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dancing her way to the top

January 13 Vol. 9 Number 11

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contents

January 2013

17 Features

25 departments

13 Free Tutoring Program

6 Community

17 Dancing Her Way to the Top

6 Nutrition 101

21 Junior Achievement Comes to Shawnee

9 Beautiful Mess

®

22 What is Your New Year’s Resolution? 25 Civil Rights Leader Among Us 26 15 Years of Service

shawneeoutlook

JAN

Publisher

Advertising Sales

Brad Carter

Managing Editor

Mindy Wood

Design

Photography

Dejah Quinn

Writers

John Ayers Andrea Beck Tim Burg Shea Moore Larry Sparks Mindy Wood

Distribution

The Shawnee Outlook is delivered FREE by direct mail to 25,000 homes and businesses. Distribution includes Shawnee, Tecumseh, McLoud, Meeker & Prague.

Comments or Suggestions?

Write to: Shawnee Outlook PO Box 1365 Shawnee, OK 74802 Website: www.shawneeoutlook.com E-mail: info@layersmedia.com

Michael Keith

Layers Media, Inc.

To Advertise Call Brad at 445-3033 or 808-0963.

10 A Day in my shoes 20 Sonic Contest 22 Keep the change Volume 9, Number 11 Shawnee Outlook is a publication of Layers Media, Inc. © 2013 Layers Media, Inc.

29 Events 30 Living Portraits

Bethel Acres Tag Agency

Articles and advertisements in Shawnee Outlook do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the magazine or Layers Media. Layers Media does not assume responsibility for statements made by advertisers or editorial contributors. The acceptance of advertising by Shawnee 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. Shawnee Outlook assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials.

2013

2008

878-0040 Mon-Fri 10am-6pm, Saturday 9am-1pm North of Hardesty Road & Hwy 102

Phone (405) 273-4401 37651 45th St., Shawnee www.shawneechristchurch.com Minister - Tommy Smith Sun. Class - 9:30 am Sun. Worship - 10:30 am Sun. Worship - 6:00 pm www.shawneeoutlook.com

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Community

Nutrition 101

And other responsibilities as deemed necessary. By the time you read this it will officially be 2013 and the Shawnee Economic Development Foundation staff and board will be working on meeting the objectives that were set forth at our annual meeting in August. And just what were those you may ask? The first goal our board of directors felt was critical was the enhancement of Business Retention and Attraction support efforts. We know that 80% of all new jobs come from our existing companies, which in terms of how we do our work, means we need to help create an environment that is conducive to their success. While don’t have enough space to share all the details of how we are going to do this, we can share that it requires doing more with less, deeper analysis of what existing resources, determining where the gaps in support are and finding new creative methods to assist those businesses that are growing or expanding. One of the highest-ranking tasks in this area is workforce development and population attraction. Next on our top five list of things to accomplish is to improve our interaction with our prime economic development partners. We know there are areas we can improve upon in those areas and already are using software tools to increase the information we have on our local businesses, which will allow us to enhance how we support each others efforts. For us, economic development is a team effort and the team is only as good as we collectively decide to make it. The better the team, the more success we will experience. Smack dab in the middle of all this is the need to attract more retail to Shawnee. Every year we leak more and more sales tax collection opportunities because we don’t have

6

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enough of what our area consumer’s want. Attracting a broader and diverse retail base will help us keep the consumers here and increase the sales tax collections of the community and county. Increased sales tax collections help fund those things that provide a better quality of life for all our area residents. We are also refining what types of businesses we should attempt to recruit. Based upon our limited financial resources and tight skilled labor pool, we must be certain what we attempt to attract will fit the community’s attributes and resources, plus be environmentally friendly and not create issues with our water supply. One of the last items on our 2012/2013 “to do list” is to improve the industrial property we recently purchased. Businesses that which to expand or relocate want to do so in an expedient manner, which equates into we must be ready. If by now your thinking “that’s it?” you’re probably new to the area or don’t know much about our organization. With a governing board of over 26 of Shawnee’s leading business leaders, the highlights we have provided are merely the tip of the iceberg. Stay tuned, there’s much more to come...

Crockpot Beef Stew Welcome to 2013! It is time to put all those healthy resolutions into action. A great way to get started is by making healthy food that actually tastes good. Having a filling dinner with lean protein and veggies will help you feel like you are not on a diet but living a healthier lifestyle. The best part is there is little effort in the preparation. 1 pound beef stew cubes, all visible fat removed 5 carrots, sliced 4 red potatoes, cut into large cubes 1 small package mushrooms, sliced 1 package dry onion soup mix 2 cans 98% fat-free cream of mushroom soup 1-8 oz. can tomato sauce 1-10 oz. package frozen green peas Directions: Place all ingredients accept the mushrooms in a crockpot. Cook on low for 7-10 hours or high for 5-6 hours. Add the mushrooms in during the last 30 minutes of cooking. Makes 6 servings: Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 331 - Total Fat: 9g - Cholesterol: 71mg - Sodium: 860mg Carbohydrates: 33g - Dietary Fiber: 6g - Protein: 29g Nutrition Tip: When setting new goals for the New Year, keep them SMART. Goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound. Write down your goals once you make them SMART. Decide how you are going to reach them. Share your goals with someone that can help keep you accountable. We are more likely to succeed achieving our goals when we have support. Life is much more fun when we do it with people along the way. Be sure to be forgiving of yourself if and when you mess up. Here’s to a fabulous 2013!

