2022 January/February We Are Sand Springs Magazine

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Letter from The Editor


10 Years of We Are Sand Springs Covers


Coat Drive


Where Are They Now?


You are GIFTED & can Accomplish GREAT Things!


New to the Scene


Love Grams


Local Events in Sand Springs


Things to Do Indoors in Sand Springs


Update on Discovery Land Ranch


Superbowl Vs. Galentines Day


Construction Update


Mentor Month


A Letter From Amanda Wion


New to downtown Sand Springs is the Big Dipper Creamery! Learn more about the Big Dipper Creamery on page 12!

10 years of printing We Are Sand Springs has taught me so much. Many of my favorite memories occurred because of the community that surrounds this publication. Years ago when my family so graciously supported me as I set out to connect the residents of the Sand Springs area with the philanthropic, business and municipal communities of our town I dreamt of making an impact. My vision was clear and my sights were set on just four things (and remain set). 1. I wanted more than anything to play a role in the growth of this community. Some of the metrics that are used to know whether our community is seeing healthy growth are our tax dollars, rooftops and local business and charity support. Now, did the We Are Sand Springs Magazine play any sort of vital role in the outstanding growth that we have seen over the past 10 years? Mostlikely, nothing to note BUT boy have we had a seat at a really exciting, passionate and dedicated table of professionals dreaming of and working toward those same things for our community!!! And it has been a privilege and a pleasure to serve in our community. 2. Educate: At the base of it all.. We want to be a resource for our community. You see this in many ways throughout our publication. 3. Paint the real picture of our lovely town. I try my best, as I hope is reflected in my letters each edition, to live in a place of humble honesty… HONESTY being the key word. Over the past ten years I have been committed to showing our community for what it IS and not what might pop into the news or posted on Facebook by one critic. I wanted to intently show Sand Springs for our heart and the beauty of our landscape. I wholeheartedly hope you feel that when you see a WASS Magazine. 4. Last, but definitely not least, I wanted to reach people. Sometimes we feel alone or that we are the “ONLY ONE” facing the struggles that we are facing. Even though, cognitively, we know better we still can get stuck in that mindset. And I will tell you that your letters, emails, catching me in Reasors and phone calls to tell me your stories have meant SO much to me. Connecting with you all has been a JOY in my life and IF I have made an impact in just one person's life through all of the work creating this magazine I can EASILY say that this labor of love has been fruitful. Getting a little sappy here but it is truly how I feel y’all! I love you ALL. We have gathered some covers to reminisce on the past 10 years but just know… WE ARE SANDITES! And we aren’t done yet!

- Danielle Myers Send us a letter or email: 118 N Main St Sand Springs, OK 74063 info@wearesandsprings.com • 918-521-1810 4 WeAreSandSprings.com | January 2022

