Boyd Street Magazine September 2022

Page 1

NPS Transportation Award

A Gold Standard

Normanites of the Month

David & Jenny Goodspeed

Sept. 8-11

Cleveland County Fair

September 2022 • Issue 9 • Volume 21

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Features

SEPTEMBER CONTENTS 2022

ISSUE 9– VOLUME 21 EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Mark Doescher

MANAGING EDITOR

2022 Riverwind Classic

16 by Rae Lynn Payton

Lindsay Cuomo

PHOTOGRAPHY

Mark Doescher Josh Gateley

Annual Riverwind Classic sets its sights on raising funds for children.

CONTRIBUTORS

Callie Collins | Lindsay Cuomo Kathy Hallren | Joy Hampton Josh Helmer | Shannon Hudzinski Chelsey Kraft | Bill Moakley Rae Lynn Payton | Chris Plank

16

Autumn on the Farm

20 by Callie Collins

Farm Girl Fair features handcrafted goods, family fun.

ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVES

Trevor Laffoon - trevor@kref.com Perry Spencer - perry@kref.com

PUBLISHER

Casey Vinyard

Normanites in the Spotlight:

26 David & Jenny Goodspeed

by Chelsey Kraft Longtime Normanites lead this year’s United Way campaign.

A Gold Standard

32 by Lindsay Cuomo

Federal award given to Norman Public Schools transportation division.

32

Boyd Street Magazine 2020 E. Alameda Norman, Oklahoma 73071 Phone: (405) 321-1400 E-mail: editor@boydstreet.com Copyright © Boyd Street Magazine Any articles, artwork or graphics created by Boyd Street Magazine or its contributors are sole property of Boyd Street Magazine and cannot be reproduced for any reason without permission. Any opinions expressed in Boyd Street are not necessarily that of Boyd Street management.

Spotlights 13 Community Calendar What’s Happening

Downs Time

38 by Chris Plank

Staff

Lifelong Sooner prepares to create havoc for opposing offenses.

50 Healthy Aging Awareness Fair Norman Regional Hospital:

New NPS Site ADs

46 by Josh Helmer

Two new talented athletic directors join the Tigers and Timberwolves.

38

by Lindsay Cuomo

56 Communications Recruiting Service Spotlight:

Supervisor Andrea Lewis by Bill Moakley

County Fair

72 by Joy Hampton

62 by Shannon Hudzinski - OUFCU

Back to School Shopping Hacks

Tips for getting the most out of this year’s county fair.

68 by Kathy Hallren - Joe’s Wines & Spirits Special Wines for Special Times

boydstreet.com

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Cover photo by: Josh Gateley - OU Athletics





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COM M U N I T Y

2022 Riverwind Classic

T

he Riverwind Classic golf tournament is celebrating its 10th year supporting a variety of non-profit organizations. This year’s recipients are long-time constants: the Norman Public School Foundation and the Cavett Kids Foundation. Split proceeds from the tournament will be donated to both organizations at a special check presentation. “It’s pretty cool to get to see their faces when we do the check presentation, because it’s a surprise to them and they don’t know what to expect,” shared Heather Rudd, Riverwind’s operations project manager. Rudd, now in charge of the event, has been involved with the annual charity tournament since 2016. “I look forward to our tournament each year because of what it stands for and how we’re able to provide for our community.” Last year’s fundraiser brought in around $62,000 and typically reaches near that amount, depending on the size of the tournament and golfers’ participation in the fundraisers on the course. This year’s tournament takes place on Friday, Sept. 9 at the Winter Creek Golf and Social Club in Blanchard. Tee time is at 10 a.m. and will likely wrap up by around

16 | September 2022

3 p.m. after the tournament, awards ceremony and raffle. “We get an overwhelming amount of support from our community partners that like to participate in the golf tournament, and it’s actually the first year we’ve had to turn players away because it filled so quickly. It’s a great problem to have and we still encourage our community to support the organizations in other ways,” Rudd invited. Members of the organizations can work at a particular hole and play a fundraising game to advocate for their foundation while educating others about their mission and raising brand awareness. “The tournament has really grown into something great that our partners look forward to participating in each year and I truly believe that is because of the purpose which is to invest in the growth of our community and aide in raising awareness for these organizations. That’s always been a constant and main driver for this tournament.” explained Rudd. Besides coming out to watch, the community can also donate items for the tournament’s raffle, which in turn raises a large amount for the non-profits that rely on donations to function.


BY: RAE LYNN PAYTON

Annual Riverwind Classic sets its sights on raising funds for children by supporting two local foundations that are dear to their hearts

Rudd also encourages the community to learn more about these organizations, check out their missions, and look into helping them in other ways as well.

programs. The Norman Public School Foundation uses some of the proceeds to help fund grants for teacher requests in the district.