Andrea Beck, a Registered Dietitian with a Master’s in Nutrition and Dietetics works for a diabetes program, consults and teaches nutrition. She is a member of Junior Service League and a passionate volunteer at Faith Christian Outreach. For more information about nutrition classes, visit www. laughitoff.com : It’s seriously funny nutrition.


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beautiful mess

new year, new (er) me The New Year is underway! The holidays may be behind us, but it’s a wonderful time of year. This is the season for reflection and resolution, for change. I’ve been thinking about where I would like to focus my efforts in 2013, where I would like to see growth—aside from my everexpanding expectant belly, of course! As the days have grown shorter and colder, my son and I have spent increasingly more time indoors, shut up in the warmest room in our house: my bedroom, which is set up more like a suite with both a living area and sleeping area. One of our favorite things to do together is to watch movies—especially ones I watched as a child. As my son has become more in tune with his feelings and the world around him, this pastime of ours has exposed an attribute in my son I never would have thought possible at his young age of 2 ½: empathy. I have witnessed him exhibit empathy during multiple films: Charlotte’s Web, Wall-e, and Dumbo, to name a few. When Dumbo’s mother was thrown into an abandoned train car, for example, Kendrick became visibly upset. I tried to allay his concerns, pointing out Dumbo’s new friendship with Timothy Mouse, “Look! Dumbo has a new friend. Dumbo needs a friend, doesn’t he?” My son’s reply between deep breaths, trying to hold back the flood, was heart-wrenching: “Dumbo. Needs. Mommy!” Needless to say, we both ended up in tears. And I’ve been avoiding watching other tear-

jerkers with him, like The Fox and The Hound. As I observe empathy stir his little heart, I am reminded of my own empathetic nature. Empathy is a good thing, when it serves its intended purpose. Empathy is there to call me to act, to comfort, to aid, to suffer alongside, to defend another person. What troubles me is that I do not act. I do not reach out. I do not help. I blame it on shyness, but truthfully, it’s fear. I see another person hurting and I hurt with them, yes. I long “to reach out and touch another human being not just with my hands but with my heart,” as TaherehMafi says. But do I? No. I refrain. I hold back. I stuff the emotions back down inside of me, hide myself within my introversion, and pray that someone else will come along and do what I don’t. How foolish! And why?Because they might reject me? So what if they do? At least I will have tried. The point isn’t to be accepted. The goal is to offer consolation, support, encouragement, and other tangible needs. And so, the common thread running through my thoughts as I mull over and carefully choose my resolutions is “Stop [just] talking and start doing.” I will look up from my introspection to notice those who are suffering. I may not feel that I have much to offer, but I will offer what I do have. Like Rodney on Robots, I will adopt Bigweld’s slogan, “See a need, fill a need!”

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Think you’re tired at the end of the day? Try walking a mile in the shoes of 70 year old employees and business owners. While the sight of a working senior citizen may evoke compassion or concern in the younger work force, a few local seniors say they wouldn’t have it any other way. Paula and Chuck Barber, owners of St. Benedict Street Market and Café, can’t imagine permanent retirement. “What would you do,” wondered Paula at the idea. “Watch TV all day?” Chuck agreed, “People every day say, ‘you work too hard Chuck,’ but I say, ‘what would I do?’ And that’s the truth. What would we do? We don’t need this to live but we love it.” After they initially retired in 1995 in Denver, Colorado, they lived their dream of sailing around the world for over two years. They returned to Shawnee when Paula’s father fell ill. They started the business and ten years later, the Barbers are still working in their early 70’s. Hard work has always been a way of life and a heritage. “Chuck’s father was a plumber and worked all his life, my dad was in the oil business as a tool pusher.” Allan King, a 70 year old Walmart employee, isn’t bitter about working in his late years. When he retired from Kam-Ray, an Oklahoma City company that manufactures parts for the well industry, he thought he would work at home on his own lathe where he still makes lamps and does metal work. “The economy went the wrong direction when I retired and I needed to supplement my income. I filled out an application and 24 hours later, they called me in. I thought I would have a hard time, but I enjoy it.” The fast-moving sales associate helps customers find products and enjoys working with customers. Despite an early bad experience when he was assaulted, he didn’t quit. “He was probably fifty years old. He had an attitude and got mad at me when I didn’t have an answer. I’d just started out there. He told me he was going to get a manager and he’d have my job. I told him I didn’t really care and he body-blocked me into the racks. It cut my arm,” he said with a laugh. In spite of a heart attack last April, he returned to work two weeks later because he believed it was good for his

