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For the past several years Keystone Chevrolet has partnered with Safe Kids Worldwide in an attempt to help parents and grandparents in the Sand Springs area learn the appropriate car seat for their children and how to install the car seat correctly. We are proud to announce that this year we have partnered again with Safe Kids Worldwide in the Buckle Up Program. We will be holding an event this year that is 100% free to the community. On February 18th plan to come out and visit with these amazing volunteers and drive away reassured that your child is safely secured. A quick checklist before our event: (Provided by Safe Kids Worldwide) 1. Look at the label on your car seat to make sure it's appropriate for your child's age, weight and height. 2. Your car seat has an expiration date. Find and double check the label to make sure it's stil safe. The shocking fact that 73% of all car seats are not used or installed correctly is reason enough to come make sure that you are on the right side of the percentage. You will learn tips and tricks for checking your car seat like the inch test and the pinch test. This will be a fun event! We can't wait to see you there! You can contact Safe Kids Tulsa at 918-494-SAFE
2 WeAreSandSprings.com | February 2017
Details When: Now through April 10th What:
Sand Springs First Annual Prom Dress Drive Drop off your lightly used prom dresses and formal dress-
Where: 3402 S. 113th West Ave or 20 W. 2nd Street Sand Springs, OK 74063
es to River Stone Cleaners or the We Are Sand Springs
offices. Drop off your dresses now through April 10th to
We Are Sand Springs and River Stone Clearners
help a Sandite in need. All dresses will be donated to Sand Springs students .
For: Benefitting Sand Springs Sandites
S tay Healthy S taying healthy is the name of the game this time of year in Oklahoma. With all of the drastic weather changes many of us find ourselves fighting off this annoying little thing ever yone refers to as a “BUG”. In my opini on, we should give this invasi on on our immune system a more appropriate name such as the guest of dismay. Jokes asid e, the id ea of staying healthy seems to be trendy this time of year. In 2017 I personally do have a goal to be more healthy mentally, physically, and emoti onally. Get to know the people of We Are Sand Springs: Donald Myers is a Sand Springs transplant. Born in Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii and raised in Orlando Florida. He attended Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, OK where he met his wife, Danielle Myers. After graduating from Southern Nazarene University with his bachelors in Psychology, he started with We Are Sand Springs as a website designer. Donald now handles all of the graphic design, website design, logo design and basically any other kind of design you can think of at We Are Sand Springs. If you have any questions or are interested in what he does you can contact him at:
My daughter and I are planning to run a few 5k ra c es this year together. S adly, my eight year old daughter is most likely going to be the one pulling us through in the end. She loves to run and well I love her. Our 5k experienc es this year will ser vic e all of my health goals this year.
If you would like to join us in any of our ra c es you can follow our little journeys at WhyItC ounts.com where we will tr y keep some what of a diar y of our year. I share all of this in hopes that the trendy “be more healthy” new year goal is not limited to just physical health. Taking time to create memories with the people you care about or taking the time to develop a new friendship adds health to your life.
S M T W 1 5 6 7 8 12 13 14 15 19 20 21 22 26 27 28
T 2 9 16 23
F 3 10 17 24
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Keep fighting the fight, the anti “bug” fight and stay healthy this Februar y!
S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 4 WeAreSandSprings.com | February 2017
Send us a letter or email: 20 W. 2nd Street Sand Springs, OK 74063 email@example.com 918-521-1810
In his free time, Donald enjoys reading, playing with his two beautiful daughters and watching all kinds of movies.