Riverwind staff enjoys seeing how various organizations have used their funds in the past each year. The Cavett Kids Foundation typically uses some of the funds to send children to summer camp and attend summer

You can learn more about these organizations at normanpublicschools.org/foundation and cavettkids.org.– BSM

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BOYD STREET MAGAZINE | 17



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COM M U N I T Y

A utu mn on the Fa rm

Farm Girl Fair features handcrafted goods, family fun 20 | September 2022


C

ozy meets country at Farm Girl Fair, an event set to take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 2 at Norman’s Sandy River Ranch, 3500 NW 72nd Ave. Vendors, entertainment and food trucks will be part of the family friendly fair, which has been hosted each autumn since 2015. When friends Carol Bauman, Kim Frakes and Lindsi Niebur decided to create Farm Girl Fair, they shared a vision of a small, charming event. Bauman is operations director, Frakes oversees vendor relations and Niebur is the fair’s coordinator. “From the very beginning, the event has been for the community and a part of the community,” said Bauman. “We sat down with people and asked key questions. What we had in mind was the fair in Charlotte’s Web. We don’t need to grow bigger and be something we’re not. People find it special, a niche.” The three organizers have been friends since high school and all reside in Norman. Carol lives on the ranch property where the event is hosted. “It was easy to imagine this property coming to life as a great campus for a dream like this,” said Bauman. “Carol and I had come across a fair happening in northwest Arkansas and decided we could do this here,” said Frakes. More than 50 vendors attend each year, artisans with handcrafted wares, candles, clothing, jewelry and pottery. Pony rides, live music, yard games, face painting, balloon animals, a petting zoo and pie tastings are also some of the day’s activities. Admission is $5 for attendees over age 13 and free for children. Proceeds from admissions are donated in direct benefit to a designated non-profit organization. This year, Farm Girl Fair will benefit Loveworks Leadership, a youth advocacy organization focused on positive values, entrepreneurial effort and character-building activities. “We have always wanted to give back as part of a shared overall vision for Norman, which is an important aspect of living here. Our residents seem to have that in common,” said Bauman. Farm Kid Fair is an event of its own within the main event. Around 30 vendors under 16 will sell baked goods and other homemade items. Participants learn the value of giving back to the community with 5% of sales going to benefit Loveworks. “We see young people with friendship bracelets, slime, soda, whatever they make and sell who come out to participate,” said Bauman. “Loveworks will have a table to sell its salsa, which is a product kids make and market from start to finish. It’s in Oklahoma grocery stores and part of their program to teach entrepreneurship.”

BY: CALLIE COLLINS connect with the public. “Farm Girl Fair helps to promote and advance small vendors,” said Niebur. “Their quality and talent are outstanding.” Vendors for Farm Girl Fair and Farm Kid Fair apply annually, with approval considered on a case-by-case basis. Before Farm Girl Fair, a pre-event leads up to the big day: Night on the Farm. Event organizers will release 50 tickets on Instagram for the VIP experience, which includes food, drinks, live music, a rodeo and community participation. Football players and cheerleaders from Norman’s high schools have attended in the past to interact with the guests gathered for a fun night. A new element is added to Night on the Farm each year. Check Instagram at @farmgirlfair as the date approaches for more details and ticket information. Find more information about Farm Girl Fair at farmgirlfair.com.– BSM

VENDOR PROFILE: PATCHED DESIGNS Owner: Jillian Marsh Castro Instagram: @Patched_Designs When Castro’s husband was deployed last October, she decided to start her own small business to stay busy. Patched Designs features apparel, bags and more with monogrammed fabric designs. Letters and symbols add personalization to the merchandise, which has national distribution. “Little did I know this small business would take off and reach almost all 50 states. I was always the person that wanted these bags from the name brand, but I couldn’t justify spending $150 plus and I knew there had to be other moms that wanted these at an affordable price,” she explained. Preview on Instagram or at patcheddesigns.com.

The event’s organizers recognize the role Farm Girl Fair plays in giving small vendors an opportunity to boydstreet.com

BOYD STREET MAGAZINE | 21


VENDOR PROFILE: ARTIFACTORY Owner: Amy Baldwin Instagram: @the_artifactory Artifactory has been a community-based art center with retail and class offerings since 2014. Amy Baldwin, its owner, is proud of her business and the play on words on its name: “It really does represent us and the vintage materials we use, artifacts of another time.” Baldwin’s degree in fine arts from OU is the foundation for her work. Her inventory includes one-of-a-kind home decor, clothing and crafted items with vintage flair. Before the pandemic, the studio was known for its classes. When social distancing forced Baldwin to find another way of doing business, she came up with kits that sold nationwide which included all materials and tools needed to complete a project, in addition to step-by-step how-to videos. Now, classes have returned to the space and another seasonal kit will likely return this winter. “We look forward to attending Farm Girl Fair each year,” Baldwin said. “We are so grateful for the Norman community’s support and for the organizers of Farm Girl Fair.” Stop by the Artifactory booth this year at Farm Girl Fair and find more information about the studio’s one-of-akind items at https://bit.ly/artifactory_Norman.

