a panel of professionals helps students build confidence.

The top six pitches then move on to pitch night where they presented their ideas “Shark Tank-style” to a panel that included Mark Beffort of Robinson Park, Fawn Sachleben of Stride Bank, Srijita Ghosh of i2E, Janae Goodin of BAB and Matt McCalla of Bank of Oklahoma.

“I was blown away by the ideas and the level of hard work that the students put in, and the polish that they had. It was abundantly clear how much work they’d put in and the level of education they were receiving,” said Lindsey Ogan, Chief Marketing Officer at Stride Bank.

In addition to valuable funding, the winners benefit from mentorship from local entrepreneurship experts. At the end of

Third place went to Colby Howard and his concept, Operational Edge, which provides a sensor for woodworkers to track the overall health of their tools. “It tracks hours and provides maintenance intervals to catch issues when they're preventable instead of a failure. This saves time and money and keeps equipment running well.”

As practical as they are diverse, these ideas point to the Entrepreneurship Program’s mission to teach students skills that apply across any industry. “We focus on teaching them the entrepreneurial mindset, how to think like one and how to actually get an idea off the ground,” Williams said. “When you learn to think like an entrepreneur, it helps you in all areas of your life.”

Learn more about the Francis Tuttle Entrepreneurship Program at francistuttle.edu.

Ava Beery-4th place, Jaxton Howard-finalist, Fernanda Rojo Arteaga-1st place, and Emily Mabery2nd place (not pictured, Colby Howard-3rd place, and Jack Price-2nd place)

500,000 Meals for Hungry Children Crossings Community Church’s Pack-a-thon

With the goal of feeding half a million hungry kids, Crossings Community Church is changing lives one meal at a time. Its fourth annual Feed the Hunger Pack-a-thon aims to pack 500,000 meals in one week for malnourished children in Bangladesh. Meals packed during the event will ship across the world to schools, orphanages, refugee camps, and safe houses and will feed 2,084 malnourished children for an entire year. Pack-a-thon events will take place at all four Crossings locations plus two correctional facilities in July.

Crossings will partner with the North Carolina-based Feed the Hunger organization for the fourth year in a row, raising their goal to 500,000, up from 300,000 the previous year.

“Often it’s hard to know what to do on this side of the planet to help,” said Angela Presley, Global Missions Pastor at Crossings Community Church. “This is an avenue for us to be a part of that solution, to help to rescue these kids, and to give them a better future.”

At the Pack-a-thon, families, small groups, and individuals are encouraged to serve together, measuring ingredients, weighing boxes, and sealing packages. Children age five and older pack meals alongside their parents and community members. “The beauty of this type of ministry is to see how individuals and families can be a part of making a difference, even if they’re unable to travel halfway across the world,” Presley said.

This year, volunteers will be packing two different meals: lentils and rice, and soy and rice. Each meal also includes a vegetable component and vitamin mix. “It feels like you’re doing something important and actually making a difference,” said Jennifer Ayotte, Director of Communications, who has also participated in the Pack-a-thon.

After the meals are packed at Crossings, Feed the Hunger sends them to feed hungry kids in Bangladesh. Why Bangladesh? “We were drawn to the Rohingya refugee camp, which is the largest refugee camp in the world,” Presley says, describing how the almost million refugees in the camp were driven out of their homes and live at the encampment.

In January, Presley went with Feed the Hunger to volunteer and unload distribution boxes in Bangladesh. Part of the packing process is to mark each box with a label showing where it came from. “We made special labels for our boxes, so when we got there, we were able to open the containers and see those boxes there,” she said, describing how special it was to see the boxes packed by Oklahomans all the way in Bangladesh. “We were able to see first hand where these meals were being served… and to participate in actually serving the meals to the children.” When you see the faces of these kids who have so little – they mean so much to them,” she said. “There is so much gratitude.”

For more information, contact Jennifer Ayotte at jayotte@crossings. church or visit crossings.church.

All About Smiles & Miles with Smitty’s Classic Cars

Curtis Smith was no older than six when he accompanied his dad to pick up a 1951 Ford Coupe. If there’s such a thing as the classic car bug, then that’s when it bit him. He’s since owned over 100 cars and restored countless others from his garage at Smitty’s Classics. His current craft of taking classic cars from rusted to roadworthy started as a child in his grandpa’s garage. “Grandpa always had a car in the garage,” Curtis said. “I’d go out and tinker, handing him wrenches and sweeping stuff up.” This soon accelerated into more in-depth jobs, as Curtis spent his high school years tuning up old cars alongside his dad, Arland.

“When I could drive, my dad gave me a 1970 Chevelle,” Curtis said. “I think that’s the one that really launched me into classics.” From there, Curtis’ garage became a revolving door for classic cars in need of a little love. “I was always finding something. I’d fix it up, sell it, and do it all over again.” And that wheel has never stopped turning.

“I got married in ‘96, bought my first house in ‘98, and two weeks later, I rolled a 1961 Dodge Dart into the garage.” Though he poured his heart into each project, restoring cars remained a hobby until Curtis received a phone call from California.