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Index Prom Dresses Letter from Mayor Mike Senior in the Spotlight: Daton Fix A Year of Sandwiches: Sandwich Recipe Rotary Chili Cook Off Details Basketball and Wrestling Preview Ray Brown Park USDA Rural Development Loans 74063 with Carrie S. Theatre Valentine's Day Sandites in Service: Pastor's Alliance Financial Resolutions: Eric Davidson Case Community Park
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February 2017 | WeAreSandSprings.com 5
A tale of two pastors: The first is John. John was a circuit Pastor in Virginia in 1776, one S u n d a y morning he preached to his Virginia congregation concerning the crisis then facing America. He recounted to them the history of how America had been founded in pursuit of religious and civil liberties and that they were now in danger of losing them. He then concluded with these words: In the language of holy writ (Ecclesiastes 3) there is a time for all things, a time to preach and a time to pray, but those times have passed away. Then he quoted from verse 8 : There is a time to fight - and that time has now come! He closes his Bible and takes off his robe to reveal the uniform of a military officer, he marches to the back of the church and has the drum to beat for recruits. Three Hundred men joined him and they became the Eighth Virginia Regiment. The second pastor is John’s brother Fred. Fred pastors a church in New York and upon hearing of his brother’s actions sent him a letter of correction. Fred strongly opposed what John
6 WeAreSandSprings.com | February 2017
had done. In his letter he wrote: “You would have acted for the best if you had kept out of this business from the beginning….. I now give you my thoughts in brief - I think you are wrong trying to be both soldier and preacher together.” However, John had some strong thoughts of his own, he wrote: “I am a clergyman, it is true. I am a member of society,
“The only thing necessary for evil to Triumph is for good men to do nothing.” as well as, the poorest layman. My liberty is as dear to me as to any man, shall I then sit still…? Heaven forbid it… I am called by my country in its defense - the cause is just and noble… and so far I am from thinking that I act wrong. I am convinced it is my duty so to do and duty I owe to God and my country.” John Peter Mullenburg went on to become a Major General in Washington's Army. And what of Fred? Well Fred also left his pulpit to get involved but only after the British burned his Church to the ground. He learned that if he did not get involved then he could not protect what was important to
him. The founders made every effort to help us understand that government will always reflect the values of those who are involved in it. The Reverend Matthias Burnett charged: Finally, you whose high prerogative it is to invest with office and authority, or to withhold them, and in whose power it is to save or destroy your country, consider well the important trust… which God… put into your hands. To God and posterity you are accountable for them. Let not your children have reason to curse you for giving up those rights, and prostrating those institutions which your fathers delivered to you. There were 56 signers of the Declarations of Independence, 57 framers of the constitution of which only 39 signed, 18 refused to sign without a Bill of Rights and went on to lobby and get them. At the bottom of the Bill of Rights there are only two signatures one being Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg. Edmund Burk said: “The only thing necessary for evil to Triumph is for good men to do nothing.” It's time for good men to look up at the scoreboard, leave their pew, and come down from their pulpit and enter the fray. Our Freedom still depends on it…. Lock n’ Load. -
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February 2017 | WeAreSandSprings.com 7
S E N I O R
Senior in the Spotlight highlights a handful of amazing Sandite Seniors that have truly made a point to get the most out of their High School education and experiences. We are proud to feature these amazing students!
SPOTLIGHT February’s Senior in the Spotlight is a truly outstanding young man. He has made a name for himself in the wrestling community not just in Oklahoma, not just in the United States, but all over the world. That young man is Daton Fix. Fix has enjoyed wrestling success throughout high school. He holds three state wrestling titles and will be competing for a fourth this month. He is considered one of the top wrestlers in the country and is not just internationally ranked, but internationally well-known. This past November, Fix announced that he will continue his wrestling career as a Cowboy
at Oklahoma State University. How does he prepare for both the
"The community and school’s support and understanding, and how they’ve worked with me at school [when out of the country] - I’m so grateful for that." upcoming state tournament and for wrestling at the college level this fall? He simply continues training
like always. He said it’s important to keep working hard and never become complacent, and that working overtime is key to “keep the edge on people.” Fix is looking forward to wrestling at the “next level” in college. His father, Derek Fix, was a teammate of Oklahoma State’s current wrestling coach John Smith when they were on the wrestling team in college at OSU, so Daton Fix has grown up around OSU’s program and coaches. He said two of the main differences between wrestling at the high school level and wrestling at the college level are opponent toughness and scoring. “As a senior, at high school
matches your guy is probably younger than you,” Fix said. “But not in college. Your guy is tough.” That’s a good thing for Fix he likes competition. He also said it’s harder to score in college wrestling matches and that every point is truly earned. Fix’s ultimate goal is to become an Olympic gold medalist. He’s looking toward the 2020 and 2024 Olympics to make that dream a reality. He already has quite a bit of experience wrestling abroad. Fix has wrestled in countries including Colombia, Brazil, Slovakia and China, and he said he has always returned home more grateful for what he has. “In America, we don’t always realize how it is [in other countries],” Fix said. “We take just a cold bottle of water for granted - they don’t have that everywhere.” Throughout his success, Fix’s family has helped him stay grounded. He said when he’s not wrestling he is usually hanging out with them. “My little brother and little sister keep me humble,” Fix said. Fix’s humility and love for his family are perhaps two of his most apparent attributes and most outstanding qualities. He is more humble than most ordinary people;
let alone decorated, internationally known wrestlers. And he is quick to point out how grateful he is for both his family’s and for Sand Springs’ support. “The community and school’s support and understanding, and
how they’ve worked with me at school [when out of the country] I’m so grateful for that,” Fix said. Fix is looking forward to joining the wrestling community at Oklahoma State. He said the OSU community’s support of the wrestling program is similar to the support he’s received in Sand Springs and at Charles Page High School. And growing up just an hour from Stillwater should make for an easy transition. You can catch Daton Fix in action at the Dual State Tournament February 10-11 at Shawnee’s Firelake Arena, the Regional Tournament February 1718 here in Sand Springs and the State Tournament February 2425 at the Oklahoma City State Fair Arena; and rest assured that this humble Sandite will do great things at OSU and beyond while remaining true to his roots.