10 Years of Covers May - July 2012

Aug - Oct 2012

Nov - Jan 2012

Feb - April 2013

May - July 2013

Aug - Oct 2013

Feb - April 2014

May - July 2014

Nov '13 - Jan '14

Feb - April 2015

May - Aug 2015

Aug - Oct 2015

Nov '14 - Jan '15

Nov - Jan 2016

Feb - May 2016

May - Aug 2016

July - Aug 2016

Nov - Dec 2017

Sep - Oct 2017

July - Aug 2017

May - June 2017

March - April 2017

Jan - Feb 2017

Nov - Dec 2016

Sep - Oct 2016

Jan - Feb 2018

March - April 2018

May - June 2018

July - Aug 2018

Sep - Oct 2018

Nov - Dec 2018

Jan - Feb 2019

March - April 2019

Jul - Aug 2020

May - June 2020

March - April 2020

Jan - Feb 2020

Nov - Dec 2019

Sep - Oct 2019

July - Aug 2019

May - June 2019

Sep - Oct 2020

Nov - Dec 2020

Jan - Feb 2021

March - April 2021

May - June 2021

Sep- Oct 2021

Nov - Dec 2021

July - Aug 2021

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SMALL SNEEZES FROM YOUR SMALL ANIMAL? Did you know that your pets can suffer from allergies just like we do? Every Spring our eyes begin to water, noses run or become stuffy, sneezing and itchy throats begin to take over Sand Springs. If you are a pet owner, you probably notice these symptoms in your fur babies too! While food allergies do play a part in some cases, the majority of pets find their biggest cause of allergies are environmental. While your pet can experience allergies in any season, the most common are winter and spring allergies. Sensitivity to dust, mold, pollen, trees, and weeds that come up in the spring can all bring about allergies. When dogs experience allergies they tend to have watery eyes, excessive sneezing and itchy skin and secondary skin infections. You will notice they lick their paws, ears and face to try and soothe the itching. Cats on the other hand can present symptoms such as irritation, itchiness, rashes which can lead to bald patches and hot spots. In more severe cases you may also notice wheezing and sneezing and digestive issues like nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. It is important for your veterinarian to perform allergy testing because pets can be allergic to a wide range of items such as foods, cleaning products, insecticides, fabrics, cigarette smoke, and perfume. Allergy shots and testing, also known as immunotherapy, is the best way to manage allergies in pets. It can provide relief from constant scratching and red patchy skin. There are a few things that you can do at home to help with environmental pet allergies. Giving a regular bath will help to clear any allergens from their coat. Use a medicated shampoo to help their sensitive skin from drying out. You can also pick up some pet-wipes from your local pet store. When your pet comes indoors from outside simply wipe off their paws and under their belly to prevent them from tracking in any allergens and keep their skin clean and clear to avoid reactions. If your pet displays frequent, persistent allergic symptoms, schedule an appointment with the staff at Sand Springs Small Animal Hospital today at 918-245-VETS. The compassionate team offers customizable plans to help treat your pet’s allergen discomfort, allowing your furry sidekick to quickly return to their regular zoomies and cuddles.

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MAKING SURE EVERY SANDITE WHO NEEDS A COAT HAS ONE THIS WINTER! We want to make sure every Sandite stays cozy and warm this winter. We Are Sand Springs, River Stone Cleaners, and Sand Springs Community service have all partnered together for the 5th annual Sand Springs Coat Drive. The Sand Springs coat drive was started to help people in our community. Some residents may struggle to afford the appropriate Winter gear to endure the harsh season. This coat drive is a great way to bring resources to Sandites who may need the extra help. Over the years Sand Springs have banded together to donate hundreds of coats, blankets, gloves and more. That is what makes us proud to be a Sandite. The Coat Drive kicks off January 2022 and goes until the end of February 2022. Donations drop offs are located at Boulder Coffee and River Stone Dry Cleaning. Gently used coats, jackets, blankets, hats and gloves will be collected, any and all sizes are encouraged. Our Friends at River Stone Dry-cleaning have graciously offered to wash the coats before they go off to their new homes. If you or someone you know is in need of a coat this year please point them to Sand Springs Community Services. No Sandite should have to be cold this winter!

Photo credit to Jenni Caldwell

If you’d like to make a financial donation please follow the link on the QR code for more information. For additional information email info@wearesandsprings.com January 2022 | WeAreSandSprings.com 7

Where are They Now? George Paden

Some high school seniors graduate and move far away to never look back, while others make their hometown their hometown for life. George Paden, one of the two Sand Springs Education Foundation inductees of the year 2003 is one of the only community members to have been a student, teacher, administrator, assistant superintendent and superintendent in the Sand Springs School District. Though he did move to attend Oklahoma Baptist University for his teaching degree, and Oklahoma State University for his Masters, George is a Sandite through and through. “I was born here, raised here,[and a] product of this school district and community,” said George. He graduated from Sand Springs High School in 1957, married his sweetheart Charlotte while at OBU studying to get his teaching credentials and then in 1961 moved back to Sand Springs as a Junior High Teacher. After 2 years (the same year that president Kennedy was shot) George received a scholarship to OSU to get his masters degree in counseling and guidance. After graduating in 1964, he continued to graduating in 1970 with certifications for secondary principal teach in Sand Springs half a day and counsel the other and superintendent of schools. The next year he became half. He then went on to attend the University of Tulsa, the principal at Central Elementary, now Northwoods. In 2011 “I was really fortunate, they named the media center at Northwoods with my name,” said George. For the next seven years he made waves in the school district as the assistant principal of Charles Page High school. After these years, he made his way to the administrative offices as the assistant to the superintendent, and in 1992 he was named the superintendent of the Sand Springs School District and retired July 1st, 2000. George's mentor, Clyde Boyd Sr. (George's Predecessor) is George's biggest influence in his time in Sand Springs. “He 8 WeAreSandSprings.com | January 2022

just really had a soft spot in his heart for our family… I saw him almost every week at church. He hired me not knowing what my assignment was going to be. He really gave me lots of advantages - like the scholarship application to complete my Masters at OSU. I never knew his plan, I never knew what he saw, he just was a powerful influence both personally and professionally. He always gave wise counsel, and I always respected him.”

we are in. We are the largest district membership wise in the United States, in this 4 state area. I was employed full time when I served as [Rotarian] governor, which included about 6 months of travel. I traveled and made visits to 78 rotary clubs in the 4 state area. Rotary for me exposed me to a dimension that I didn’t really know about myself.” “I’ve done everything that you can do at a school, I’ve worked on maintenance crews, drove many, many, many miles of school bus routes, elementary, secondary,” said George. George said he continues to marvel at the opportunities and sustainability of his career in Sand Springs. “I encourage kids to experiment, there is no way that doing something and not succeeding in it is a failure, it just teaches you that this is not something for me. Someone told me a long time ago that it's better to be prepared for a job that you never would have an opportunity to do, then to have an opportunity come your way and not be prepared.”

