Pictured is Program Chairman Lion R.C. Morrow, Coach David Dunlap, and President Lion Duaine Janzen.
Tuesday's Lions Club meeting was another amazing story of "local boy does well" with championship results, presented by David Dunlap, a 1997 Okmulgee High School graduate and Head Coach of the 2017 Okmulgee Bulldogs Baseball Academic State Champions. What a marvelous turn-around from four years ago when Coach Dunlap took over the baseball team, and recounted that two of his freshman players had grade point averages of 1.36 and 1.85, and 18 of his 22 players were on the "ineligible list".
When Coach Dunlap was introduced by Program Chairman Lion R.C. Morrow, a former Okmulgee Bulldog baseball and football player (All-State and Northeastern Oklahoma State University All-American), from the back of the room came a "holler" of "Super Dave", from none other than Lion Craig Brydges, a "forever" legendary teacher at Okmulgee High School. Coach Dunlap explained that "Super Dave" was his nickname during his school years and no wonder, he received five letters in sports in one year, was an All-State tuba player, and valedictorian. It doesn't get much better than that, does it?
Coach Dunlap explained that three of his teachers had a great influence in his decision to become a teacher, even though the pay wasn't that good, and they were Lion Craig Brydges, Lion Beth Flud (Oklahoma History and Government), and Randy Hutchinson. He requested to teach Oklahoma History because this class is required of all students, so he became the only teacher to teach every student in school, in addition to teaching Government and American History classes.
He further related that 46 of his class of 137 students received college degrees, with quite a few receiving advanced degrees. With this background, one can see why the baseball team won runner-up academic champions last year with a GPA of 3.65, winning this year with a GPA of 3.78, and two having a 4.0 GPA, and the first year that more than one player attended college (five).
Coach Dunlap began his college career at St. Louis University (Missouri) on a baseball scholarship for one year, transferring "back home" to Western Oklahoma Junior College (Altus, Oklahoma), then attending and graduating from Southwestern Oklahoma State University (Weatherford). He had played pitcher, catcher, and first base, and was drafted by the Kansas City Royals professional baseball team, but didn't sign, opting to sign with Atlanta. He spent 6 1/2 years in the minor leagues, travelling mostly all over the South, before giving it up and coming home. What a good decision for our school system because Coach Dunlap also coaches girls fast-pitch softball, and he thinks they have a good chance to be Academic State Champions this year. He related what a thrill it was for him and some of the baseball players to be guests of, and introduced by, Rep. Scott Fetgatter to the Legislators at the State Capitol.
Coach Dunlap related that his grandfather, Fred Dunlap, moved to Morris in 1976 and was Morris High School Principal from 1977-88, but Dunlap's father wanted his son to attend Okmulgee Schools to play baseball for former Coach Dan Morgan. And Coach Dunlap says he learned so much from Coach Morgan in high school that he was able to help the assistant coaches in the minor leagues with things he had learned in high school. What a wonderful compliment paid to one of our long-time former coach. And what a wonderful compliment to our community when we, as a Lions Club, say "WE SERVE".
(Photo and information provided by Dean Craig).
Pictured left to right: President Lion Duaine Janzen, Program Chairman Lion R.C. Morrow, Colleen Fowler, and Bob Fowler.
Tuesday's Lions Club meeting was an update of one of our state projects, The Meadows of Hope in Perkins, which was formerly called the Oklahoma Lions Boys' Ranch. When it initially began in 1952, it was called the IOA Ranch, which represented Individual Opportunity for Achievement. Most of the boys were wards of the court or had been in trouble, and the Ranch was an attempt to provide correction and direction in a young life. Over the years, and with societal and government changes, it now is basically foster home care, and for both males and females. Even though it is funded primarily by the Oklahoma Lions Clubs, it has oversight, direction, and some funding from the Department of Human Services.
Colleen and Bob Fowler (originally from Dewar) presented the program and had been house parents to four to six teenage boys for eight years, 2007-2015. The new foster care program started out in 2015 with the Fowlers and three kids in one house, so they have been foster parents for the past two years. They are on their 93rd teenage boy. Children in Oklahoma DHS custody are separated from their siblings 50% of the time. We have built 5 homes (not houses) on our campus in order to keep brothers and sisters together. Foster parents who are willing to serve sibling sets of 4 to 6 children live in these homes free of charge. We are building a community of hope!