Anja Grissom

Allan King, Walmart employee

health. As to how he feels about working as a financial necessity he said, “I have no problem working, I enjoy doing a good job. Any situation I’m in is my responsibility. If things hadn’t gone the way they did when I retired, I would have been working in my shop. I’d be working no matter what; I wouldn’t be sitting around doing nothing.” Kate Joyce, Director of the Senior Citizen’s Center in Shawnee and Thixie Totty, Director of Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) said there are other reasons seniors work. “So many of them are having to raise their own grandchildren or having to be financially involved in their lives,” said Totty. “It’s a huge issue in this country. They can’t raise them and live on social security.” Joyce said with a laugh, “My assistant is 68 and she told me works because she liked living indoors. What would you do all day anyway? When you quit doing things, your body quits and you die. We’ve got 15-20 volunteers here and they take as much pride in volunteering here as they did with their jobs.” Totty said a lot of seniors have reservations about the future of medical and social security benefits. “I’m blessed to be at the age where I can work and draw social security. I’m putting back money because I’m afraid the government will take away benefits for the elderly. A lot of them work to have medical insurance and because they’re getting very nervous about their future, and they rightly should.” Totty said she also works as an outlet and there are lots of reasons seniors work: pride in their labor, added financial security, family obligations, or as a means to keep active. Whatever the provocation, these hard workers have a strong work ethic, and a good attitude as they live their lives to fullest.


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Event: Shawnee Lions Club 8th Annual Chili Feast Location: First Baptist Church, 227 N. Union Ave. Date: Thursday, January 24th, 2013 Time: 11:00 โ€“ 1:30 and 4:00 โ€“ 7:00

All proceeds go to benefit the following community projects: Lions Club Park, Boys Ranch, Eye Glasses Program.

Bring the Family! Thursday, January 24th

Tickets can be purchased for $6 each at the following local Lions Club member businesses: Shelter Insurance โ€“ Jason Downs/Kristin Ludi /)BSSJTPOt Communications Federal Credit Union 8UIt Neal Martin Law Offices /#SPBEXBZt Kirk Hoster Optometry /,JDLBQPPt


From Retirement to Record Books

Free Tutoring Program

A

sundays 9:30 & 11:30 101 e main s 405.273.7779

s Will Rogers Elementary students return to the spring semester, about thirty of them will also return to Frontline Church for a free, after school tutoring program. Fifth grade teacher at Will Rogers, Courtney Anderson, developed the program last summer and said it has been a delightful success since it launched in September. The program pairs a volunteer with a compatible student and coincides with the school’s curriculum and subject emphasis. Everything from homework to concepts a student isn’t grasping form the direction for that student’s tutoring session. “We had a girl in fourth grade here who improved her benchmark tests by 19 points. She wasn’t reading on a fourth grade level before but now she is. That has a lot to do with our title one teachers at Will Rogers,

by: Mindy Wood

her classroom teacher and the reading specialist [who tutors]. It’s amazing to see that much growth in someone.” The first-year teacher almost didn’t stay in Shawnee to begin her teaching career but when a sermon about the meaning of Christian service struck a chord in her faith, she reconsidered. “I never really knew what it mean to serve but, for some reason, that day it just kind of clicked. I actually was going to take a job in McKinney, Texas, but I felt like I needed to turn it down and stay in Shawnee. I started applying at Shawnee Public Schools, even though I hadn’t planned to do that. I ended up with two interviews and decided to go to Will Rogers. I felt a strong calling to be here.” Over the summer, the idea for a free tutoring program seemed to answer that call to service. www.shawneeoutlook.com

13


continued from pg. 13

“All the kids that come enjoy it. They’re always asking me if it’s time for tutoring. The excitement on their faces when it’s a tutoring day is wonderful and shows me how much of a success it is. We just need more volunteers.”

“There’s lots of tutors out there that charge and a lot of parents can’t afford that. So I wanted to do something that was a service to those kids and their parents. I talked to Kylie Teape, Pastor Trey’s wife, about it and she said it was something he’d always wanted to do too. She told me to get it organized and come up with a plan.”

Every other Tuesday from 3:15 to 5:30, students gather for a snack and a short video. After they unwind, they form into two groups: one group does team building games while the other group begins their tutoring session. Then the groups switch so both groups experience tutoring and team building games. The ratio of student to volunteers is 2 to 1. “I don’t think we could ever exceed 2 on 1 because there are a lot of our kids who have to have one-on-one. I can’t give that tutor another child. We have about 1520 regular volunteers that come consistently. The greater the program grows, the more volunteers we’re going to need.” All volunteers are required to pass a background check. Among their volunteers are two retired teachers, a reading specialist, five Shawnee Public School system teachers from Will Rogers, Wilson Early Learning Center and Grove. Not all the volunteers are teachers. “There are people with all different kinds of occupations. We have OBU students and a police officer that volunteers. He’s married to a fourth grade teacher at Grove,” she said. “He’s great at creating relationships with those boys.” While not all the students who seek Frontline’s program need academic help, they are all

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learning values like respect, good sportsmanship, and honesty to name a few. “When I talked to my volunteers I told them, ‘You have to create relationships with these kids. They’re not going to want to learn from you until they get to know you and see that you care.’ Some kids might not learn anything academically but they might build relationships with people when they don’t have good relationships outside the school. They don’t have anyone they look up to or anyone who can set a good example to them. I see that a lot,” said Anderson. Plans for the program to grow depend on volunteer participation. They hope to offer the program to all schools in the Shawnee district but with that will come the need for a larger facility. For now the most important thing to Anderson and her team at Frontline is that they serve these children and their families. “All the kids that come enjoy it. They’re always asking me if it’s time for tutoring. The excitement on their faces when it’s a tutoring day is wonderful and shows me how much of a success it is. We just need more volunteers.” For more information contact Frontline Church at 405-273-7779 or email canderson@ frontlinechurch.tv