February 2017 | WeAreSandSprings.com 9
Year of the Sandwich
Ingredients: 1 large portabella mushroom, stem removed 1 big slice red onion, all rings intact 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil 1/8 teaspoon salt 3 dashes ground thyme 1 stick light string cheese 1 tablespoon fat-free mayonnaise Dash cayenne pepper 1 flat sandwich bun 1 teaspoon light whipped butter or light buttery spread, room temperature 2 dashes garlic powder 1 slice tomato 1/2 cup shredded lettuce Directions: Coat mushroom and onion with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and thyme to taste. Bring a large skillet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray to medium-high heat on the stove. Place the mushroom in the pan, round side down, along with the onion, side by side. Cook for 5 minutes without flipping. Meanwhile, pull string cheese into pieces and set aside. Season mayo with cayenne pepper to taste; mix well and set aside. Flip the mushroom and onion in the pan. Top the mushroom evenly with cheese, and cook for another 5 minutes or until cheese and veggies have softened. Remove from pan and set aside. Split the bun and spread the inside of each half with butter. Sprinkle with garlic powder. Place bun halves in the pan, still over medium-high heat, buttered sides down (or toast bun halves in a toaster oven). Once warm and toasty, after 1 to 2 minutes, remove and plate with buttered sides up. Spread the buttered side of the bun's top half with mayo, and set aside. Place mushroom on the bottom half of the bun; top with onion, tomato and lettuce. Top with the top half of the bun and enjoy!
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February 2017 | WeAreSandSprings.com 13
Sand Springs Rotary's Annual Chili Cookoff Held at the Case Community Center is always a community favorite. Our Rotarians who have battled in the past for bragging rights to the best batch of Chili will be at it again for their name on the 1st place trophy! Come out and join us. Tickets are available from any Sand Springs Rotarian or join us at one of our meetings!
Case Community Center February 24th, 2017 @ 11:00am
14 WeAreSandSprings.com | February 2017
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February 2017 | WeAreSandSprings.com 15
SAND S BASKE Feb. 14 vs Muskogee
Feb. 17 @ Bixby Feb. 24 - Regional Tourn.
Head Coach: Eric Savage The Sand Springs boys basketball team is unranked in class 6A as of February 6. The Sandites have four games left in the regular season - at Broken Arrow February 7, Homecoming versus Bartlesville February 10, Senior Night versus Muskogee February 14 and at Bixby February 17. The regional tournament begins February 24.
SAND S WRES Feb. 17-18 - Regional Tourn. Feb. 24-25 - State Tourn.
Wrestling Head Coach: Kelly Smith The Sand Springs wrestling team ended the regular season undefeatedBasketball in duals and ranked first in class 6A in both dual and tournament standings. The Sandites
PRINGS TBALL Girls Basketball
Feb. 14 vs Muskogee Feb. 17 @ Bixby
Head Coach: Dustin Morrow
Feb. 24 - Regional Tourn.