DHS does provide an extra stipend of $250 per child per month but does not provide food, clothing, or any other necessities. The Meadows of Hope program has had so much success that foster families with other agencies have been contacting us a lot for information and advice.
The late Paul Milburn, a Lion from Shawnee, left an endowment of up to $250,000 per year for 30 years to his three favorite charities, with The Meadows of Hope first. If the Lions of Oklahoma can raise/donate the full $250,000, we get the full $250,000 matching funds. If we don't raise the full amount, we are matched only the amount we raise, and the two other charities can receive the balance of the un-matched funds So, if you have some funds not needed, what better way to enhance society in knowing that you have helped build a stronger world. It has been said that no man stands taller than those who stoop down to help a child (or someone in need). I guess Jesus said it best when He said (paraphrase) if you have done it to the least of these, then you have done it to Me. How could one not be blessed when you consider that ALL kids are our future? The success stories that we hear from the Oklahoma Lions Meadows of Hope project make us all proud to be a Lion. "WE SERVE".
(Photo and information provided by Dean Craig, with excerpts from the Oklahoma Lions Meadows of Hope pamphlet).
Pictured left to right: 1st V.P. Lion James Thompson, President Lion Duaine Janzen, Coach Clay Patterson, and Program Chairperson Lion Beth Flud.
By Dean Craig - Okmulgee Lion
Tuesday's Lions Club meeting was a homecoming of sorts with the program provided by Clay Patterson, Head Football Coach at NEO (Miami, Ok.), and a graduate of Morris High School. His father, Rick Patterson, is a former coach (and Head Coach) of Morris High School, along with Larry Bookout (a legendary coach at Morris and a 2013 Football Coach's Hall of Fame inductee), and my son, Jeff Craig, (Head Football Coach and Athletic Director at Blanchard), former quarterback for Morris, all were in attendance to hear Coach Patterson speak. I filmed the football games for Morris for seven years and was close to the coaching staff, but this was the first time all four of us have been together in 30+ years.
After graduating from Morris, Coach Patterson attended NEO A & M for two years, where his uncle, Okmulgee High School graduate Dale Patterson, was the Head Football Coach. Moving on to Southeastern State, Durant, he played for two years and served as a graduate assistant for two years, before being hired as a position coach there for two years. Then on to Tarleton State (Texas) for a short time before his former coach at Southeastern State, Keith Baxter (a Holdenville native), called offering the offensive coordinator position at Texas A & M at Kingsville. He later applied for the offensive coordinator job at Trinity Valley (Texas) and was granted that position, staying for three years. Then when the Head Coach job became available at NEO, he received a call from Dr. Jeff Hale, President of NEO, who had been President of Southeastern State when Patterson played and coached there, and was offered his first Head Coach assignment. Of course, it didn't hurt that his uncle, Dale Patterson, is the Athletic Director at NEO, but when you look at Patterson's previous successes and resume, he has paid his dues and earned the recognition. Coach Patterson laughingly stated that his grandmother (Norma Jean Patterson, who worked for the late Dr. Bob Hasselman in Okmulgee for many, many years), had a lot to do with his hiring.
So, this becomes another "feel good" story and one of "small-town local boy does well". And it really doesn't matter how big nor small of a school you attended, it boils down to absorbing your information and training, perseverance, doing the best job you can, and taking advantage of every opportunity given. Bob Lilly, former Dallas Cowboy player, probably said it best when he said, "it's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog". And Coach Patterson preaches, and lives by, his "eat" formula--effort, attitude, and tempo. And this also applies to personal, spiritual, academics, and life. It seems to have worked so far.
What an inspirational program, particularly from one so young, but his goal is to restore NEO back to its "glory years". We predict that this will happen. And our Lions Club is in the process of restoring our club back to its "glory years", and you can help because we still have a few more slots available for a few more good men and women. "WE SERVE"
Lion R.C. Morrow, Clay's Little League baseball coach; Jeff Craig, Rick Patterson, Clay Patterson, Larry Bookout, and Lion Dean Craig. (Photo Dean Craig)
Okmulgee County Farm Bureau is taking part in Oklahoma Farm Bureau’s 75th-anniversary celebration this year by hosting upcoming events for members and the local community.