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TRUE LOVE WOULDN't try to HOLD YOU BACK Citizen Potawatomi Nation Family Violence Program www.cpnhouseofhope.org 405.275.3176 16

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We proudly serve all victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and human trafficking regardless of race, age, gender, sexuality or economic status. National Domestic Violence Hotline 800.799.7233 National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800.656.4673


dancing her way to the top by: Mindy Wood

A trip to New York City and an opportunity to take part in the 2012 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was a dream come true for Shawnee High School senior, Brighton Jo Kathol. Kathol represented the “Spirit of America Production” consisting of dancers from select studios and high schools across the country. In order to be a part of the parade, the candidate had to be a member of an All-American Dance Team and captain of their high school dance team. Kathol holds both titles at Shawnee High School. “I loved New York,” she said, “and I want to go back. I made a lot of new friends. New York is so full of life and bright lights and Times Square is so amazing. I was able to stay a week and go shopping, sightseeing and the chance to see a couple of Broadway shows.” Prior to arriving in NYC, each participant

had to learn the dance routine from a video they received. During the week, the group had hours of rehearsals and then a full dress rehearsal on Wednesday morning. “Their group, Spirit of America, was fortunate to get to open and close the parade,” said Stephanie Kathol, Brighton’s mother. “They performed their routine in front of Macy’s and then took the subway back around to the beginning of the parade route and walked two and a half miles through Central Park West and 78th street to 34th and 7th and ended it with Santa.” While there, Kathol went to the musical Bring it On. “It had some life lessons that really spoke to me,” she said. “And when I saw the Rockettes in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, it challenged me to be a better dancer. They are so incredible. To be a part of the Rock-

ettes is something I would really like to do.” Kathol started her dance career at the age of 18 months in a “Mommy and Me” class. “And from there, I never stopped,” she said. “I just kept moving up to the next level and continued on taking advanced classes until I began dancing competitively.” Clogging is her favorite dance, and she has a wall filled with awards from various competitions. “I also do jazz, lyrical and hip-hop,” Kathol said, “I used to be really shy but dance and performing on stage helped me to become more out-going.” Valedictorian of her class, Kathol has a bright future in academics as well. “When I graduate,” she said, “my plans are to go to the University of Nebraska at Lincoln where I hope to get on the Pom Squad. But that’s not all I want to do, I love math and science and plan to www.shawneeoutlook.com

> 17


continued from pg. 17

continue my studies in that area.” Donna Houston, Guidance Counselor at Shawnee High School, writes, “Brighton is an excellent student. She’s one of the most responsible, focused students I’ve had the privilege to work with in my twenty years as a guidance counselor.” Kathol said, “My parents have been my role models. They support me and guide me in the right direction and encourage me to exceed my limits. My brother, Creighton, has also been beside me through hours and hours of practices, recitals and competitions.” Kathol trains at the Seminole Dance Company. She greatly admires her dance teacher, Darana Davis. “She’s an amazing person and cares for each and every one of her students and wants the best for us and to see us succeed to our fullest potential.” Darana S. Davis said, “Brighton is an outstanding dancer as well as an impeccable team member. She exemplifies hard work, determination and success with a kindness that is beyond description. I am so proud and blessed to have witnessed her growing up and expect nothing but more success from her in the future.” Kathol is president of Tri-Hi-Y, an all girls

group sponsored by the YMCA. “The purpose for this organization is to serve in the community any way we can whether it’s running a soup kitchen or helping out with Supper with Santa.” She was also able to participate in “Spread the Spirit” which is a community service-based program of the Spirit of American Productions.

They were able to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy with everyday essential items. “Being in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a once in a lifetime experience,” Kathol said. “I feel very fortunate, and grateful and truly blessed to have been a part of it. I really believe ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’”

We’ve Made Our Move! First National Bank & Trust Co. is pleased to announce we have opened our NEW

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Lobby: Monday – Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Drive Thru: Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

(405) 878-4877

The grocery store ATM will remain operational for your convenience.

w w w. f n b o k l a . c o m 18

www.shawneeoutlook.com

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comes to Shawnee by: Mindy Wood