The Sand Springs girls basketball team is having an outstanding season. As of February 6, the girls are ranked third in class 6A and have a record of 16-1. In addition, the Lady Sandites have been invited to play in the prestigious Tournament of Champions in Tulsa next season, which hosts the best teams in the state from all class sizes. There are only four games left this season - Broken Arrow, Bartlesville, Muskogee and Bixby - all teams the girls have already beaten this year.
PRINGS TLING (17-0) are now preparing for the Dual State Tournament February 10-11 at Shawneeâ€™s Firelake Arena. The Regional Tournament is February 17-18 in Sand Springs, and the State Tournament is February 24-25 at the Oklahoma City State Fair Arena.
18 WeAreSandSprings.com | February 2017
Ray Brown Park
Check out this fun photo of the new playground and artificial grass area, and make sure to head over and see it for yourself! (courtesy photo) Have you been to Ray Brown Park recently? The City of Sand Springs just finished improvements to it! The improvements include new playground features, artificial grass play areas and custom concrete. They were made with $37,000 in privately funded gifts to Sand Springs Park Friends and the City of Sand Springs. “The updates include two distinct play sets for children ages five to 12 and toddlers ages two to five,” Parks Facilities Manager Jeff Edwards said in a statement. “This makes Ray Brown Park the only park in Sand Springs with such features.” An anonymous donor reportedly provided $32,000 and community leader Montie Box reportedly provided $5,000 for the project. City staff contributed over $20,000 in labor and materials over a span of several months to complete the project, totaling $59,819. “It was important to update this neighborhood park to meet new maintenance standards,” Edwards said in the statement. “The artificial grass areas provide a safe play surface and new custom concrete offers multi-tiered seating.” These updates to Ray Brown Park follow a recent trail addition and split rail fencing completed in 2014 with community volunteers and staff during a Help Your Park Environment (HYPE) cleanup event. The newest improvements come just in time for spring. Gather up the kids on our next unseasonably warm and sunny day and head over to the park for a picnic and an afternoon of fun on the new playground and artificial grass areas. For more information on Ray Brown Park or other city parks, visit the City of Sand Springs’ website at www. sandspringsok.org, and join us in sending a big “thank-you” to the generous anonymous donor, Montie Box and city staff! February 2017 | WeAreSandSprings.com 19
USDA RURAL DEVELOPMENT
re you aware? As of January 12, portions of Sand Springs are now eligible for U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development loans, which will bring low cost USDA homeowner financing to our community for the first time in history. The news was announced at a press conference hosted by the Sand Springs Chamber of Commerce on January 19. “An announcement like this has been personally, for me, a long time coming,” said Kenny Tate, a Keller Williams realtor and member of the board of the Sand Springs Chamber of Commerce. Tate spoke at the conference about a young couple who came to him in December of 2009 wanting to buy a house in Sand Springs. This couple was able to make monthly payments but had little money to spend on a down payment. The Rural Development zero dollars down program was available in a neighboring community at the time, which allowed this couple to purchase a home in that community. Similar situations have persuaded other Sand Springs families to move to surrounding communities that were eligible for Rural Development loans. The Sand Springs
Chamber of Commerce, along with Alan Ringle of Ringle Development, City Councilman Phil Nollan and other local developers, has been working to gain eligibility in this program for some time now. In fact, Tate said it was the chamber’s number one economic development priority for 2016. A window of opportunity opened this past year, and Sand Springs’ eligibility for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Loan Program has been secured. Well done chamber! Tate said this program has brought tremendous opportunities to buyers, sellers and builders in surrounding communities, and now we will have the same economic development opportunities right here in Sand Springs. “This is a really exciting opportunity for new construction,” Tate said. USDA Oklahoma Single Family Housing Program Director Tommy Earls said the maps the USDA used to identify areas eligible for rural development loans were very crude in the past. He said technology advancements made a big difference in updating the maps, but the USDA isn’t always aware of any issues with the maps unless residents of certain areas let them know. “Until people like you make us aware that there are