Okmulgee County Farm Bureau will have a live remote broadcast with “1240 The Brew,” on August 4, 2017, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Both local residents and members are encouraged to stop by for free food and drinks, and to learn more about what Farm Bureau has to offer.
The next event will be Okmulgee County Farm Bureau’s Annual Meeting, scheduled for Sept. 25, 2017. All Okmulgee County Farm Bureau members are encouraged to attend. The event will begin with dinner at 6:30 p.m., followed by the business meeting at 7 p.m. Guest speaker Jerry Flowers, chief agent with the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Investigative Services, will speak to members about farm safety and cattle thefts. A vote will be taken at the meeting to increase membership dues from $30 to $35, effective Oct. 31, 2018. Attendees will also have a chance to win door prizes.
As one of the first counties to join the state organization in 1942, Okmulgee County Farm Bureau joins other county Farm Bureaus across Oklahoma and the statewide organization to commemorate 75 years of improving the lives of rural Oklahomans.
Founded in 1942, OKFB has grown to include more than 95,000 members across all 77 of the state’s counties, representing an agricultural industry with a $39.6 billion economic impact on the state.
“It’s thanks to our members that we enter our 75th year with great optimism, backed by a thriving insurance business and bold ideas for moving our multifaceted organization toward a bright future,” said Tom Buchanan, OKFB president.
When Oklahoma became the 42nd state to join the American Farm Bureau, the organization’s main objectives were to preserve the rights and promote the successes of Oklahoma’s farms and ranches, ninety-eight percent of which are still family owned and operated today. They achieved these goals through early initiatives to support agriculturalists during World War II, to develop an insurance agency, to provide farmer education and more. Although the individual issues have changed over time, OKFB stands true to the organization’s original mission of advocating for farmers and ranchers.
“Celebrating our 75th year is a great milestone for enlivening OKFB’s energy, enthusiasm, and a look toward what’s in store for our next 75 years,” said Monica Wilke, OKFB executive director. “The issues near to the hearts and minds of our members – farmers, ranchers and families – are what are important to us every day.”
In celebration of this year’s milestone, OKFB is offering a 75th-anniversary history book to present the organization’s history through photos and stories gleaned from the archives. This hardcover volume by Dr. Bob L. Blackburn spans 140 pages and includes more than 170 photos chronicling Oklahoma agriculture and Oklahoma Farm Bureau through the years.
To reserve your copy of the book, contact your main county Farm Bureau office through August 15. Once the order period has passed, the books will be distributed to the county Farm Bureau offices, where you can pick up your copy. The cost of the book is $18.45 + $1.55 tax, for a total cost of $20 per book. Because copies will be distributed through county Farm Bureau offices, there will be no charge for shipping.
About Oklahoma Farm Bureau
Founded in 1942, Oklahoma Farm Bureau is a grassroots organization of farm and ranch families united for the purpose of analyzing issues and formulating action to achieve educational improvement, economic opportunity and social advancement in each of Oklahoma’s 77 counties. As the state's largest general farm organization, OKFB is committed to improving the lives of rural Oklahomans through advocacy, education and member benefits. OKFB protects members' rights and interests through legal and lobbying efforts at the state and national levels, while also telling agriculture’s story to statewide media and providing members with a variety of discounts, opportunities and services that save money and enhance their lives.
OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved the state's request for disaster assistance for 16 counties related to severe weather that occurred May 16-20.
The approval means federal funding is available to assist municipalities, counties, rural electric cooperatives and the state with infrastructure repairs and costs associated with responding to the storm.
Disaster assistance is approved for Alfalfa, Beckham, Cherokee, Coal, Cotton, Delaware, Johnston, Le Flore, Murray, Muskogee, Okfuskee, Okmulgee, Pittsburg, Pontotoc, Roger Mills and Washita counties.
The storms caused extensive flooding, power outages and dangerous travel conditions in the impacted counties. Thirty-eight tornadoes were reported May 16-20, including three EF2 tornadoes near Elk City, Hanna and Muskogee. One death and multiple injuries were attributed to the storm.