Over his 22 years of retirement George has spent his time in a few odd jobs, being highly involved in the Sand Springs Rotary Club, and reminiscing about his greatest passion - teaching kids! George said, “Well what do you do in retirement? Well you don’t have to take off to go to a doctor's appointment, if you don’t finish something today you pick it up tomorrow. I’ve been really blessed.” George is still teaching Sunday School at his church and shared about his passion for the Rotary Club. “I’ve been in Rotary for over 40 years. I am honored to serve in this rotary district that

We can learn so much from George Paden and his many years of experience and passion for the Sand Springs community. Thank you for all that you have done and will do for our wonderful community Mr. Paden! Next time you see Mr. Paden, make sure you shake his hand and spark up a conversation - I guarantee you he has a few stories to tell!

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Written by: Danielle Myers Every year as we prepare what we would like to say about goals, resolutions and the NEW YEAR there is always the heaviness of how to talk about resolutions when SO MANY of us have mixed feelings about the idea of the New Year’s Day “switch flip” into our resolutions. This year our team asked me if I would write about this “resolution” topic to share some tools that we use throughout the year in our business and how they can be used in our personal lives as well. At our parent company, Myers Marketing Management (MMM), we run on what is referred to as EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System). EOS helps to focus and sustain businesses in a proven system that can be found in the book Traction by Gino Wickman. There are many amazing tools that are within this business guide but there isn’t enough room here to discuss them all. I recommend the book to anyone more intrigued. We're going to discuss one tool that we use within our team at MMM and it is the same tool that many other businesses and professionals have used well before I ever thought about being in business. I'm here to share these tools with you, tell you about some of our successes, and touch on the psychology behind why they work. I hope that the tools we provide here will help you as you consider your goals this year. As I say to the team at MMM, the goal is to have consumable goals, consumable information, so that it doesn't consume you.

So let's just jump right in! We don't set goals to torture ourselves, although sometimes it does feel that way. We set our goals based on how we think our lives should be and more honestly.. all the things that we are doing wrong. We set goals that reflect our weaknesses and almost put them on display.Indeed goals are meant to strengthen our character but some food for that, what damage occurs when we do just that and put our weakness on display as our goal setting strategy? From what I have seen over the years of setting my own goals and helping others set theirs is that when the weakness is the focus, excitement is lost, energy is depleted and confidence is lacking. What I have seen work for myself and others in this process is acknowledging YOUR God given strengths and using them throughout this entire exercise. Let’s think BIG PICTURE. We can see how we want the future to be. By the way, that in and of itself is a God

given gift that has been given to people of all ages! EVERYONE! But when it comes to creating that future and putting those envisioned details into action, we tend to fall short of giving ourselves grace. Although the reality is that there simply wasn't enough preparation put in ahead of time to accomplish these goals. Let me explain it like this, say it has taken you 35 years (or whatever your age is) to get to where you are now and create the habits that you have now. Perhaps you haven't always had these habits throughout all of those years but nonetheless it still has taken those years to get you here. The idea that we will flip a switch in our mind and magically be living the life that we truly at our core and want to be living in one day or one week or even as some psychologists said years ago 60 days to make a habit, 60 days to break a habit.. it's just not realistic.

Let's look at some big goals. Break that vision of your future at the end of 2022 down into 1-4 smaller goals. Remember, consumable goals. Goals that will set you up to accomplish those BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals). Every year I consider my one year goals “housekeeping” aka the things I need to clean up in my life/business to get to where I am trying to go. Okay now.. go ahead write it down, go on.. we even made a nice template for you ;) Break these goals 10 WeAreSandSprings.com | January 2022

My Goal Breakdown 1. 2. 3. 4. (we refer to these as Rocks Next what we're going to do is break those goals down into steps (we refer to these as Rocks Next what we're going to do is break those goals down into steps (we refer to these as Rocks using EOS but without the book as your reference let’s call them “steps”). Starting at the first goal, what are the four steps that you need to accomplish in order to make this (and only this goal) happen. These steps need to be in order. They need to be in order so that you aren’t needing to do them at the same time. Now do this exercise of identifying four steps for all of your goals remembering that these need to be steps and not leaps.

Goal #1

Goal #2








4. Goal #3

Goal #4





2. 4.

2. 4.

By the end of this exercise you should have written out where you want to be at the end of the year in 1-4 identified goals and then broken those goals down into four liniar steps to reach those goals. REMINDER time, this is all to get to those characteristic or lifestyle changes that you see for yourself in the future.