questions [with the map], we don’t question what was done in the past,” Earls said. After the USDA was made aware of map eligibility issues with Sand Springs and other areas in Oklahoma, the map was revised. Earls said that in addition to areas in Sand Springs, parts of Verdigris, Jones, Spencer and Arcadia, among others, are now eligible for Rural Development loans. He said the USDA is open to revising eligibility maps if they are made aware of an issue. Earls said Sand Springs worked through the map revision process to gain Rural Development loan eligibility quickly. In fact, Sand Springs heard back from the USDA national office in record time thanks to the chamber’s efforts. Tate said the areas eligible for this program include all of the area that sits outside city limits but inside the fence line of Sand Springs. This includes about 100 square miles in both Tulsa and Osage counties. To put it simply, the areas of Sand Springs that “made sense” are now eligible for Rural Development loans. There are two types of loans available to Sand Springs home buyers: Single Family Housing Direct Loans and Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loans. The direct loan program allows families of up to four that make up to $49,000 a
year to qualify for 100 percent mortgage financing with a loan limit of $220,000 at a 3.25 percent interest rate and no down payment. The guaranteed loan program allows higher-income families to qualify for 100 percent mortgage financing and no down payment. This program has no loan limits and is less restricting. For example, homeowners with a Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan can install an in-ground swimming pool. “This covers a really big group...it’s a huge opportunity for us,” Tate said. Tate said this program is available inside city limits in some nearby communities. He said that though it might be difficult, Sand Springs is continuing to work through the state legislature to get the area inside Sand Springs city limits eligible for the program. “We are thrilled with what we have, but we will continue to fight for more,” Tate said. Visit https://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov/eligibility/ to learn more about the Rural Development loan program and to view a map of eligible areas.
February 2017 | WeAreSandSprings.com 21
Coach Carrie Schlehuber
Carrie Schlehuber is a name many know around town. She is a lifelong Sandite, raising 3 children as 4th generation Sandites. Carrie has worked as a speech-language pathologist and special education teacher in SS for 15 years. She is currently the Secondary Special Education Coordinator overseeing all special education services for our 9th-12th grades. Along with her position in SS, Carrie is also a director for a camp called Make Promises Happenan outdoor adventure camp for individuals with disabilities. This February marks Carrieâ€™s one year anniversary as the Sand Springs Varsity Cheer Coach. With many more to follow. This year her 22 WeAreSandSprings.com | February 2017
squad consisted of 15 girls in 10th12th grades, who cheered for all football and basketball games. As well as bringing up 4 freshmen to compete with Varsity. Currently Carrie and her girls are gearing up for their last pepassembly of the year! After this is complete the next step is tryouts. The dates have been set for March 6-9th. (For more information contact Carrie) We got the chance to speak with Carrie about her anniversary and what she is looking forward to this new year. While talking to Carrie, we could tell how much she cares about these girls and what she does! To her this program is more than just cheer. It is helping the
girls build character and other life qualities. She wants the girls to be able to look back and use these lessons of building work ethic, mental strength and overcoming challenges to make them stronger in their jobs and their lives. Carrie is very excited and ready for what this new year and team will bring! She has 4 amazing juniors that are ready to be seniors and lead their team to reach amazing goals! Carrie said these soon to be captains are working harder than ever in the gym to create a legacy that Sandite Cheer will be proud of for years to come. We can not wait to see the legacy these girls leave!
0 How to be a Sandite on $74.63 with Coach Carrie Schlehuber. Today was a great day spent here in our beautiful town of Sand Springs! We got the chance to spend the afternoon with the Juniors of the Sand Springs Varsity Cheer Team (Remington Wagner, Bailey Collinsworth, Brookelyn Flores and Sheridan Weldon) and their awesome coach Carrie Schlehuber! We started off our afternoon the right wayâ€Ś With Sweetie Pies of course! Who doesnâ€™t love some sweets! We all decided on some of their delicious Chocolate Chip Cookies! We sat and talked all about how their year has been and what they have planned for their senior year! We even talked a little about college and where they are thinking about attending! (Go POKES) While talking to these girls about their senior year, one thing is clear. They are ready to lead their team to success! They have a goal of winning nationals in 2018! They are ready to start working and achieve their goals! The first step is tryouts, these will be March 6-9th! From Sweetie Pies we went to QuikTrip to get a nice cold
drink! Here we all got our favorite drinks! To end this great afternoon we visited the famous Yellow House Boutique and Market! Here we shopped around and looked at all their new arrivals! If you have not been there lately, you are missing out! We had such a blast looking at everything! The girls decided to treat their coach to some presents! They picked out a Sandites hat, a dress and some leggings! A great outfit for some Sandites sporting events! Carrie and these girls were a blast to hangout with! We can not wait to see all that these girls accomplish in their senior year! Good Luck girls! We know you will achieve such great things in the next year!