“In 2018 I got a call from a TV producer,” he explained. “He was looking for cool stories about classic cars.” And, of course, Curtis delivered. “At the time, my dad and I were

partnering on a 1963 Thunderbird that was really an emotional escape for us while facing an illness in our family.”

Three days of travel, 14 hours on set, and three hours of filming later, Curtis, his dad, and his car starred in season one, episode 15 of Sticker Shock. Though the show didn’t stand the test of time, it shined a nationwide spotlight on Curtis' impressive skills and evident passion for restoring classic cars. The calls started coming, and Smitty’s Classics opened its doors that same year.

The shop has since relocated from Kansas to Edmond where Curtis and his talented team work on classics that he qualifies as “anything over 25 years, technically.” But ultimately, Curtis thinks of classics as cars that were made pre-electronics and pre-computer – the ones that will run forever.

Despite the overwhelming amount of cars Curtis has commanded, he doesn’t consider himself a collector but rather an enthusiast.

“I’m going to drive these vehicles. I’m all about enjoying the miles and the smiles these beauties bring.”

A polished and shining example is the 1949 Chevy Fleetline parked in Smitty’s showroom. “This is the car my dad proposed to my mother in,” Curtis said. “I got to take him for a ride in it two weeks before he passed away.” And following some final touches, he plans to take his mother out on a date in it.

Curtis’ connection to classics is clear: “When I’m behind the wheel of a classic, it takes me back to a time when life was a lot slower. When people weren’t in the hurry they are now. When we were just able to enjoy life a little bit more.”

If you see Curtis driving around Edmond in a completely restored classic, windows rolled down – manually, of course – and Edmond’s only AM station blasting, be sure to say hello. The passenger door is always open to the classics community.

Learn more at smittysclassics.com or stop by the shop at 13065 S Kelly Avenue in Edmond.

Curtis Smith

St. Luke’s Methodist Church Edmond

There’s something for everyone at St. Luke’s Methodist Church. Celebrating ten years in Edmond, the church offers vibrant children’s and youth ministries, arts and theater programs, and many opportunities for community involvement. “We have loved every minute of being in Edmond,” says Pastor Josh Attaway.

A Blessing to the Community

St. Luke’s Edmond is affiliated with St. Luke’s of Oklahoma City. Establishing a congregation in Edmond was a natural fit for the church. “Edmond is a community that cares

about service, giving and blessing lives, and that’s part of our DNA as well,” says Josh.

Even on weekdays, the campus bustles with activity. Many organizations hold meetings and events there, and the church’s indoor and outdoor playgrounds are open to everyone. “We didn’t want the building to sit empty six days a week,” says Josh. “We wanted this to be a place for the community.”

St. Luke’s offers child care from birth to pre-K, and before and after school care for elementary school students. They partner with Will Rogers Elementary to provide volunteers and supplies year round. The church also has a deep commitment to feeding people, coordinating Oklahoma County Meals on Wheels and operating a food pantry in south OKC.

St. Luke’s on Broadway

This July marks the tenth anniversary of the popular St. Luke’s on Broadway summer sermon series. From July 21 - August 25, each Sunday showcases a different musical. Selections from

shows are performed live by local artists and Broadway actors. The sermon and Scripture tie into themes from the musical.

The live-streamed series has fans in New York as well as OKC. This year’s selections include everything from Frozen to Les Miserables.

“It’s fun for the whole family,” says Josh.

St. Luke’s Edmond is located at 900 N. Sooner Road, Edmond and online at stlukesokc.org.

Rev. Josh Attaway


VIPcare is primary care with a heart for seniors. Specializing in primary care for patients 65+, VIPcare accepts most Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans, making it easy for seniors to receive the care they need and deserve.

Physicians Who Listen and Care

VIPcare at Centennial Health is staffed by three primary care physicians, each with decades of experience. Dr. Rickie Conrady specializes in Family Medicine and Geriatrics, has served on many medical missions, and has a passion for helping others. Dr. Ernestine Shires, an Oklahoman since infancy,

has dual specialties in Internal and General Medicine and Peripheral Vascular Surgery. Dr. Joseph Jamison is a board-certified Primary Care Physician who loves interacting with patients and helping them achieve better health. All three physicians are Edmond residents. The doctors at VIPcare take time to get to know every patient. They see an average of 10-12 patients a day, while many doctors see 30-40 patients. Appointments can last up to an hour. This allows for personalized, comprehensive care that fully addresses each patient’s needs.

The Healthcare You Need, When You Need It

VIPcare takes a patient-centered, holistic approach. Whatever your concerns, the physicians take time to address them. If you need treatment from specialists, they work closely with your other providers to coordinate care.  VIPcare focuses on prevention and early intervention, with the goal of treating health issues before they become more serious. This strategy not only improves health, it also reduces costs.