Damage assessments indicate the storm resulted in more than $6.5 million in infrastructure damage, debris and response costs.
Additional counties may be added to the public assistance declaration request at a later date should conditions warrant.
By Wesley Coburn - ONN
The Oklahoma Department of Labor (ODOL) is hosting a meeting in Oklahoma City on July 27 at 2 p.m. to discuss how ODOL can better partner with Public Sector employees to improve workplace health and safety, in addition to explaining how newly-enacted workplace safety laws work for businesses. The meeting will be held at 3017 N. Stiles Ave.
Governor Mary Fallin recently signed into law new rules for the Oklahoma Occupational Health and Safety Standards Act, which will affect all Public Sector employees across the State of Oklahoma beginning September 15, 2017. Violations will result in fines and potential citations.
Volunteers from Okmulgee Lions, First National Bank, community development and Morris Lions worked on this project Saturday morning
Morning came early for seven dedicated civic-minded Okmulgeeans who began trimming the mimosa trees planted in the center median on the new Morris Highway and Wood Drive. They began at 6 a.m. and, luckily, finished before the rain came on Wednesday. Three Lions: Beth Flud, R.C. Morrow, and Raymond Kennedy; First National Bank employee Kathy Kennedy; Rob Robertson; Bob Seebeck; and Morris Lion Sandy Patterson did a wonderful job "sprucing up" the trees. Drive by and take a look, and if you have a green thumb and want to help on later projects, let us know.
(Photo provided by Beth Flud).
The Muscogee (Creek) Nation Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources Storm Shelter Program was created through MCN National Council legislation TR-17019 in February, with $100,000 being appropriated for the program.
The program allows for the purchase and installation of storm shelters for Muscogee (Creek) citizens.
Eligible citizens need to be homeowners living within the MCN boundaries. Mobile homeowners must own the home and the land where the home sits.
Preference will be given to elders ages 65 and older, the handicapped or disabled, veterans and those living in rural areas. Limit one per homeowner/household.
DANR will begin accepting applications Aug. 1.
Applications will be available on tribal campus, the Southern Regional Office, and online Aug. 1.
Approved applicants will receive an approval letter and the contractor will contact the applicant to schedule installation. The Nation will make the payments directly to the contractor.
For more information, please contact Rachael Locust at: (918) 549-2555.
By Margaret Black
OSU Prevention Programs
There are still a couple of months of warm weather left in Oklahoma. This means boating, swimming, and other water sports. We are lucky to have some great locations in our area for these activities, but it can turn deadly quickly when alcohol is mixed with boating.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about one third of recreational boating accidents are caused by alcohol use. Drinking alcohol while boating or other water activities can not only be deadly to you but others out enjoying their summer. The CDC reports “it’s not just boat operators at risk from drinking while boating. Passengers are a greater risk of injury as well. In fact, 46% of all boating fatalities occurred when vessels were docked, anchored, or drifting.” Alcohol effects a person’s coordination, balance, vision, and judgment. A study in the Injury Prevention Journal states “persons with a blood alcohol level of 0.10 g/100 ml have about 10 times the risk of death associated with recreational boating compared with persons who have not been drinking, but that even small amounts of alcohol can increase this risk.”
The Handbook of Oklahoma Boating Laws and Responsibilities states “it is illegal to operate or be in actual physical control of any vessel while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicating substances. Oklahoma law states that a person is considered to be ‘under the influence’ if he or she [meets any of the following circumstances}:
• has an alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher as measured in the person’s breath or blood
• is under the influence of any other intoxicating substance to a degree which makes him or her incapable of safely operating the vessel
• is under the influence of alcohol and any other intoxicating substance to a degree which makes him or her incapable of safely operating the vessel.”
According to the handbook the first violation of this law is a fine up to $1,000. After that the fine goes up to $2,500.
Help keep everyone safe this summer and avoid drinking and driving a boat. If you suspect someone to be intoxicated while driving a boat please contact the Oklahoma Highway Patrol by dialing *55 on your cell phone.
The Regional Prevention Coordinator (RPC), funded by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, is partnering with the Okmulgee County Consortium (OCC) to help reduce alcohol related injuries. To learn more about how you can become involved in this Okmulgee County coalition contact us at (918)756-1248.