January 10, eighth grade students at Shawnee Middle School will spend the day with local businesses and entrepreneurs from Pottawatomie County. Junior Achievement of Oklahoma, Inc supplied more than twenty volunteers with hands on learning materials to prepare students for economic success in a global economy. The 100 year old organization is “dedicated to educating students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy through experiential programs.” They bring the “real world” to the classroom as volunteers share their own personal stories in the workplace and within their educational experiences. Volunteers play games, facilitate discussion and team building behaviors that teach program objectives. While the JA tailors programs from kindergarten to high school, they also work with each school to emphasize the curriculum direction for that year. “The JA Economics for Success program is for middle school students which has a lesson for career selection,” said Lezlie Carter, Program Manager for JA of Oklahoma. “It’s based on self knowledge of their own skills, interests and values that helps students find a career that works best for each student. In lesson two there’s a great game that helps them identify the link between personal finance, education, and your career options. Through a game, that helps them apply decision making to their education and career decisions while seeing the link of how typically furthering your education increases

your income. It shows them that building a budget is different for everyone by building a budget based on different careers, net income, and making the best financial decisions to provide their needs and wants at the level of income available to them.” According to a JA study, middle school is a very impressionable age. “The JA Graduation Pathway studies show that the highest impact years for influencing kids’ decisions regarding continuing education is in middle grade years. These are critical years and that’s why I’m so glad to bring this to the students in Shawnee. They have to recognize that if they want that big career, they have to get the education that’s required to get to that point. It helps them connect the dots to see how they can reach their goals and that they can reach their goals. They just need to plan for it.” Among participating businesses and organizations are: Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Vision Bank, Finley & Cook, CPN Tribal Youth, CPN Realty, Big Brothers Big Sisters, First National Bank, KGFF Radio, Andreini & Company, Tinker Feder-

al Credit Union, and the Shawnee Outlook Magazine. Tina Pollard, Consumer Lending Coordinator for Citizen Potawatomi Community Development Corporation, helped organize the volunteers. “As a financial professional, I am excited about the work of Junior Achievement. It is important to teach young people about personal finance before they develop their spending habits.” Carter is thrilled to see a good volunteer turnout. “Having the volunteers in the classroom makes all the difference in the world,” said Carter. “It not only opens the students eyes to all the different careers available to them, specifically in their community, but it also helps them see the relevancy of what’s happening in the classroom. They get to share their experiences, which brings those lessons to life. The things they’re talking about that day, they can see, yes, what their teacher is teaching them is important and, yes, they’re going to use it in the real world.” For information about Junior Achievement of Oklahoma visit www.oklahoma.ja.org or ja.org. Contact Lezlie Carter at 405-235-3399

Shawnee Clinic

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www.shawneeoutlook.com

21


Keep the Change

What Is Your New Year’s Resolution?

by: John Ayers

Shawnee Outlook would like to thank the teachers and students of Shawnee’s Will Rogers Elementary School for shedding some light on infamous resolutions. Special thanks to Principal Jackie Noble and third grade teachers’ Mandy Sawyer, Karen Parker and Maggie Prater. They asked their students “What Is Your New Year’s Resolution?” HINT: Their answers had nothing to do with losing weight.

Front row, L to R: Alexandra Smith, Tallulah Bates, Eliana Grass, Ashlyn Roberson, and Princella Smith Back row, L to R: Kai Skelly, Jakin Teape, Cassly Sullen, Kayleigh Jesse, Kati Jordan, and Braden Richardson

“Watch TV everyday till next year. Listen to my parents. Read Harry Potter 3 times. Raise money for the homeless.” Jakin Teape “Help people that don’t have a home and give them food. If people are not happy, I’m not happy.” Ashlyn Roberson “To help decorate the New Year’s Eve party.” Kai Skelly “I will have the best days ever and a great year too!” Kayeigh Jesse “I will gain 20 pounds in 2013. I will eat a big pizza.” Princella Smith “I will support our good country, our planet and support my great family.” Braden Richardson

22

www.shawneeoutlook.com

“I will do great deeds all around my neighborhood. If someone gets hurt, I will help them up and say, “‘it will be all okay’. I will help people who have cancer and who are sick. I will be generous to others around me.’” Alexandra Smith “In 2013, I will not be bad.” Kati Jordan “To donate a lot of stuff to homeless people…..and to own a lot of horse stuff.” Tallulah Bates “To take a shower every single day before I go to bed.” Cassly Sullen “To learn Sac and Fox and Creek languages. Also I want to be a good sister to my brothers. I also want to start to be healthy.” Love, Eliana Grass

New Year New Budget Happy New Year! In thinking of resolutions, if a budget is not something to which you regularly adhere, I would urge you make that a priority going into 2013. For those who have shunned the practice, feeling a budget is too restrictive, I’d like to point to financial advisor Dave Ramsey who quotes, “A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.” Remember – you are the boss of your money, so act like it! Where do you start? First, establish a budgeting program, either on-line (at sites such as mint. com), or via software (such as Microsoft’s Quicken), or even something as basic as a pre-designed Excel spreadsheet or an old-fashioned pen and paper. Whatever you are comfortable with that makes the task easiest for you – that’s the best way to go. Next, determine the amount of income in your home – every dime that comes in should be included. The first thing deducted should be charitable contributions and regular bills. Gather a couple months’ bills to help you in determining what would be a normal amount for things such as utilities. After these are subtracted, determine how much, from what remains, should be used toward groceries and regular expenses. Make it a challenge to keep this number low by shopping sales, using coupons, eating at home and cutting unnecessary money-grabbers. Finally, if you have any money left over, apply it toward any debt you may have – make debt-free living a goal! Every month, you should be working toward a zero-based budget – telling every penny where it should go before you spend – even if that means a few of those pennies are going toward wants, rather than needs. Remember, it’s okay to “splurge” – just make sure you write it in the budget before it happens!