How to use this tool: We start with the first set of steps towards your main goals and only focus on those only! Focus on those steps you have identified until March 31st. To complete these steps work them into your habit… that could mean ripping this page out and taping it to a mirror or saving it to your phone. Make these steps part of who you are all the while remembering your why behind doing these things. REMEMBER, these steps are not to torture you or to make you feel less than but to better reflect who you are at your core. And, THAT is why you're working on them. The next step is fairly clear. Work through your steps. Focus on your sets of steps in this order:

2nd set 4/1- 6/30, 3rd set 7/1- 9/30, 4th set 10/1- 12/31. Plan something special for yourself because you're going to be celebrating all of your accomplishments at the end of this year if you stay focused. I Believe in you, now get to work!

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You scream, I scream, we all scream for Big Dipper Ice Cream! The highly anticipated Big Dipper Creamery is now open and it’s everything you’ve been waiting for. Sami, a third generation restaurateur in the Sand Springs community, and her husband Brian, have brought the ice cream shop that dreams are made of to Downtown Sand Springs. Sand Springs was the perfect place for them to open up a full shop because of the growing community and family ties. Her dream of bringing the first artisanal ice cream shop to Sand Springs has fueled all the hard work and determination that has gone into it’s opening. Big Dipper is a place for loved ones, new acquaintances, and friends to enjoy a sweet moment together.

Flavor is a top priority, and Big Dipper goes all out to ensure the best quality of fresh (andhandpicked whenever available) ingredients go into each handmade batch of ice cream. Each small batch of ice cream is made right in their kitchen. When choosing which new flavors to make, the first thing to consider for Big Dipper is what’s in season. They like to use locally sourced, in-season ingredients from farmers they have built relationships with, and they like to use one item to spur inspiration into a well-rounded flavor. Owners Sami and Brian, along with their two small children Alro and Charlie, often find themselves enjoying an “Okie Afternoon,” where they forage to pick Oklahoma native dewberries, persimmons, and wild sumac to incorporate into sauces and flavors. Last year, they used what they foraged to create a delightful redbud sorbet!

They offer a wide range of 16 flavor options at a time, with flavors from a more traditional Madagascar Vanilla Bean, to a heavenly Honeycomb Lavender, to the decadent Ooey Gooey Buttercake complete with scratch made Southern ooey gooey butter cake pieces. Each ice cream flavor has a unique blend of locally sourced ingredients that come together for a special sweet treat you can feel good about. And, you can feel good knowing there are never any artificial flavors or colors – their ice creams are all natural! The fan favorite among little ones is the Walk at the Fair flavor, and let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a bright blue, cotton candy flavored ice cream? Big Dipper creatively makes this favorite friendlier by using organic candy flavor and spirulina to give it the bright blue color! Big Dipper’s artisan ice cream takes traditional ingredients to the next level to bring out the best flavor possible. Take strawberry ice cream as an example - Big Dipper takes it up a notch by roasting organic, locally grown, handpicked strawberries to scoop up a special twist on classic strawberry ice cream. During the holiday season, they took a traditional peppermint flavor and transformed it into a cozy flavor worthy of eating in the cold months with hand-toasted white chocolate. Calling all Dairy-Free Sandites! Big Dipper Creamery mixes up delicious dairy-free flavors justfor you. They have perfected their dairy-free base over months so you can enjoy their unique,next-level flavors, too. What are you waiting for? Head on down to Big Dipper Creamery to try a scoop today – Theunique and delightful flavors are sure to be a fantastic experience for you and yours.

120 N M ain St, S an d S p r i n g s , O K 7 4 063 • ( 5 3 9 ) 21 7 -1 207 fa c ebo o k. co m/ big d i p p e rOK • b i g d i p p e ro k .com

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Sandite Love Grams

Whether you get a bunch or just one, receiving the

TO: Hallie, Harleigh, and Cj

We love you girls soooooo much! Happy Valentine's Day to the coolest kids in the world! FROM: Both your moms!

love of Sand Springs is so much fun! Teachers, friends, and siblings too signed up to write a message to say, I love you! When you live in a town like we do, there is plenty of love to go around! This year we pulled

TO: Cory Beck

You're my favorite (don't tell the kids). I love you big bunches! FROM: Stephanie Beck

out all the stops and

A love gram is a short and sweet message telling someone such as a teacher, coworker, friend or loved one just how special they really are! Feel the love during the New Year and Valentines holidays by reading through these

TO: Brittany Ward

I love you honey bunches! I'm so happy you are my partner in life! Happy Valentine's Day I wouldn't want to spend it with anyone else! (Except Elijah) FROM: Samantha Ward

Love Grams, and who knows, maybe you will be inspired to write a Love Gram of your own to someone special!