22 | September 2022



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COM M U N I T Y

NORMANITES IN THE SPOTLIGHT Davi d and J e n ny Go o d s pe ed

I

f you know David or Jenny Goodspeed, you may know that they are always on board for having a good time. That fun-loving spirit is one they also want to bring to their roles as the co-chairs for the 2022 United Way of Norman Campaign. Jenny grew up in Purcell, Oklahoma, but has worked in Norman for the majority of her professional life. David attended school in Purcell for a few years when he was younger before his family moved to Norman, where he graduated from Norman High School then the University of Oklahoma. Because of their Norman and Purcell connections, the two had a large number of mutual friends on Facebook. The social media platform kept suggesting Jenny to David in the “People You May Know” section, and he finally sent her a friend request “just to get her out of my algorithm,” he said. Jenny then messaged David and the two began chatting and realized they shared some interests, including being OU fans and having rescue dogs. They decided to grab lunch one day, and now David jokes that “I can’t get rid of her. She’s just stuck on me like Velcro or Flex Seal. I just can’t seem to shake her.”

26 | September 2022

The two have been inseparable since that December 2018 lunch outing and married in September 2019. In April 2021, the Goodspeeds moved from Purcell to Norman. Currently, David works as president of OEC Fiber, while Jenny is a vice president at Armstrong Bank and has been in banking for 33 years. In the past, David worked for Target, Apple and OU, adding that he has been fortunate to keep Norman as his home during these career changes. Jenny is the mother of two sons, Ryan and Braden, while David has a daughter named Rylee. Now, the Goodspeeds are pairing up to lead this year’s United Way Campaign. United Way works with 26 partner agencies in the area to support services that improve lives in three key areas: education, financial stability and health. The goal this year is to raise $2 million. In addition to that, David and Jenny want to make the campaign fun, with one avenue for that being having a “Dallas” theme because of their love of the TV show of the same name. The campaign is already underway with the pacesetter and workplace kickoffs held on Aug. 10. Other highlights of the schedule include the Day of Caring on Sept.


BY: CHELSEY KRAF T

16 and Celebrity Sing on Oct. 28. The campaign will wrap up with a celebration on Dec. 14. For years, Jenny’s employees have been pacesetter companies with the United Way, so she was familiar with the organization and its goals. “I knew it was going for a good cause, but it’s been really eye opening being more involved because we see the process behind the scenes, like how the money is allocated to the partner agencies” Jenny said. “It’s truly a well-oiled machine, and it makes me feel good to know that we are able to be a part of it and make a difference.” In addition to their United Way roles, the Goodspeeds also serve their communities in a variety of ways. Currently, Jenny is on The Virtue Center Board, is involved with the Builders Association of South Central Oklahoma since she works with mostly construction lending at the bank and is the state president for the Oklahoma Association of Mothers Club. In the past, Jenny has also served on the boards for the Pioneer Library System, the Noble Public Schools Foundation, the Purcell Public Schools Foundation and the Purcell Chamber of Commerce, including as the president for two years. boydstreet.com

David spent some time on the Norman Public School Foundation Board and hopes that after his United Way involvement is done, he can find additional avenues through which to give back to Norman. David called Jenny his “partner in crime,” and they enjoy going on adventures as a couple. That may be attending OU football games or flying to California to watch his favorite NFL team, the Los Angeles Rams. At the same time, they enjoy spending time at home and watching TV all night. “What I tell people about David is that he can make watching paint dry fun,” Jenny shared. “Not only is it a good experience for us to be able to help the community as United Way co-chairs but I also love doing everything with him.” In addition to reaching the fundraising goal, the Goodspeeds hope to establish momentum that carries into future campaigns. “This isn’t just about this year,” David said of the campaign. “It’s about 2023, 2024 and 2025. We’re trying to reset what happened with COVID and come out swinging and really get everybody’s attention. We are ready to get after it and take it to the next level.”– BSM BOYD STREET MAGAZINE | 27


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COM M U N I T Y

A Go l d S tan d ard

Federal award given to Norman Public Schools transportation dvision

P

arents and students in the Norman Public School district can rest a little easier knowing that the district’s transportation department recently earned a prestigious national distinction, the Gold Standard Award from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), an honor typically reserved for transit authorities in major metropolitan areas and companies such as FedEx. As the first public school district in the nation to earn this achievement, Director Mike Tauscher and his team are being commended for their security enhancement effort that has been worked on for about 4 years. Norman Public Schools began their work after Tauscher attended a professional conference where representatives from the TSA shared their concerns about school buses being “soft targets.” “TSA was concerned about security measures on school buses,” he said. “I knew we had to get on board. It has been challenging at points, but we want to be prepared. If an incident was to happen on a bus, we need to know what to do.” NPS’ commitment to the safety initiative required more than the existing equipment and training the school district normally provided.