Angela Rowland is an OBU graduate and a stay-at-home mother of three. She enjoys finding new ways to stretch the paycheck and even posts some of her favorite tips and deals on her blog (steadfaststeward.blogspot.com)


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Civil Rights Leader Among Us by: John Ayers

Someone said that, “The ultimate expression of generosity is not in giving of what you have, but in giving of who you are.” If you were to ask certain people across the state who that reminds them of, no doubt they’d say Sam Vasquez. In 2003, then Governor Brad Henry appointed Vasquez, a Shawnee resident, to the Oklahoma Human Rights Commission (OHRC). He was confirmed by the senate and went on to serve for six years. As a Hispanic, he served with distinction and brought to the commission a unique cultural perspective that proved valuable time and time again. OHRC was enacted in 1963 – the brainchild of then Governor Henry Bellmon as a result of the civil rights movement taking hold throughout the nation. America was facing tumultuous times and the Oklahoma legislature developed legislation to effectively mandate the “removal of friction, eliminate discrimination, civil rights violations, and promote unity and understanding among all the people of Oklahoma.” Congress, too, would eventually pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. As a member of the OHRC, Vasquez was more than qualified. His military experiences and Hispanic background turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Like many Hispanics, he experienced early hardships yet went on to acquire valuable skills. Most of which he used to help his fellow man. In the early days and like others, “I bailed hay and harvested the tomato, potato, and beans fields. I didn’t want to follow that path and prayed to God to point me in the right direction. He did and I joined the United States Military,” said Vasquez. He served three years active duty followed by 34 years in the Oklahoma National Guard. His career leaned towards law enforcement and

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civil rights issues were never far behind. He eventually became chairman of the Citizens Advisory Board for the Oklahoma City Police Department designed to review formal complaints against the department. He also worked for other departments throughout the state and he acquired quite a reputation for helping others. Being Hispanic combined with military and civil service skills were his biggest asset. Judges and attorneys began seeking his services to translate for Hispanic families who faced legal uncertainties. Police and Highway Patrol departments requested translation assistance as well. Vasquez began acquiring a reputation among the Hispanic community when help was needed. “Hispanics wanted to abide by the law but didn’t know where to turn. If it was a driver’s license, I’d go with them and translate; helping them through the process,” said Vasquez. The Mexican Consulate out of Little Rock, Arkansas befriended Vasquez while traveled through Shawnee. Following that encounter, “Hispanics who contacted the consulate where given my name and number,” he said. “I was traveling all over the state helping any way I could.” “Some Hispanics aren’t apt to go to a police officer and state their complaint. We had three Hispanics on the commission. Because of our associations – and the fact we were Hispanic ourselves – people knew they could come to us. We were their voice in the community. We brought any complaints to the commission meetings and gave them to the deputy chief for investigation.” Several agencies and organizations took advantage of Vasquez’s skills in dealing with Hispanic communities; yet volunteering his services to others fell on deaf ears. “When I retired from civil

service in 1990, I tried to get involved in Shawnee. I wanted to help my community and submitted a resume to the chamber and the mayor at the time. I never heard back,” he said. “One thing that got to me, I knew the base in San Antonio was closing and were transplanting workers to Oklahoma. Knowing the majority of them were Hispanic, I wanted to put together a team to go down and promote Shawnee. But it never happened. “Later my wife and I ran into some of these people at various functions around the state. They told me had they known about Shawnee at the time, they would have gotten a house here.” Ultimately that was how I got involved in Oklahoma City and the Human Rights Commission.” In June of 2012, OHRC gaveled the meeting to a close for the last time, ending a 50 year reign of the commission. The Legislature passed a bill merging the OHRC into the Oklahoma Attorney General’s office. It called for the creation of a new Office of Civil Rights Enforcement in the AG’s office, henceforth the AG was to protect and defend civil rights under Oklahoma law, effectively eliminated the OHRC as an independent state agency. Although he cherishes the time served on the commission and is saddened that the commission no longer exist, he continues to be a voice to those in need. His lifetime of volunteerism has truly made a lasting difference in the lives of many families throughout Oklahoma.

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15 Years of Service T h e D u n b a r Ass o c i a t i o n by: Mindy Wood

The vision and virtue of Martin Luther King, Jr. helped a segregated nation find its way to integration. His early work in the Civil Rights Movement plowed hard ground but today the harvest is still coming up. This month in Shawnee, the Dunbar Association celebrates his memory. Formed fifteen years ago, the Dunbar Association continues pursuing their community goals. The Dunbar area is one of the oldest sectors of the community, running along Farrall St from highway 177 to Bryan St. Among its early founders were the late Rev. Finis Scott of Galilee Baptist church, deacons Hirman Ryan and Louie Edwards, Warren Thomas, Ricky Sanders, James Jackson and former Oklahoma Representative, Kris Steele. Their vision contains a ten point plan that tackles the socioeconomic issues of the downtown area as it specifically relates to the Dunbar Heights area in Shawnee. Renown business leader in Oklahoma, Thomas said he was drawn to the area after seeing the affects of urbanization. His efforts were responsible for the cultivation and attraction of business along I-40 and Kickapoo. He said in a small way, that contributed to the effects small businesses experienced south of Shawnee. As part of a long family tradition of giving back to communities, Thomas said he wanted to do something about it. “We got involved in the leadership of the revitalization of downtown Shawnee,” said Thomas. “We purchased the Masonic building, we recruited a friend to purchase the Aldridge hotel and bought the Federal National Building from BancFirst. Dunbar Heights is adjacent to downtown. They’re part of that downtown body and if a part of your body is hurt, then the whole body suffers. We’re all part of the same commu26