TO: Mom

Happy New years! Congratulations on your new adventure! FROM: Deb

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Corey, you are an amazing spouse and such a great dad. You have always done so much for me and our kids. I love you so much and I can't wait for the day we get married and get our plot of land. You are my soulmate and I'm so thankful for you. I love you! FROM: Sarah Jones

TO: Christopher Jones

gathered Love Grams from our community!

TO: Corey Campbell

Chris, You are amazing kiddo! I am so happy I get to be your mama. You are the best and have such a kind heart. You take good care of your brother and you are so smart. I'm so proud of you and everything you've accomplished. I love you!! FROM: Sarah Jones AKA Mommy

TO: Mom

I luv ya Mom! Happy Valentine's day Love your favorite FROM: Debbie

TO: Seth, Brinley and Baby Liam

My three little grands. .. I love you all so much! Such beautiful sweet kids and I'm truly blessed. Happy Valentine's day.

TO: Chris TO: Pat Henry

This year we will exchange our I LOVE YOU Valentines for the 62nd year. We professed our I LOVE YOUs by saying, "I do" almost 59 years ago. Pat Henry, I loved you then...I love you now...I WILL LOVE YOU FOREVER!!

FROM: GG FROM: Ruth Ellen Henry

Happy Valentine's Day to my rock, my hero, my soulmate, my Mr. Everything and the love of my life! Thank you for loving me and our family with all of your heart FROM: Nancy

TO: Sonny Estrada You are loved more than you know! Your my rock, my cohort, my partner through life. I could never ask for a more supportive unselfish caring man to grow old with.

FROM: Durenda Estrada TO: Kenzi and Tidas

Kenzi I love you to the moon and back. Tidas I love you to infinity and beyond. Love, Nana

TO: Dani Myers To the love of my life, the mother of my children, my challenger, and truly my best friend forever, I love you. You make life exciting and I can't wait to spend every single day with you.

FROM: D.A. Myers

TO: Andy Casto

I love you more each day!! Thanks for being there through the good, bad, and ugly. I thank God for bringing you into my life. Happy Valentine's Day!! Love, Kim

TO: Paige and Lila You two girls light up my life on a daily basis! I hope you always rush out into life with the same excitement and questioning minds that I have had the privilege to see every day raising you. I love you both. Will you be my valentine???

FROM: Dada

Don't see your love gram? Scan the QR code and find it online!

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We’ll Be Here When You Need Us!


• General Auto Repair • American • Foreign • Pickups • BG Maintenance Services • Updated Diagnostic Scan Tools • Major and Minor Tune-Ups • Air Conditioning Service/Repair

Celebrating Over 25 Years in Sand Springs





2 W. Morrow Rd. • Sand Springs

10% OFF $20 OFF LABOR OVER $500.00




Offers Expire 02-28-2022

2 W. Morrow Rd. • Sand Springs

One coupon per customer | Not valid with other offers or specials

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jan. 1

feb. 13



Jan. 1

jan. 19





jan. 1 - 2

jan. 20













Feb. 21





feb. 8

feb. 24 - 26





feb. 10

Feb. 25




feb. 14

feb. 5


jan. 17


4PM - 10 PM


feb. 13







Editor’s Note: Due to the ongoing pandemic and weather events, event listings (including date, time, and location) are subject to change. Please contact the event organizer directly with questions.

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While the Winter weather settles over the Sand Springs landscape and the sun sets a little later, often families can find themselves struggling to find activities to be active and keep themselves, and their kids engaged. Check out this list of activities for singles, married couples and families to stay active during the winter months in Sand Springs.

1. GET IN ON T H E A CT I O N ! Have you heard? We have a new business in town - Noble Axe House! Noble Axe House is a great way to get out, whether that be with your friends or family, to laugh, have fun and make memories. When you arrive you will be taken to a bay where you can throw axes, throwing stars and more. You have the option to order drinks, play games and music and Noble Axe even offers a Glow Throw, an exciting way to enhance your axe throwing experience! Look up Noble Axe Throwing today to book your next outing!

Take a class at the Case Community Center! While the sun may go down early, the lights stay on late for Zumba, Basketball, Pickleball and many other classes! Grab your friends or family and get in on the action! Find their weekly Facility Schedule on their website! Whether you need bumpers or you're an experienced bowler - Sahoma Lanes is the perfect place for a date night or a fun family outing where everyone can be involved! Order a couple of drinks and play a game to see who strikes out! Slow your roll by joining in on the fun at Skates Rollertainment. With Glow Skates, Nerf Wars, Soul Skates, Sip & Skates there is something for everyone and any age! Call up your friends and plan a night to get on the floor and roll the night away!

2 . LE AR N A T H I NG O R T WO ! There’s nothing like taking a little field trip where you can not only have fun - but learn something new! The Sand Springs Cultural & Historical Museum has 4 permanent exhibits, Charles Page/Children's Home/Widows Colony, Early Industry, Traveling Exhibits and an Art Gallery. They are also exhibits that change out over time - so there is always something new! 20 WeAreSandSprings.com | January 2022

spend your evening shopping at boutique small businesses and end your night with dinner and drinks at one of the many delightful family owned restaurants in the area.