32 | September 2022


BY: LINDSAY CUOMO

“This effort did take substantial funding and I want to thank the community and the board because without their support this would have gone nowhere,” Tauscher added. Drivers underwent extensive training in a variety of areas including what to do if a suspicious package is found or how to react in an active shooter situation, all of which has served as a positive recruitment tool when hiring, according to Tauscher.

or cold,” Tauscher said. “The app can also let parents know when their kids get home.” Other recent upgrades include heating and air conditioning systems in all NPS buses. “Students days begin and end with their bus driver and they play a very important role,” Milner said. “We are very fortunate to have some very dedicated folks (in our transportation department).” – BSM

“It really is a recruitment tool. Security is in the back of the mind of drivers,” he shared. “We want them to know that Norman is prepared.” “Safety is the number one priority,” shared Justin Milner, associate superintendent and chief operating officer. “We have a rich history being at the forefront and that doesn’t stop at the classroom door.” With a fleet of 100 buses and 84 drivers, NPS transports around 9,000 students every day, covering about a million miles a year! “That’s like going to the moon four times a year,” Tauscher explained. As part of the initiative, upgrades included new procedures, enhanced technology and ongoing training. Buses are equipped with 360-degree exterior cameras, high quality interior video systems, collision avoidance systems and GPS tracking systems. “We can watch vehicles on GPS, which pings about every 15 seconds,” Tauscher said. “We can ascertain their location down to the tenth of a mile.” The department is also rolling out an app called Stop Finder. “The app will let parents know when their child’s bus is in range, so kids don’t have to be out in the extreme heat boydstreet.com

BOYD STREET MAGAZINE | 33



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38 | September 2022


A

BY: CHRIS PLANK

s the Sooners kick-off the 2022 season, Oklahoma native and Weatherford product Ethan Downs is projected to be a difference maker. On the field, the sophomore defensive end has added more muscle, strength and leadership, which is evident in the confidence the new coaching staff has shown in him. But the true difference that he makes goes beyond the football field, beyond the weight room and beyond the classroom. “I don’t think there’s a guy on this team that loves this team or his position more than Ethan Downs,” new defensive ends coach Miguel Chavis said. Ethan has always wanted to be a Sooner. “When he was 7-years old he said ‘I’m gonna play for the Sooners and I’m gonna play in the NFL,’” Nate Downs said of his son’s early focus. “Everything he’s done since then has been geared in that direction.” Ethan played in every game with the Sooners as a freshman, registering 3 tackles for loss and forcing a fumble against Western Carolina. With a new coaching staff in place led by Brent Venables, his commitment and passion were so clear he was selected to represent the Sooners at Big 12 Media Days. It’s a responsibility rarely bestowed upon a freshman or sophomore. “It’s about the buy-in, the buy-in to the culture, the work they put in, the leadership. It’s about how you play,” Venables said of Ethan representing the Sooners at Big 12 Media Days. “Everything matters. I know I’ve said that a lot. If you’re a great player, you’ve made plays for us on both sides of the ball and you’ve been late four times, that’s unacceptable. … Your destiny is a daily decision.” “I don’t feel deserving [to be here],” Ethan said during his breakout sessions. “But I feel like it’s an opportunity to continue to grow, to give back, to prove myself.” Ethan has a rare outlook on life that is fueled by his passion for his faith and a competitive spirit. “I don’t know where it comes from. We raised all our kids the same, every kid is different… but he is special,” Ethan’s father, Nate Downs said of his son’s personality. “It’s more than just football and being athletically gifted. Spiritually he’s gifted and he’s going to be a leader for this team now and beyond. It’s not something you can teach or push someone towards. You either have it or you don’t.” For his mom, De Anna Downs, it was about a trust that was gained very early that has helped him to develop into the man he is today.

boydstreet.com

BOYD STREET MAGAZINE | 39


Photo by: Josh Gateley - OU Athletics - Opposite provided by Downs Family

“When he turned to us for advice early, we told him he could trust us,” De Anna said. “From that time on when we gave him advice he followed it to a tee. He’s just coachable… and he learns fast.” The spotlight is not new for Ethan. He has been in this position before. As a freshman at Weatherford, he found himself playing with the varsity squad. As his career progressed, he was climbing up recruiting charts as he helped his high school win championships. “He knows it is a gift,” De Anna added. “We’ve also taught him that someone is always looking even when you think no one is. We were really reassured that he’s the same person in our sight that he is out of our sight. It’s not a show.” The way that Ethan lives his life can best be illustrated by his relationship with his best friend through middle school and high school, Skyler Bivens. Chris Bivens and his wife Dixie along with their daughter Sierra and son Skyler moved to Weatherford in 2015. It was exciting for Chris because it was a return to his home state, but also concerning. His son Skyler