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nity. We wanted to go downtown and help put together a group to reverse the damage of urbanization.” A study several years ago revealed that the highest rates of high school drop outs, teen pregnancy, single parent families, and the highest number of households in poverty were in the Dunbar area. The Dunbar Association began tacking those issues. Among their objectives in a ten point plan were: bringing churches together, facilitating entrepreneurship and a business incubator, recreation, and quality of life improvements. Kris Steele reflected on those efforts when he was awarded recognition at their October meeting. “We wanted to clean up the parks and make the neighborhoods functional and useful, create common places where people could spend time together and have fellowship and where events could take place. We worked to raise awareness, worked to celebrate events that commemorate our state’s Black History and the contributions that African Americans have made to Oklahoma. We tackle the social issues and the barriers that exist in our community when it comes to individuals reaching their fullest potential.” Steele hopes to see barriers come down through united participation from all sectors of the community. “My experience in working with the Dunbar Heights community group has opened my eyes to some of the very real barriers that still exist. Some of it is, intentional and some of it is unintentional. We can get stuck in our world. We want to try to break down some of those barriers, one relationship at a time. We’ve had projects where the community gathered as a whole to assist them in meeting these needs and figuring out how to successfully

implement initiatives that move us in a direction we need to go.” The 501 (c)3 organization tackled projects that included beautification efforts in planting red bud trees, mowing the grass along Farrall St., trash clean up, and caring for the elderly and needy in unique ways. “Some years we painted two or three houses and one year we painted eight,” said former president, Hiram Ryan. “After we started doing that, Lowe’s and Kmart supplied the paint. We bought a Kubota tractor and mowed yards for the elderly and we still do that for free. We’ve put in handrails for the handicapped in their bathrooms, built ramps, put in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide testers. We’ve also trimmed bushes and trees and had stop signs put in too.” Several area businesses, civic groups and public servants have contributed time, donations, and effort to the work. Everyone agreed that those efforts inspired pride in the area and hope for the future. With an aging membership, they are seeking more participation. “Most of our members are retired now,” said Ryan. “We really need more young people to come alongside us. You can get a lot more done when you have a group show up to help.” This month the Dunbar Association will host it’s annual MLK Day celebration January 13th from 3:00pm to 4:30pm at Union Baptist Church, 711 E. Farrall St. Kris Steele will open with prayer, area church choirs and keynote speaker, Pastor David Young of St. Jude Church from Oklahoma City will be present. Long time member and acting president, Dorothy Cook said, “Dr. King had the dream and we just want to carry that dream and keep it alive.” For more information, call 275-3999.


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Events

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chairperson is Michelle O’Bright. “As in years past, the theme for this year’s Red Carpet event is based around one of the most distinctive hotels on the Vegas Strip,” O’Bright said. “Guests will be transformed to Treasure Island and will enjoy all the swash-buckling, pirate-style fun we have to offer!” In addition to a fun-filled, red-carpet event, participants will receive their own Red Carpet photos, the ever-fun flip books, and other fun treasures to commemorate the evening. Doors open at 6:30 pm. Individual tickets may be purchased for $65 each, $125 a couple, or $500 for a reserved table of eight. And sponsorships are still available. For ticket or sponsorship information, please call Outland at 405321-0591, email her at robin.outland@redcross. org, visit our FaceBook page: Operation Relief: Shawnee, or visit our website at http://www. redcross.org/news/event/Operation-ReliefSHAWNEE. “Your participation and/or sponsorship will help prepare individuals to save a life; help deliver an urgent message to a service member oversees; or provide food, shelter and clothing to a family who just lost their home to a house fire,” Greenwalt said. “We hope you will join the fun and help support this great cause.”

feb1

It’s never a good idea to gamble with disaster. That’s why the American Red Cross will hold its annual Operation Relief: Shawnee ALL BETS ON RED fundraiser January 26, 2013 at the Grand Casino Hotel and Resort in Shawnee. “Operation Relief is a fabulous and fun event benefiting the American Red Cross,” said Jason Greenwalt, board chairman. It will feature Vegas-styled entertainment, tournament-styled games of chance, dancing, drinks, food and silent and live auctions. “Most of all,” Greenwalt said, “Operation Relief provides much needed funds so the American Red Cross can prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies right here in our community.” “Each and every day, the Red Cross mission touches lives,” said executive director Robin Outland. “The Red Cross is there for our community 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and we could not be there without the support of our communities.” Outland said the Red Cross is not a governmental agency, as some people think, but relies on the generosity of the American public to meet its humanitarian mission each day. Red Cross volunteers in Pottawatomie, Seminole and Lincoln counties had a very active 2012. In Pottawatomie County, volunteers responded to 37 house fires, 8 mass care events. Mass care means volunteers responded to provide water, snacks and possibly meals to a large number of people including residents and firefighters during a disaster. Most of the mass care calls are for grass fires. Volunteers in Seminole County responded to 15 house fires, an apartment fire and helped at 3 mass care calls. For Lincoln County, volunteers responded 14 house fires and provided mass care for 28 events. In addition to disaster services, the Red Cross has a very active program called Services to the Armed Forces (SAF). Between Pottawatomie, Lincoln and Seminole counties, SAF staff and volunteers handle around 10 emergency communication services each month. These communications are only done through the Red Cross to get information to serving military members. Last year the event raised $49,000 and this year the goal is $52,000. Returning as the event

