Page 1


April 2014

MELITA’S STORY Continuing a family

LEGACY pg. 2

HAPPY Awareness with a

TWIST pg. 4


LEADER LETTER Since The Center was founded in 1957 much has changed in the world. Man landed on the moon, the Internet was invented, email was created and smart phones have become our main tool of communication. For 57 years, The Center has successfully served our mission largely due to the support of long time donors and volunteers. But with time, comes change. In the last year we have experienced several losses that hit us hard. In April 2013 Nate Waters, member, board member and Center supporter passed suddenly. This past January we lost influential Tulsan and philanthropist Henry Zarrow and one month later one of our founders, Nancy Feldman. We miss these community leaders and Center friends, but losing them gives us even more drive to continue serving the needs of individuals with disabilities in our community.

Volunteering at The Center is a great way to spread awareness and help with overhead costs. Hiring staff is a necessary expense to keep us running, but some of our classes or activities can be taught by volunteers. Volunteers are also valuable at our events helping the event run smoother and reduces costs. On behalf of every member we serve, we thank you for your continued support of The Center, our mission and services. Yours in Center service –

Currently we are planning our second Polo Classic fundraising event. We are an organization that truly depends on the support of our community. 75 percent of our yearly budget must be raised through our fundraising efforts. The Polo Classic is a new premiere event which makes our community awareness efforts just as important as the fundraising aspect itself. The success of this event provides a significant portion of our funding. We need your help to promote it in the community. Spreading awareness is the easiest way to help us reach our goals. With tools like Facebook, YouTube and our website, sharing about The Center is one click away. In addition, we always have brochures, information cards and newsletters available for you to use to share with your coworkers, fellow church members or a stranger in line at the grocery store. Everyone knows someone with a disability and you never know when life can change. Fundraising is an essential part of being a nonprofit organization and while you may not feel comfortable asking individuals for donations… that is where we come in. The best way to help us in this effort is to let us know if you think there is a company or individual that would be interested in supporting our mission. Donations can be a monetary contribution, or discounted/donated services or supplies.

Annie Tomecek President, Board of Directors

Lori A. Long Executive Director

The Center Staff: • Janice Bawden, Art Instructor • Donna Bridenstine, Receptionist • Margie Crossno, Program & Volunteer Coordinator • Bradley Forbes, JWCS & Fitness Instructor • Katrina Griffiths, Fitness & Recreation Specialist • Andrea Hernandez, Fitness & Recreation Specialist • Vickie Holler, Director of Member Services • Erin Jacobs, Director of Community Relations • Lori A. Long, Executive Director • Haylee McDorman, Transition Services Coordinator • Darlene McGrail, Recreation Therapist • Burt McLachlan, Program Coordinator • Cathy Pennington, Executive & Development Asst. • Susan Pierce, Director of Development


MEMBER STORY MELITA JONES Melita Jones is a third generation Center member. In 1994, her grandmother used to come to The Center for art classes, specifically ceramics. Melita’s father also enjoyed The Center for three years until his passing in 2002. A diabetic and double amputee, her father took advantage of the fitness center and fitness classes while Melita joined him. Melita says, “Daddy loved The Center!” After his passing, Melita still continued to come as a member herself. She has Osteochondropathy, a disease of the bones and cartilage. Her doctors recommended exercise as a means to keep her healthy. Her favorite fitness class is Muscle Energizer, which focuses on total body strength.

Melita comes to The Center 4 to 5 times a week. In her 15 years as a member her favorite event was the “Happy” Premiere Party (talked about later in this newsletter). She said it was fun to have her family and friends see her in the video and meet her Center friends. She also liked it because of what it will do for The Center. Melita actively spreads the word about The Center on Facebook and the video was an easy way for her to share her love for The Center with friends. When asked what has kept her a member for so long she replied, “The members and the staff. Without The Center I would have nowhere to go during the day while my husband is at work. This place keeps me healthy and happy.”

“Without The Center I would have nowhere to go.”

Besides the Fitness Center, Melita is an art student like her grandmother. She takes several different classes and her art can be seen in both the Center hallway and in the “Artists of The Center” 2014 Calendar. She is known in the art room for her very intricate drawings, usually of small items in complex patterns.

Melita made it up Turkey Mountain on a trike with Gabby!

Melita picking out her next art project with Janice.



Volunteer Tulsa’s “A License to Change” volunteer awards was April 5. Two of our outstanding member volunteers were nominated for awards. Melissa Dickerson was nominated in the Adult category for her service in the art room and Raymond Bradford for his help with the Tulsa Jammers Wheelchair Basketball Team. We are proud to announce that Melissa was selected as the “2014 Change Agent”! The award could not have gone to a more deserving person.

The Tulsa Jammers competed in the 2014 NWBA Wheelchair Basketball Junior Nationals at the beginning of April. The Jammers entered the tournament as the fourteenth rank team in the country.

Melissa also was the recipient of The Center’s “Kate Kaiser Volunteer of the Year Award” at our volunteer celebration. Ruth Nelson (daughter of Kate Kaiser) presented her the award. Melissa helps anywhere and everywhere she is needed with a smile on her face always. Despite having MS Melissa is always on time, where she needs to be and happy to help others. She is a true representation of the spirit of our members. Congrats Melissa!