$3.06 $10.58 + $60.99 $74.63
Cookies @ Sweetie Pies Drinks @ Quik Trip Swag @ Yellow House Boutique Sandite February 2017 | WeAreSandSprings.com 23
If you loved the April 2016 production of “Smoke on the Mountain,” you’re in luck! The Scottie Dawg Productions group had so much fun with it they decided to reunite for the sequel “Sanders Family Christmas,” a musical about family and faith for all ages. The show runs Thursday through Sunday, February 16-19, at the True Baptist Church (410 Terrace Drive in Sand Springs). Showtimes are 7 p.m. February 16-18 and 2:30 p.m. February 19. Tickets are $10 for students and seniors and $12 for adults, or $10 each for groups of 10 or more. Call 918-200-6956 for reservations or purchase tickets at the door. You won’t want to miss this fun production! Check out the Scottie Dawg Productions Facebook page for more information. 24 WeAreSandSprings.com | February 2017
On a Budget? If you want to take your valentine on a fun date but aren’t able to spend a lot of cash, this list is for you! We’ve gathered five of our favorite budget-friendly date ideas right here in Sand Springs. Check out our list below and let us know what you think! 1. Start a romantic afternoon with Napoli’s Italian Restaurant’s lunch special Tuesday through Sunday you can get bread, a salad and a tasty entree for only $6.95! 2. Pick up a dozen fresh-cut roses from one of our Sand Springs florists! You can save a little money by purchasing only the flowers and putting them in a vase you already have at home. 3. Bring a blanket, stop by Sweetie Pie’s to pick up some sandwiches to-go and have a picnic under the sun at one of our Sand Springs parks! 4. Shopping is always fun. Be on the lookout for special sales and promotions at your favorite local boutiques, such as Yellowhouse Market & Boutique and Ashton’s Boutique! (Psst...look for an Ashton’s Boutique coupon in our January/February magazine!) 5. Treat your sweetheart to a sweet treat from Livi Lee’s! Breakfast and morning coffee make for a thoughtful and unexpected date, or surprise your special someone with a box of their delicious donuts. There you have it! We hope our list was helpful. How will you date-on-a-budget? Let us know in the comments!
February 2017 | WeAreSandSprings.com 25
1. Keystone State Park 5. A sweet treat at Livi Lees - Plan a picnic with a perfect view of sunset and the - These are always a win, especially with your lake in this beautiful state park. sweetie. 2. Keystone Ancient Forest - You and your sweetie can take a hike through one of the many trails Keystone Ancient forest has to offer. 3. Sand Springs Cinema 8 - Outdoors not your thing? Head over to the movie theater on Charles Page Blvd. and see what's showing, grab a popcorn and some candy too! 4. Dinner at a Sand Springs restaurant. - (full list at WeAreSandSprings.com) 26 WeAreSandSprings.com | February 2017
6. Golf Course - It may be cold but it's a day to show your love to your special someone... so take one for the team. 7. Coffee at Starbucks - It's simple but if it's with the one you love that's all that matters!
The Sand Springs Ministerial Alliance provides a way for churches to come together to be productive in our community. The Ministerial Alliance is a group of churches, each represented by the individual church’s pastor, that strives to work with other sectors of the Sand Springs community to “reach our God-given potential.” Brent Kellogg, Senior Pastor at HillSpring Church, was the president of the Sand Springs Ministerial Alliance the past two years. “This has always been an effort for churches to come together for…a common good for events throughout the year,” Kellogg said. Kellogg said there are usually 11 to 13 churches represented at some level in the Ministerial Alliance, and eight churches represented on a regular basis. He said the Alliance aims to bring together the four main sectors of the community – education, business, government and the church – to help Sand Springs be the absolute best it can be. The Ministerial Alliance has been very involved in community service projects over the past few years. The Alliance holds an annual Thanksgiving church service, usually the Sunday before Thanksgiving, and invites members of all of the churches involved to come. The offering taken up at the service raises money to give as a gift to the police and fire departments. In past years, this money has gone toward gift cards given to members of the police and fire departments, but in 2016 the money was put together into a $4,000 grant presented to the police and fire department. The Ministerial Alliance also holds a back-to-school drive every August, collecting school supplies and snacks to stuff in backpacks given to students in need. In 2016, the Alliance gave away about 400 backpacks, Kellogg said. The Ministerial Alliance is holding a National Day of Prayer Luncheon on May 4 at the Case Community Center. Anyone is welcome to attend, Kellogg said. In addition, the Ministerial Alliance is taking over Boo on Broadway this October. Steve Allen, Pastor at Harvest Church, is the Alliance’s new president for 2017. “He’s going to take us to the next level,” Kellogg said. Kellogg has lived in Sand Springs for 14 years, so he said he is always excited to be a part of the work the Ministerial Alliance is doing in the community. “It’s fun to be a part of…very fulfilling,” Kellogg said. Join us in thanking the Ministerial Alliance for the great work they are doing in our community!