40 | September 2022

was in junior high and had battled cancer his entire life. “Skyler was diagnosed with cancer when he was 3 and had four or five reoccurrences and battled for 15 years off and on,” Chris said. As the Bivens family settled in Weatherford, Skyler faced the challenge of finding new friends. Leaving Kansas meant leaving his best friend. “I was worried, but God wanted us to be here, and he gave us Ethan,” Chris shared. “Ethan saw him for who he was… a kid who wanted to have fun.” The bond between Ethan and Skyler was instant. “Ethan came home from school in middle school, he tells me about a kid he met in gym class who had a hard time walking,” De Anna said of Ethan’s first meeting with Skyler. “People treat him bad because he’s different, but we started talking about cartoons and hit it off. Ethan never saw the things that set them apart. The boys were inseparable. Chris, Dixie and Sierra are now family. That young man and the battle that he fought opened all our eyes to something bigger.”


boydstreet.com

BOYD STREET MAGAZINE | 41


Despite the differences in stature, Ethan and Skyler were inseparable. Ethan had a loyal friend and Skyler had a buddy who allowed him to be a kid away from the everyday battles of scans, treatment and chemotherapy.

“What you see in an interview is the same person he is all the time. Sometimes I feel like an outsider looking in, watching this play out for our son and watching him figure things out,” Nate Downs said of his son.

“Skyler had the best attitude. I never once heard him say why me,” Chris said. “He had three brain surgeries, countless other surgeries and never once did he ever say why me dad. Ethan was a role model for Skyler. Skyler was always telling him they were brothers. And that’s what they were like. They were brothers.”

As Ethan prepares to take on a larger role in 2022, the foundation he has already set off the field has paved the way for him to be successful on the field. His mentality and mindset have meshed perfectly with Venables and his approach to Sooner Football.

Skyler lost his battle to brain cancer in 2019 when Ethan was a junior in high school. The bond was so deep between the two that the relationship is mentioned in the obituary for Skyler. They might not have been family by blood, but they had become brothers in life. “I try to remember that whatever it is I can do it,” Ethan shared. “Skyler fought cancer all his life since he was 3. I met him in middle school, and it was a god sent thing. There is so much more than winning or losing on Saturdays. Even if we don’t win, even if I don’t make a big play, watching Skyler fight I learned about the value of life.” There are several things that you get when watching Ethan Downs play: a passionate, hard-nosed, tireless worker who loves being Sooner.

“These coaches are all about grit, heart, all about putting your mind to it,” Ethan said. “Coach Venables just said today you can’t speak yourself into being a great football player. You must perform. You must work at it. I want to show that by how I work every day. I want to exceed expectations… and set a standard.” As the Sooners embark on a new era, the foundation being set by players like Ethan Downs will help to serve as an example. He knows that his biggest fan is always watching down from above. “I take a lot of pride in Ethan,” Chris added. “What you see in Ethan is genuine. That’s who he is. It’s just a matter of time before the world sees how special he is. I think OU is blessed to have him. I couldn’t imagine that there could be a better face for their football program.”-BSM


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Tigers and Timberwolves welcome new athletic leaders

N

orman Public Schools welcomes in a pair of talented new site athletic directors at both Norman High and Norman North to start the 2022-23 academic and athletic calendar years. At Norman High, Shane Austin arrives after spending the past eight years at Putnam City Schools. Austin spent the past four years as an assistant principal at Putnam City West where his duties included overseeing the day-to-day operations of all athletic programs. Prior to entering administration, Austin coached varsity football for 10 years. He worked as an assistant at Crooked Oak High School in 2004 and ended at Piedmont High School in 2013. At Norman North, Dusty Porch takes over for the Timberwolves after serving as the dean of students and athletic director at Robin Hill Public Schools. Prior to that, he was at Yukon and Edmond North where he served as an assistant baseball coach. “The site athletic director positions at both Norman High and Norman North play an important role in the day-to-day experience our student-athletes have in their respective programs,” Norman Public Schools district athletic director T.D. O’Hara said. “Both Dusty and Shane will allow our athletic programs at both Norman High and Norman North to continue to grow in a positive manner under their direction and leadership.” Austin discussed his excitement to take over at Norman High. “I am ecstatic. That’s the word that comes to mind,” Austin said. “This is what I really enjoy and what I’m

46 | September 2022

passionate about. This is fun getting to help coaches and watch our young people be successful on the athletic field and on the court.” Austin knows he’s set to work with a group of talented coaches, too. “Being that I was from West, I know Rocky Martin’s reputation obviously and we’re heading into football, so I cannot express the amount of respect that I have for that guy,” Austin said. “I was told coming in that we had a really great group of coaches here. I’ve seen nothing so far that disputes that. They’re super professional.” In taking over for the T-Wolves, Porch is returning to his alma mater. “Man, it’s kind of like a dream come true,” Porch said. “It was a dream that I never really knew I had to be honest with you. Me and my whole family, we couldn’t be more excited to be here and to just be a part of it. To be able to go back and really impact kids and help influence some of those young minds has really been a blessing.” One of the most enticing pieces of the puzzle for Porch is the incredible foundation that North already has. “I know that there’s a very good foundation here,” Porch said. “I know that we have a very good set of coaches, a very good set of administration. I couldn’t be in a better situation as far as coming in and keeping things rolling. It’s a lot easier to step into a role that has been well managed and well taken care of and kind of put my own handprints on it.” – BSM