jan13

All Bets on red

Jan. 13th: MLK Day Celebration from 3:00pm to 4:30 pm at Union Baptist Church, 711 Farrall St. Pastor David Young of OKC’s Saint Jude Church will be the keynote speaker and choirs from local churches will be performing. Jan. 15th: High school students can brace for the ACT tests. Shawnee Public Library will host a “Learn-ATest” hands on computer class that provides students with the tools they need to improve their testing performance. At the PLS from 4:30-6:00pm. Registration is required and opens Jan 1st.

Jan. 18th: The Flyn’ Fiddler will perform a dueling banjo act at the Ritz Theatre in a “Praire Home Companion” style show. Starts at 7:00 pm. Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for students and seniors.

Jan. 24th: Lion’s Club Chili Feast fundraiser at First Baptist Church fellowship hall located at 227 N. Union. Lunch is from 11:30 to 1:30 and dinner from 4:30 to 7:00pm. Tickets are $6.

Jan. 26th: The annual Red Cross fundraiser, “All Bets on Red” will be hosted at the Grand Casino. Guests will enjoy live Vegas-style entertainment, full buffet and drinks. Individual tickets are $65, $125 for couples or $500 for a table of eight. Doors open at 6:30pm.

Feb. 1st: First Fridays from 5pm to 9pm welcomes the community for an evening of local artisans, artists, musicians, vendors and art projects for the whole family. FREE event located on Main St. between Oklahoma St. and Minnesota St.

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living portraits

Chasing Cloud Nine Rev. Larry Sparks wears many hats as pastor, chaplain, and occasionally a missionary. He is the Pastor of New Beginnings Church of Shawnee and Staff Chaplain at St. Anthony Shawnee Hospital. Educated at OBU and SWBT Seminary, Sparks managed supermarkets for Pratt’s as a great practical teacher. He and Vickie reside in Shawnee where they make time for their seventeen grandchildren, poetry, motorcycles and football.

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Charles “Chuck” Edwards is a unique, intelligent, articulate and adventuresome individual. Each spring he caravans his three vans loaded with thrill seekers into the pursuit of tornadoes through a many state area. This is Cloud 9 Tours, and people come from everywhere to go for a two week hunt for one of nature’s biggest threats, tornadoes. Some even arrive from other countries to witness the fury of the plains. The vans, or at least some, contain technology that is meteorological with Doppler, scanners and pin-point accurate tracking devices. I should tell you that Charles is no amateur, though amateur means doing something for the love of it. No, he is an educated meteorologist having attending Texas A&M and OU. He is indeed a trained professional. Charles is a quiet man, tall, with a “can do”, spirit that seems to put him at the highest rung on the ladder, literally. Charles was an MK (missionary kid), raised in the jungles of Columbia where his parents served as medical missionaries. Perhaps that is where the dare-to-do attitude comes from. Charles’ father, Dr. Robert Edwards, lives in Texas and his mother just passed away last year. I would be remiss if I didn’t introduce Charles’ lovely wife, Lori Binau Edwards. She is a cosmetologist where he is a meteorologist. She fixes hair, he chases air and they are a matched set. She

balances his shy demeanor with a huge smile, humor and get-to-know everyone personality. They met online and soon dated. On their first date they went to see, “The Bride of Chucky.” Soon marriage to the real “Chuck” and a fairy tale ensued and they love each other and with their 2 dogs, a cat and 2 sugar gliders, are a true family. Normally, this time of year the Edwards home can be seen from a satellite due to the “light on every limb decorations”, on the house and in the yard. This makes Clark Griswold’s home look like a campfire. This year Charles is camped out in the northeast working with FEMA to help the victims of Super Storm Sandy. So, it seems storms are being chased or cleaned up by the quiet, adventurous Charles. When the Joplin tornado hit, Charles and the team were minutes behind and witnessed the aftermath of destruction. His pictures tell the stories. Charles is an artist with a camera, revealing the scenes most of us would miss but the trained lens of Charles Edwards opens a plethora of beauty and devastation. Quietly, he sits in the sound booth at church, nimble fingers working dials of audio and visual. Everyone else is looking toward the front but I face the sound booth and see the genuine portrait of life, a Christian man, Charles “Chuck” Edwards.


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TREASURE CHEST DRAWINGS 3 drawings every Thursday in January. Earn drawing tickets for every $10 spent at registers! Cash prizes of $75, $150 and $225! See Bingo for details.



Shawnee Outlook