To help ensure patients receive the highest quality of care when they need it, VIPcare offers transportation assistance and same-day urgent care appointments. A provider is on call 24/7. VIPcare at Centennial Health - Edmond is located at 3325 S Boulevard, Ste 113, Edmond, and is accepting new patients. Contact them at 405-451-7780 or online at getvipcare.com.

Fake Evidence, Real Education

UCO’s Interactive Crime Scene House

When graduates of the University of Central Oklahoma’s Forensic Science Institute (FSI) are called to a crime scene, it won’t be their first. Yes, their experience may be with manufactured bullet holes and bloodstains, but the knowledge is very real thanks to the interactive crime scene house now in use on Edmond’s campus.

The 1,600 square foot space inside the FSI building includes a fully furnished setting complete with a kitchen, living room, bedroom, full bathroom, laundry, and outdoor area that offers students a realistic and immersive environment to study forensic science.

“Instructor Keisha Jones and I spent a lot of time thinking about how this could best serve our students,” said instructor Meagan Raddatz, who is also the former crime laboratory director and technical investigator. “We applied our experience in the field to identify the areas we would love to see students

This is just one more way we can prepare our students for success outside of the classroom.

more prepared in as they enter the field. Giving them a more prepared space is incredibly valuable.”

This supports UCO’s goal of transformative learning, offering hands-on training that reinforces and surpasses discipline knowledge. “We can set up any type of scene, using any type of forensic evidence,” Meagan explained. “The students are able to make a plan, work through the scene, and see what errors they made or what they missed. Then, they can evaluate and edit their plan and learn how to improve in the future.”

Meagan says the facility gives students a more realistic idea of what processing a crime scene truly requires. “They really have the chance to learn the scale of this undertaking.”

The space also equips the students with organizational and managerial concepts as they learn to handle the documentation and preservation of evidence. “Previously, we only had outdoor spaces available, and that is a very different process than going into a fully furnished space that will often contain a lot more items and belongings that you have to go through.”

In one program phase, students are challenged to create a crime scene for other students. Then, they monitor their work and provide live feedback via cameras set up within the interactive crime scene house.

In addition to serving FSI students, the facility is a resource for law enforcement agencies. “We’re a metropolitan university so partnership with the agencies who are going to hire our students is really important,” Meagan said. “It can be a great training opportunity for agencies to utilize. Plus, we get to learn what’s going on in the field and bring it back to the classroom.”

As always, UCO’s goal is to provide students with an education that will translate to practical skills and workforce readiness. “A lot of crime scene positions for example ask applicants to process a mock crime scene in the hiring process,” Meagan said. “This is just one more way we can prepare our students for success outside of the classroom.”

To learn more, go to uco.edu/fsi.

An evidence set-up in the UCO FSI Crime Scene House.
Professor Meagan Raddatz gives Deer Creek High School students a tour of the FSI Crime Scene House.

My Surprise Shopping Spree

I did something crazy today. I went shopping at a fairly high-end ladies boutique wearing cruddy clothes. I had been to a plant nursery and purchased outdoor flowers, the reason for my old jeans and God Bless America shirt with missing sparkles. But I’d read that this ladies shop had a sale so I stopped by. Okay, not my only reason. A memory came to me from years ago and I wanted to see if things had changed.

I was a young wife and mom, living in Tulsa and shopping with my cousin, Debbie. On impulse we decided to peruse an upscale ladies dress shop. The clothes were definitely too expensive but we were

both seamstresses and liked to check out the latest styles.

Now in that day, women often dressed up for shopping and we were in “mom” clothes, carrying young toddlers. But it still surprised me that not one clerk offered to help us, even though the shop wasn’t busy.

When we left, I mentioned to Debbie, “I’ll bet they would have offered help if we had been dressed up,” meaning a dress and high heels. That’s what most women wore to church and to their jobs. In fact, that’s exactly what I wore to work everyday as a high school teacher. No slacks allowed.

Wondering if my assumption was correct, I stopped by the same shop one day on my way home from work, wearing my dress and heels. You wouldn’t believe how quickly someone offered to help me. No, I didn’t buy anything. I simply proved my point.

Hopefully, we are all a little less judgmental today. In many professions, ladies now dress less formally. The same for church. Now I have nothing against lovely dresses or high heels. I actually enjoyed wearing them and still do on occasion, but I’m also glad we can dress more casually if we choose.

And about my little experiment today? Yes, I was asked if I needed help and I gladly replied, “I’m just looking,” which indeed I was. Looking at clothes and looking at how they treated their customers. This retired teacher definitely gave them a passing grade.


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.

a look back

LibertyFest Parade

LibertyFest has been an Edmond tradition for over 50 years, but Edmond began celebrating the Fourth of July long before the first official LibertyFest in 1973. Edmond’s first documented Fourth of July celebration took place in 1890 when Edmond had a population of less than 300. While some Independence Day celebrations and activities in Edmond over the years have changed, a Fourth of July parade has always been a focal point. These parade photos, dating from the 1980s, illustrate Edmond’s passion for America.

Photo provided by Edmond History Museum, edmondhistory.org

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