February 2017 | WeAreSandSprings.com 27
28 WeAreSandSprings.com | February 2017
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River City Park - Update Construction steadily continues at River City Park - soon to be Case Community Park - and thanks to limited rain delays, it is right on schedule. The project has a one year timeline. Construction began this past fall, so it is scheduled to finish up in October if there are no significant rain delays. We spoke with Jeff Edwards, Parks & Facilities Manager for Sand Springs Parks, to get an update on the various projects at the park. Edwards said one of the things he is asked about the most is the dirt work at the front of the park, visible from Wekiwa Road next to the Case Community Center. The dirt work is misleading, Edwards said, as far as projects in the that front area go. The majority of the park sits in a floodplain, and the floodplain area must have a net gain of zero in order to comply with regulations. So any dirt excavated from the area of the park that sits in the floodplain in order to put new structures in cannot stay in the floodplain area - it must be moved to the front of the park, which does not sit in the floodplain. There will, however, be a new and more clearly marked front entrance, including a median, landscaping and a curved sign. Sand Springs Parks is partnering with Thunder Cares, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s community relations department, on a new basketball court at the park. The court will be located near the “Great Lawn” area. Thunder Cares has given a verbal commitment to Thundertheme the court (called “Thundering Up” the court) and to be present in some way at the park’s opening celebration. Whether that means having players, the Thunder Girls and/ or Rumble or the Thunder activity bus come up depends on the team’s schedule at the time of the park’s completion. Edwards noted that this would be only the second Thunder Cares basketball court outside of the Oklahoma City metro area. What a special honor for Sand Springs! The “Great Lawn” area, modeled loosely after Tulsa’s Guthrie Green, will be a nicely manicured grass area with an elevated and covered stage surrounded by a concrete walkway. The walkway is started, and the area behind and 30 WeAreSandSprings.com | February 2017
on both sides of the stage is also started. There are large metal rods visible on both sides of the stage, which will become decorative tree silhouettes once completed. There is also irrigation and electric currently going in to support carnivals, concerts, firework shows and even events like Chillin and Grillin. Edwards also said six to eight foot artwork displays will be introduced in the park for the first time. There is new roadside and grass parking planned for this area of the park. The bathroom facility in the floodplain is getting a facelift - once finished it will match the new concession building put in this past year near the new splash pad, Edwards said. In addition, wood fences will be built around the water treatment units. There are two new playgrounds going in near the splash pad. These playgrounds will be on turf, similar to the new playground at Ray Brown Park, and this turf will include sloped berm features. Edwards said turf is the parks department’s new standard for playgrounds. This entire area has been dubbed “Picnic Park.” Edwards said the parks department does most of their own design work instead of contracting it out, and that everyone goes above and beyond what is asked, no matter the task, to give the people of Sand Springs the absolute best. “That really is a testament to our department and how hard everyone works,” Edwards said. As far as the sports area goes, Edwards said he often gets questions about the location of the new concession building. It is large enough to accommodate both baseball and soccer, and once all new fields are completed, it will be in between the baseball and soccer fields. The soccer area is getting new parking - no more gravel! And the baseball area is getting a new public entrance that will be more attractive to visitors. Stay tuned with us for more updates throughout the construction process at Case Community Park. We are so thankful for our creative and hardworking parks department for making all of this happen!
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