4 . G E T AR T S Y W I T H I T ! ZegART is one of our small businesses here in Sand Springs and brings beauty and culture to our wonderful town! ZegArt has many art classes for kids and adults alike! Sign up for an art class to create an artwork - and memories - that will last a life time!

Another way to engage in learning is through the Charles Page Library, Open Monday Saturday! Not only is this a great place to let your kiddos explore through reading adventures, but the library also offers great classes and readings for kids and adults! You can find more by emailing the library at askus@tulsalibrary.org.

3. D OWNTOW N DI N I N G & SHOPPING The hustle and bustle of downtown Sand Springs is lively and a wonderful place to be. Not only can you create new memories with your current friends, but you can make new friends in the process. You can

Finding ways to engage indoors in Sand Springs while the cold weather is here is so important! We invite everyone to choose a fun activity to do this month - that’s out - well really that’s in - and about in Sand Springs! January 2022 | WeAreSandSprings.com 21

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iscoveryland, one of Sand Springs, Oklahoma’s staple landmarks. Built in the 1970’s, Discoverland amphitheater was home to the illustrious production,”Oklahoma!” a musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein. The play consisted of live actors and animals which brought smiles to families who traveled from all over the region to watch the story unfold. Many Sandite’s remember Discoveryland in its heyday. In the late 1980’s Discoveryland came upon some financial struggles which could have easily brought them to ruin - however, they overcame and continued to host performances until 2011, when they closed

their doors due to low attendance. The property officially closed in 2014. After another 4 years of being dormant a membership-only resort was attempted at the Discoveryland grounds - but was soon the endeavor folded. Not all hope has been lost for Oklahoma’s beloved Discoveryland. In 2019 Jason and Kayla Shipman purchased the property in hopes of creating their dream home and business. Kayla shared with us, “We never imagined we would end up owning this place. But, it was available, and we were talking about the idea of owning some sort of wedding January 2022 | WeAreSandSprings.com 23

or event venue and this place seemed like the perfect place. It’s such a historic place and it was just falling into disrepair, we hate to see that, we want to try to preserve and keep it up - as much as is left of it.” The Shipman's plans are to complete, “remodel and [rehab] what’s left of the amphitheater and the picnic pavilion and then add a new building, an event center. We plan on hosting weddings and concerts and things like that out there” said Kayla. While walking the property, the sheer amount of progress made in two years is astounding. The updated amphitheater has been restored to its glory and then some. The picnic pavilion and event center are coming along nicely and nearly complete! “We are hoping to be finished late this winter or spring 2022, we will have a couple of open houses and start accepting reservations,” said Kayla. While speaking with Kayla, she spoke into her and her husband's long journey of revamping the Discoveryland grounds, “It's a work of love and a lot of labor, to bring it back into shape!” Now with the name Discoverland Ranch, the Shipmans are so close to completing this 2 year project and starting on the new journey of sharing the grounds with the public once again. To follow along with the Shipman's journey and see more photos of their progress, you can find them on Facebook as Discoverland Ranch.

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or the first time in National Football League history the renowned Superbowl coincides with one of America's newest holidays - Galentine's Day! On Superbowl Sunday you can find families gearing up for the traditional battle of teams with lucky memorabilia and crock pots filled with copious amounts of food that could feed an actual football team. But on Galentine's day the ladies will be dreaming about hanging with their girlfriends, purchasing red roses and delicate chocolate to “treat themselves”.

While we all have different ideas of what each occasion should hold - there is no reason why the two shouldn’t be able to share the day! Let’s dive into some head to head combat: Superbowl Sunday Vs. Galentine’s Day!

SuperBowl Sunday The Superbowl consists of a few major elements, let's run through the playbook shall we?


Two teams that worked their butts off to get to the Superbowl to play rough and tough with one another resulting in millions of fans cheering in victory, and millions of fans outraged in defeat.


Copious amounts of food that will grace the kitchen table, island and countertops for the duration of the game (4-5 hours) plus an hour or two of wiggle room (2 hours) which is a grand total of delicious apps and grandma's recipes available for 7 hours.

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Let’s not forget to mention the lour of adult beverages that seem to increase as the hours go by.


While some fans travel to the game, the majority will set up camp in a parking lot, or on their home couch surrounded by friends and family to cheer on their team to victory. Generally consisting of loud yelling, screaming and cheering


And to end the night - if you're the winning team, you receive the Lombardi Trophy, a prized possession accompanied by diamond studded rings for each player on the team - oh and did we mention, BRAGGING RIGHTS?! At the end of the day the SuperBowl is a great way to engage in, mostly, friendly conversation and competition. However, spending 7+ hours watching the SuperBowl might not be the most romantic way to spend Valentine’s day.