Their first game was against conference rival and third ranked Houston Hot Wheelers whom were also 2013 National and Southwest Conference defending champions. Houston proved a little too hot for the Jammers in that first match. Next they faced the 11th ranked team, Spokane Washington, who lost to Dallas (another conference rival.) Jammers went into the game as underdogs, but were not about to lose back to back game! The Jammers dominated the game by playing strong defense along with solid all-round shooting on the offensive side led by Karina Keck and Jacob Shaw to hand Spokane their second straight loss of the tournament to a southwest conference team 42-16. Tulsa finished 10th with Karina Keck making the female all-tournament first team, while Jacob Shaw received honorable mention for his academics. Way to go Jammers!



Our red carpet party was a huge success! Members, staff, board & supporters alike were in attendance to see what we had been working on. The Tulsa World and The List (KJRH) came to the event as well and produced stories about the video and the members in it. After the video release, “Happy” made it on to every morning show in the Tulsa area! A few Happy Stars got to go on as well. The purpose of the music video, to the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, was to show that people with disabilities ARE happy and live fulfilling lives. The secondary purpose was to show people what The Center has to offer. Rarely do people who do not need The Center, come to The Center; but you never know when life can change and you yourself or a family member may need what The Center offers. To see the video, visit our website and click on the video on the bottom right corner. Watch it and share it. We want this video to take over the nation but we cannot do that with out your help! Here are some pictures from the red carpet event:

We hope you received our email invitation to the “Happy” Premiere that was at the end of March. After the event we also sent an email with a link to the video for you to see and share. If you DID NOT get these emails but want to, please send an email to with the subject line “Add Me to Email List”.


CENTER ADAPTIVE GAMES Coming in July is the Inaugural Center Adaptive Games! The purpose of these games is to boost awareness of adaptive sports for individuals with disabilities. The event will be July 24 in morning into early afternoon for anyone 14 or older that has a physical disability. If under 18 a parent must accompany them. Sports played will be field sports like archery and boccia ball as well as team sports like wheelchair basketball and seated volleyball. Weight lifting will also be a station. Entrance fee is $15 for nonmembers and registration sheets will be available on our website soon.

Tulsa Community Foundation

Baby Boomer Sooner Planning for the Future Boomers are increasingly being stressed by the continually changing economic realities that are shaking financial and family foundations.

WHEN: April 22nd, 2014 5:30 P.M. - Check in

The consequences of decisions related to starting Social Security, health, aging, income, and retirement can be confusing. Boomers are asking themselves, “Will I be ready to retire?” and “How do I prepare?”

5:45 P.M. - Presentation May 6th, 2014 8:00 A.M.


OU- Tulsa Campus Learning Center Building Room 145

Attending this workshop will equip you to evaluate and prepare for your future.

Please RSVP to...


The Center for Individuals w/ Physical Challenges Susan Pierce 918-794-4509

This is a complimentary educational workshop presented by Tulsa Community Foundation and the local non-profit community. No products are being sold. Light Hors d’oeuvres will be served.




$20,000 - $1,000

or individual VIP tickets ($250 each) 11 a.m. Champagne Brunch with live auction, all under a large tent. VIP parking


General Admission tickets $25 adult, $10 child 12 or under Access to field for 1 p.m. polo match. Concessions available.


May 17, 2014

11a.m. Champagne Brunch 1 p.m. Polo Match




Board of Directors Annie Tomecek, President Val Fimbres, 1st Vice-President Ignacio Fernandez, 2nd Vice-President Tom McPherson, 3rd Vice President Dylan McCants, Secretary/Treasurer Megan Meussner, Past President

return service requested

Kris Beach Scott Beller Amber Burton Kristin Dickerson William J. Doyle III Eric Ellsworth Ken Etheredge Jason Grunin Dwayne Henderson Brendon Maguffee Samanthia Marshall Jack Montgomery Dr. Stacy Nix Jim Ogez Bob O’Neal Garth Renfrow Lance Taylor

Printing courtesy of:

Interns: Shawn Crisp Seth Erkenbeck Seth Hilsabeck Whitney Pancoast Lori A. Long, Executive Director

CENTER SUPPORT GROUPS ALS - Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s Disease: Meets the second Thursday of each month at 6:30p in Classroom One. Aphasia Support Group: Meets the second Wednesday of each month at 9:30a in Classroom Three. TAGS – Tulsa Amputee Support Group: Meets the first Monday of each month at 6:30p in Classroom One to discuss various topics of interests, provide support, education and socialization. VISTA – Visually Impaired Seeking Technique Alternatives: Meets each Wednesday at 1:00p in Classroom Two. Meetings feature dialogue concerning community resources, adaptive equipment, social activities and supportive interactions

Parksinson’s Support Group: Meets the second Thursday of each month at 6:30 in classroom three. This group is for persons with Parkinson’s disease and / or family members or caregivers of someone with the disease. PSG provides discussions, resources, learning opportunities, and support. Spinal Cord Injury Support Group: Meets the second Wednesday of each month at 3:00p in classroom three. This is an informal group of SCI survivors who meet monthly for discussions, education, and socialization.

April 2014 Newsletter  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you