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Healthy Aging Awareness Fair Norman Regional hosts fair promoting healthy aging

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eptember is Healthy Aging Month and Norman Regional Health System is hosting their inaugural Healthy Aging Awareness Fair at The Well, Cleveland County’s wellness square in downtown Norman, on Sept. 25 from 1 to 4 p.m. The fair is designed to connect Normanites ages 45 and older with community resources and information that focuses on the positive aspects of aging. It will highlight adding life to years, not just years to life. “As a society, we tend to focus on the negatives of aging,” shared Cathy Snapp, registered physical therapist and orthopedic programs administrator with Norman Regional. “We want to celebrate how positive choices can improve your quality of life because the earlier you start making healthier choices the better.” Combatting the common misconception that decline and poor health are inevitable, the fair will highlight ways to stay active physically, mentally and socially as well as offer preventative solutions to common concerns such as fall risk assessments, house adaptions and easy recipes for heart healthy meals. “Education is a great first step,” shared Nicole Garber, a nurse practitioner with Norman Regional focusing on functional medicine. “The fair will provide a lot of information so people can educate themselves about ways they can address their ongoing health concerns.”

50 | September 2022

Fair organizers are utilizing patient feedback as a guide for what resources and topics the fair will address. “We are focusing on what our patients have expressed concerns about,” added Snapp. “For example, we were telling them to be active, but we weren’t always helping them find a place they feel comfortable. We want to point out the places and spaces that cater to their age group. There are a lot of resources in the Norman community that you might not be aware of.” Attendees can take part in a Zumba and Silver Sneakers class, watch a gentle yoga or an oil and clay art demonstration, and even get information about volunteer opportunities. “Volunteering is a great way to get out of the house, socialize and benefit others too,” Nicole Adams, registered nurse and data analyst for the orthopedics program. “The fair will be a huge collaboration from a variety of community partnerships in the Norman community.” Prevention will be at the forefront of the fair. “It is important to be a life-long learner,” encouraged Snapp. “We want the fair to be a one-stop shop event with community and health system resources in one place.” The fair is free and open to the public. To learn more about the fair and other resources for seniors, visit normanregional.com/services/senior-vitality.– BSM


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S ERV I C E S P OT L I G H T

BY: BILL MOAKLEY

Service Spotlight: Communications Recruiting Supervisor

Andrea Lewis

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ndrea Lewis got her first look at city government early in life. That’s what happens when you’re the daughter of a small-town Texas mayor.

Lewis, who now serves as the communications recruiting supervisor for the Norman Police Department, grew up in Aledo, just west of Ft. Worth. She graduated in a class of seven students from a private Christian school and the headed to Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford. “My dad was the mayor from the time I was in first grade until I was a sophomore in high school, so kind of got to watch the inner workings of local governments, whether I wanted to or not,” she recalled with a laugh. “I didn’t really enjoy going to city council meetings, but I liked going and checking water levels and things like that with Dad.” Lewis earned her degree in business management from SWOSU and worked in higher education for about seven years, including stints in recruitment and student services. “I really enjoyed working people or helping students find the best path for them degree-wise,” Lewis said. After having her position outsourced to a private company and eventually phased out, Lewis decided she still didn’t really know what she wanted to do when she “grew up.” A friend who was a Norman police officer suggested

applying for the department and Lewis felt there was a lot about being an officer she would enjoy, but some aspects that wouldn’t feel natural. She mentioned pursuing something in administrations. That’s when the two started talking about dispatching. Lewis contacted the department’s communications manager and went and looked at what dispatch looked like. “I went and sat down and saw all the screens and all the moving pieces and got really excited,” Lewis said. She joined the department in 2016 and was promoted to communications officer II a year later. Lewis then moved into a new role in the department as an comms officer III and began assisting with supervision on days off for full-time supervisors. Six months later, a supervisory position opened, and Lewis was hired to fill that role. With the promotion and a deep dive into emergency management, Lewis has begun working on her master’s degree in public administration through Tarleton State University. “I’ve just kept trying to do the best I could and learn as much as I can,” she explained. “I’ve grown to be more and more interested in all the facets of management and emergency management.” The police communications center fields a wide array of emergency and non-emergency calls for police, fire and ambulance services as well as animal welfare and parking. After hours calls are also routed through the comms center. This is a continuation of our series on public servants in Norman.