We can assume that the majority of men will desire to pop open a cold one and chillax with the family while cheering on their team in this year's SuperBowl game. This year the pigskin celebration will look a little differently as it is shared with the beloved Galentine’s Day.

Galentine’s Day is a day spent with the gals! Galentine’s Day is full of fun including:

1. Spa Trips! •

Try out Healing Hands Therapeutic Massage in Sand Springs. Find out more info at healinghandshealthspa.com

2. Dining Options

• Breakfast: Crescent Cafe • Lunch: El Patron Cocina Mexicana • Dinner: Little Venice

3. Sweet Treats •

Big Dipper Creamery

• Boulder Coffee

4. DIY at Home Fun! • • •

Mimosa Bar Craft day Gift exchange

Galentine’s Day is for building relationships! There are many waysto show love - and time spent with a friend is definitely one of them!

But wait… Why don’t we put the two together! 1. Invite the guys and their gals over for beers and a mimosa bar! Check out TJ’s Wine and Spirits to shop local for all occasions!

2. Cater food from one of our local restaurants to fill the crowd with delish entrees and apps! If you are looking to have your Superbowl Sunday catered, try looking into some of the great restaurants around Sand Springs like: Little Venice, Rib Crib BBQ, El Patron Cocina Mexicana or Napoli’s Italian Restaurant.

3. Take the weekend to go shopping at some of our local downtown boutiques for a cute outfit, and party supplies to make Sunday a day to remember! Try shopping in downtown Sand Springs at Yellowhouse Market and Boutique, Blush, Coble’s Flowers and Okie Spice! 4. Set up a photo-op area for guests to take selfies cheering on their favorite team - or clinking champagne glasses or holding a football - it is all to celebrate a Super Bowl Galentine’s Day! Whether you celebrate the Superbowl, Galentine’s Day or both, there is plenty of room for relationships, fun and love all in one day! Happy Super-Galentines-Bowl Day to you Sandites!

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CON S TR U C TI O N U P DATE Sand Springs is EXCITING right now! There are so many projects that are in progress, both in homes and around the city. We see progress everyday as we drive past the cones! But sometimes we wonder where we are in the process??? Sherry Durkee, our Superintendent, gave us an update on some of the school construction going on right now: As most know, our new Freshman Academy and STEM Center on the campus of Charles Page High School entered its second year of use. It has become a vital cornerstone as our students enter into their high school era with outstanding program choices. Interestingly, several other districts in the state have come to tour this new facility to get ideas and learn from our journey. This current school year also brought with it the

completion of the Angus Valley Gymnasium, also a hardened space, allowing for a separate facility for physical education classes and providing a safe place for students to gather in the event of a severe storm. These are accomplishments only possible with the support of our community at the last bond election of 2019.

construction update

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It is with great excitement that I give an update on current facility projects in the district. When the old Central Ninth Grade Center was abandoned in the 2020-21 school year by our freshmen students, lots of discussions about the future of that facility were taking place. As was stated during the bond election, our district has needed to improve our enrollment procedures, including the facility access, for some time. Our public should be proud when new families enter

our district and begin the enrollment process with their children. We made a decision to begin seriously considering the possibility of upgrading a portion of the old Central Ninth Grade Center building, located at 4th and Main, to accommodate a new and improved Enrollment Center. With the help of our district architect, Jeanie Kvach, plans were developed to convert the Manual Arts portion of that building to accommodate student enrollment and our Child Nutrition department. The district competitively bid this project and the Board of Education approved the

The Board approved Phase 2 of the restoration this fall which will include a remodel of the 2nd floor of the Manual Arts section, accommodating our Virtual Academy. The target date for completion of Phase 2 is sometime this spring. There are plenty of road construction projects ongoing right now. While construction sometimes proves frustrating it is a clear signal of growth; and Sand Springs is definitely growing. As we see these dreams become reality, let’s all keep in mind that the work is temporary, our state of mind and being are something that follow us everywhere we go. So take a drive and admire the hard work and vision of others, Sand Springs is going to see the benefits for years to come!

construction update

- Sherry Durkee, Superintendent

remodel of that section in the spring of this year. This project is now at completion and the newly remodeled Enrollment Center and Child Nutrition Department is set to officially open in January, 2022! New families to the district will now enjoy easy access to an area devoted to an easier process of student enrollment. We have been able to start the restoration of one of the oldest buildings in the district, preserving some of the history of Sand Springs Public Schools.