56 | September 2022



Lewis is also applying her background in higher education recruitment as the recruiting supervisor for the department. She attends jobs fair, visits schools and coordinates publications aimed as educating potential communications candidates about the job environment and openings. Her key message? Dispatching stretches far beyond just fielding phone calls. “There’s more to what the job entails,” Lewis said. “It keeps growing with technology. You have to learn a ton of new systems. It’s becoming more of a career than a job. It’s not just answering the phone anymore. You got to teach people how to use technology, and those all play a role in applicant pool and expectations.” When she’s not working, Lewis, who loves traveling, said it’s important to get away from the stress of the communications center. “There’s a phrase used in dispatch and that’s ‘your worst day is our workday,’” Lewis explained. “There is an acclamation to some of those things we deal with. It’s really important to disconnect and decompress and do normal things and connect with people, just be reminded there are good things happening and you have to enjoy that part of life.”


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Back to School Shopping Hacks

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Any way you slice it, back-to-school season is expensive! Between new backpacks, textbooks, a long list of supplies and a fresh autumn wardrobe, most parents are looking at a bill of close to $700 for school-related expenses. Here’s a handy list of shopping hacks that will help you keep more money in your wallet. Be proactive and save big! Here’s a handy list of back to-school shopping hacks that will help you keep more money in your wallet. STOCK UP No, your child doesn’t need a 6-month supply of No.2 pencils for the first day of school or five spare pocket-folders. But, if you buy enough school supplies while prices are low to last through the first half of the year — or even all the way into June — you’ll save big. SHOP THE DOLLAR STORE Before you hit the typical retail stores, shop for real bargains at dollar stores like Dollar Tree and Family Dollar. You can find calculators, paper, pencils, pens and more — for just a buck! BUY DESIGNER BACKPACKS ONLINE If your kid is begging for a brand-name backpack, but you don’t want to shell out big bucks for a label, check out sites like 6PM and eBags. You’ll find fantastic deals on designer backpacks that will keep both the fashion-conscious child and parents happy. LOOK FOR MANUFACTURER COUPONS Comb circulars, like RedPlum and SmartSource, for manufacturer coupons from supply companies like Bic and Mead. You can also find them in magazines geared toward parents like Parenting or on online coupon sites like Retailmenot and CouponCabin. These are usually steeper discounts than retailer coupons and they can be combined with in-store specials. DECODE PRICE TAGS When shopping for new clothing, you want to know if you’re getting the best deal possible. Most stores have a system for tagging items at their final markdown. Learn how to decode price tags and you’ll save big. Here’s how these popular stores mark their lowest prices: •

The Gap: Ending in $.97

Target: Ending in an 8

Old Navy: Ending in $.47

TJMaxx: Yellow price tag

SHOP THROUGH EBATES FOR CASH BACK Do all your online shopping through cash-back sites, like Ebates, and get 2-4% of every purchase back. Ebates is 62 | September 2022

affiliated with almost every major retailer, and it hardly takes any extra effort to shop through their site. It’s like getting paid to shop! COORDINATE WITH OTHER PARENTS To help you get the best deals and save some time, work together with other parents of school-aged kids. If you’re in Walmart when they have their penny deals on pencils and you can get a box of 24 for just 50 cents, offer to buy a few boxes for your friend’s kids. And, when your friend finds the super-hot deal on crayons, they’ll pick up a few boxes for your kids. That’s money saved and fewer trips to the store. USE THE SEASON TO TEACH YOUR KIDS FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY With all the kid-centered shopping this time of year, it’s the perfect time for some financial lessons. Is your child desperate for designer supplies? Offer to pay for the regular price and let her fill in the rest with her own money. Give your older kids a list and some cash and let them shop on their own. Offer children a choice between a pricier backpack or a new pair of shoes. The teachable moments during back-to-school shopping are everywhere! CHECK OUT GIFT-CARD SITES BEFORE YOU SHOP Save by buying discounted gift cards to stores, like Michael’s and JCPenney, on sites like GiftCardGranny and Raise. USE THE AMAZON APP TO PRICE-MATCH Have your phone handy when shopping so you can comparison-shop when buying your supplies. If an item is cheaper on Amazon, why buy it at the store (especially if you are an Amazon Prime member and can get free shipping)? SIGN UP FOR PROMOTIONAL MAIL Most major retailers offer a discount for signing up for their promotional emails or text messages. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF PRICE MATCHING Lots of stores you’ll be shopping at this season, like Office Depot, Staples and Target, offer to match any competitor’s prices. Take advantage of this generous offer by coming prepared with an online price posting of a cheaper item you’ve found elsewhere. You’ll visit fewer stores this way and save money, too. SHOP EARLY IN THE WEEK Weekly sales go live on Sundays and the best stuff gets grabbed first. Shop Sundays and Mondays so you never miss out on a great deal again.


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BY: KATHY HALLREN | JOE’S WINES & SPIRITS

Special Wines for Special Times

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aving survived the heat of this past summer, now is a great time to talk more about wine!

A great place to start is with dessert and ice wine. This sweet, but balanced wine is sold in half bottles and is perfect served after dinner or before dessert. Good examples are Jackson Trigg and Heinz Eiffel. These lovely wines are made from grapes that remain on the vine until they freeze. The grapes are clean and result in a wine that has high acidity and sweetness, a perfect complement to a simple dessert. Ice wines differ from other sweet dessert wines, which are pressed after the grapes have started to become raisins. Examples of sweet dessert wines include Sauternes and Tokaji.

Sake is another great choice for an aperitif. This rice wine’s quality depends on how much of the outer rice was removed before fermentation. Sake should be served chilled. The floral notes in Sake make it an inviting treat. There are also many lightly fruit flavored Sakes to complement an appetizer or meal. Wandering Poet, Tozai Blossom of Peace (Plum) and Little Sumo are good choices. After dinner port and sherry are also good choices, once the temperature drops a little. These suggestions are not to replace your favorite Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon but rather to add a little something extra to your next get-together.

Let’s move on to dinner.

Be safe and have a good time,

Vermouth is often enjoyed in your favorite spirit-based cocktail. If you are not a cocktail drinker or want a change, try vermouth on its own over ice. La Pivón or Cocchi are very enjoyable over ice or slightly chilled. A splash of sparkling water will make a perfect aperitif.

Kathy

68 | September 2022


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COM M U N I T Y

Co u nty Fa i r

Tips for getting the most out of this year’s county fair

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he Cleveland County Fair is the largest county fair in the state offering a wide selection of family-friendly fun. Each of the four days, Sept. 8-11, offers unique opportunities. To help you mine for entertainment gold, here are some tips for making the most out of your 2022 Cleveland County Fair experience.

TIP # 1 — DON’T PASS UP THE FREE STUFF The Canadian River Old Iron Club (CROIC) hosts tractor pulls and children’s activities on the north side of the fairgrounds campus. Families can take a step back in time with CROIC’s hand’s on, kid-friendly activities including a hayride, trackless train, corn grinder and sheller, washtub, and more. Inside the Fair Barn, you’ll find a free petting zoo and loads of other animals to see. Depending on the day and time, you may also see a few livestock shows in progress. On the east side main stage, enjoy entertainment including 4-H Cloggers and Silver Spurs Square Dancing performances during daytime hours. Popular bands such as the John Arnold Band, One-Eyed Jack and Black Water Bridge hit the stage from 7 -10 p.m. each evening of the fair with The Brown Notes and Dale Moser & The Blackhorse Band performing on Sunday. These popular bands play a variety of music with room for dancing whether you prefer county or rock and roll. Of course, you can always browse the exhibition hall and see everything from art, photographs, quilts, and 72 | September 2022

flower arrangements to baked goods, preserved food and handmade crafts.

TIP #2 — TAKE PART IN FIRST-HAND EXPERIENCES The Baby Crawl and Stick Horse Races are the highlight of Friday evening entertainment. Watching is free but the real experience is competing. Does your baby like to crawl? Do you have a child who would enjoy racing a stick horse? Entry is free. WARNING: Babies who try to walk will be disqualified. Yep, that’s a rule. You can just imagine the hilarious results when two babes stop and play patty-cake during the race. Saturday highlights include a car and motorcycle show, NASA Powerlifting (there is a fee to enter but it is free to watch) and the kiddie tractor pulls (aka pedal pulls). Youth can also enter the Junior Auctioneer Contest. Entry is free with auction results donated the Cleveland County 4-H fund. On Sunday, the wiener dog races are a big crowd pleaser. Enter your dog for the full experience or pick a favorite canine to cheer for during each heat.

TIP #3 — DON’T SKIP THE CULTURAL OPPORTUNITIES The county fair is the keeper of many traditions and old-fashioned family fun. New this year is the Indian Ceremony at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Antique Tractors are on display all four days and Antique Tractor Pulls are slated for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.


BY: JOY HAMPTON

TIP #4 — SAMPLE UNIQUE FOOD AND GIFT ITEMS Vendors come from across the region to sell groovy t-shirts, unique crafts, distinctive artwork, photography and jewelry, fun foods, and so much more. While you can have a blast at the fair without ever purchasing any fair food or spending money on a single carnival game or ride, the main thing to remember is you’re creating memories for yourself and your loved ones. Whether it’s the silly t-shirt you bought on a whim or the funnel cake

you shared with your sweetheart, the fair is an opportunity to immerse yourself in experience.

TIP #5 — BE PRESENT IN THE MOMENT New to the Cleveland County Fair, Wade Shows opens the carnival at 4 p.m. on Friday and runs through Sunday. Wade Shows, who plays more state fairs than any other carnival in history, is bringing some new and exciting rides to the county this year. Take the opportunity to relax and enjoy! – BSM

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