There are plenty of road construction projects ongoing right now. Be sure to visit www. wearesandsprings.com/2022construction-update or scan the QR code to check on each project with an update from City Manager Mike Carter. While construction sometimes proves frustrating it is a clear signal of growth; and Sand Springs is definitely growing. As we see these dreams become reality, let’s all keep in mind that the work is temporary, our state of mind and being are something that follow us everywhere we go. So take a drive and admire the hard work and vision of others, Sand Springs is going to see the benefits for years to come! January 2022 | WeAreSandSprings.com 29

and could use a guide who is passionate about helping others?

Feeling empowered, cared for, learned, poured into, and impacted are all words used to describe mentoring. January is National Mentor Month, a campaign held each January to promote mentoring the next generation in America. While being a mentor might sound scary or like you need a certificate of qualification - your time and life experiences will go a long way in leading the youth of America to be successful. Let’s dive into what it means to be a mentor.

With your answers in mind, let’s conquer some fears together. There are many, many Sand Springs community members that both need a mentor, and need to be a mentor. But why is it so hard to make the initial step of meeting someone new - or setting up a time to meet at the coffee shop? The answer is simple > the majority of us suffer from continuous thoughts of “What will they think” or “I’m not good enough for that”. While those thoughts may run rampant through your head, it’s time to put a stop to these lies! It’s a proven fact that we need the community around us, haven’t you heard of the phrase, “It takes a village”? If you are struggling with these things, take a moment to write down your strengths, your experiences you can draw from, your knowledge of your career and business. Build confidence and make a difference in the lives of the young Sandites around you!

Mentor Day

Mentors come in all shapes and sizes. From church leaders to business executives, to a mom and pop shop owner to a kindergarten teacher - all careers, levels of expertise and experience count! Mentorship is simply taking time to lean into a young member of the community and spend time talking and teaching them from your experience. The role of a mentor is to provide guidance, motivation, emotional support and to be a role model. As a mentor you could help a mentee explore a career they are interested in, you could help set goals, develop characteristics and identify resources that would be useful. Now that you have a good understanding of what a mentor is, can you think of a mentor in your life? Maybe you never thought of this person in that way - but they are a source of inspiration and sound wisdom when you approach a roadblock or are in the process of making a tough decision. Now let’s turn the tables, can you think of someone that needs a mentor? Someone who is venturing through life

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There are many opportunities when it comes to mentoring in Sand Springs. Of course our public school system has many volunteer opportunities, the Case Community Center has a full calendar of events to get involved with, the Sand Springs Chamber of Commerce, local churches, schools, colleges and our local Rotary Club! You can even mentor from the comfort of your own home with online mentoring! We encourage you to take a step out of our comfort zone in the new year, meet someone new and lean into sharing your experiences so you can help shape the upcoming generation.



ello Sand Springs and welcome to 2022! As you may have heard, I am your new Sand Springs Chamber of Commerce President and I am so incredibly excited to get to know the businesses, families, and community of Sand Springs. Although I am not Sand Springs born, I too come from a small-town rich in history that prides itself on “being there” for one another. While others may look at small towns in a negative light, I believe growing up and serving in a small town is something you have to experience to understand. Now that I have had a chance to visit with local members of this community in my first month, there are a few things that I plan to focus on as a Sand Springs “newcomer”. First, member and community relationships. Since the beginning, I have shared my passion for building relationships and hearing from local community members on what is important to them. I want to know what brought you to Sand Springs, what kept you in Sand Springs, and what excites you about being a member of this Sand Springs community today. Maybe you are an alum who never left or maybe you are a newcomer just like me who has decided to make Sand Springs home for your family. No matter the backstory, I want to hear why you value and are excited to be here. Through the stories I have heard thus far, it has only made my excitement for this position and community that much stronger! Second, help and serve businesses. Many times, most of us can “handle” ourselves without any extra assistance

from outside sources. However, there are times when we need a little guidance or a helping hand. Those are the times that I hope the Chamber can be a resource for you and your business to help keep it running as smoothly and effectively as possible. On the other hand, I hope the Chamber can also be a resource even when things are going great! We want to be a tool that local businesses can use to share and celebrate the successes that I know are happening everyday here in Sand Springs! Third, create teams. Just in my small time of being in my role, I have met some very special and talented people in this community. Many individuals who share a passion for service and who want Sand Springs to flourish in new and exciting ways. Because of this, it is my hope that individuals can become more involved with different teams or committees that are needed to fulfill the mission of the Chamber. I know we can’t do it all alone, so my hope is that we can rely on some of the amazing individuals in this community as well to help us make Sand Springs the “go-to” spot for people of all ages! Overall, my hope is that through these efforts, members of this community will see that the Chamber of Commerce is here to serve, encourage, and empower Sand Springs businesses and families just as if they were our own. For me, I am excited to put roots down here and to serve this community in whatever way is needed. Sand Springs is a growing community and I am thrilled to be a part of it! January 2022 | WeAreSandSprings.com 31

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