Okmulgee in the News
By Wesley Coburn - ONN
For the college students and recent graduates in the Muscogee (Creek) Nation’s College Work Experience internship program, they have the opportunity to get full-time work experience in their field of study over the summer while being paid through a tribal grant.
There are around a dozen participants this summer, nine of whom attended an orientation session Monday at the Department of Education and Training on the MCN campus. Workforce Development Coordinator Jessina McBee outlined the guidelines and expectations for the program, which in addition to workplace performance, includes volunteering at the upcoming Muscogee Creek Festival and visiting important sites of Creek culture and history.
Oklahoma State seniors Jacob Swarer, mechanical engineering major, and Easton Rogers, hotel and restaurant administration major, aren’t sure exactly what they would hope to be doing job-wise once they graduate, but they have dream jobs identified. ”I’d like to work at a car company, I think that’d be fun,”
Swarer said, while Rogers isn’t exactly sure what she would enjoy, she thinks she would “like to open maybe a restaurant, a café, something small.” For the duration of the CWE program, Swarer is working at a small manufacturing company in Tulsa, while Rogers is working at a water park in Eufaula. Roughly half the participants are working for the tribe in some capacity.
Creative Oklahoma is partnering with Cross Sector Innovations to support the Oklahoma Creative Communities (OCC) initiative. Creative Oklahoma launched OCC in 2016 with the vision of ensuring Oklahoma communities are supported in their efforts to implement local solutions to local challenges.
Okmulgee is one of eight communities participating in the initiative, along with Altus, Durant, Enid, Guthrie, Locust Grove, Ponca City and Tahlequah.
“Creative Oklahoma is excited to support the work of participating communities,” stated Susan McCalmont, president of Creative Oklahoma. “We offer a variety of resources, including a creative problem-solving tool, a facilitator, training opportunities, peer learning, support for grant-seeking and access to additional technical expertise as needed.”
Oklahoma communities exemplify creative problem-solving and the ability to develop innovative solutions. Creative thinkers and problem-solvers can learn a great deal from their success.
“Census data tells us that rural communities are more entrepreneurial than urban areas. There are times, however, when resources outside of the community are not accessible or responsive to local needs,” said Ed Long, principal of Cross Sector Innovations. “We look forward to connecting communities to additional outside resources as they move ideas to action.”
Strawberry Olive is the Creative Oklahoma facilitator providing support to the efforts underway in Okmulgee. “Communities collaborate to create the vision of the future. I use the gardening analogy,” said Olive. “The community is like a garden, changing with the seasons. The gardeners are members of the community, all of whom have the vision of what the garden will be used for. Sometimes the ideas need tools they don't have in the garden shed. As a facilitator, our role is to help provide those tools to build the garden.”
Participating communities will share their experiences and insight with other communities and creative thinkers throughout the state contributing to Oklahoma’s culture of creativity and innovation.
More information on this and other Creative Oklahoma initiatives can be found at www.stateofcreativity.com.
About Creative Oklahoma
Creative Oklahoma is a statewide non-profit organization advancing Oklahoma's economy through innovation-focused initiatives in education, commerce and culture. The mission is to develop, promote and celebrate Oklahoma's creativity and innovation in education, commerce and culture. For more information, please visit www.stateofcreativity.com.
About Cross Sector Innovations
Cross Sector Innovations (CSI) drives social innovation by bringing together business, government and nonprofit resources for creative solutions to community and statewide challenges. CSI promotes more efficient use of resources across sectors for improving outcomes in Oklahoma. More information can be found at www.crosssectorinnovations.org.
Special recognition was given at Tuesday's Okmulgee Lions Club meeting to four Lions who have received the prestigious District Lion of the Year Award. Only one award is given in each district per year out of approximately 1,200 Lions members in each district. Pictured is PDG Dean Craig (who was awarded the first award in 1974), Lion Duaine Janzen (2016), Lion R.C. Morrow (2017), and PDG/CC Jacque Mooney (2017 District 3-H). "WE SERVE".
"Lion Ron Martin was awarded the Lion of the Year award by President R.C. Morrow for his dedication, service,
and contribution to the Okmulgee Lions Club during the past year. Thank you, Ron, for all you do for us".
By Wesley Coburn - ONN
The members of the Okmulgee High School baseball team won the Oklahoma State Secondary Activities Association’s Class 3A academic state championship this season, as the Bulldogs compiled a 3.74 overall GPA for this semester, according to VYPE Magazine. For this achievement, they were honored at the state Capitol in Oklahoma City.
Team members included Riley Alexander, Kalem Baker, Jacob Barrett, Marquise Coleman, Cameron Colquitt, William Cook, Eric Dan, Paul Gallup, Frank Harley, Brayden Hunter, Trenton LeGrand, River Lansdale, Armon O’Brien, Kris Reed, Tyler Robol, Eli White and Sammy Wiemer.
The head coach is David Dunlap, and his assistants are Scott Bevan, Shane Bevan, Josh McGovran and Rod Wiemer.
Multi-platinum country artist Lee Ann Womack will be headlining the musical talent June 23-24 at this year’s Muscogee Creek Nation Festival, performing at 9 p.m. Friday night.
Womack, known for her songs “Blame It On Me,” “I Hope You Dance,” “I’ll Think of a Reason Later” and “The Wrong Girl,” has released seven albums: her self-titled debut in 1997, “Some Things I Know” (1998), “I Hope You Dance” (2000), “Something Worth Leaving Behind” (2002), Christmas album “The Season for Romance” (2002), “There’s More Where That Came From” (2005), “Call Me Crazy” (2008) and “The Way I’m Livin’” (2008). Womack has won six CMA Awards, five ACM Awards, an AMA Award and a Grammy throughout her career.
The rock band Delta Rae will be performing at 7 p.m. on Friday, they have released two albums: “Carry the Fire” (2012) and “After It All” (2015).
Multi-platinum blues rocker Kenny Wayne Shepherd will be performing Saturday night at 9 p.m. Shepherd has released eight albums since 1995: “Ledbetter Heights” (1995), “Trouble Is” (1997), “Live On” (1999), “The Place You’re In” (2004), “10 Days Out” (2007), “How I Go” (2011), “Goin’ Home” (2014) and “Lay It On Down” (2017).
Johnny Lang will be performing Saturday night at 7 p.m.
Pictured left to right: Craig Brydges (Director), Beth Flud (Director), Dean Craig (Director), Dr. Tom Alexander (Director), R.C. Morrow (Immediate Past President), Duaine Janzen (President), James Thompson (1st VP), Heather Sumner (2nd VP), Raymond Kennedy (Membership Chairman), Ron Martin (Lion Tamer), Gary Volz (Tail Twister), and Jacque Mooney, Installing Officer.
Photo by Dean Craig
By Dean Craig Okmulgee Lion
And a good time was had by all--that's a phrase usually used to end a story, however, this is also a good way to start this story because that's the way Tuesday's Lions Club meeting began. What a marvelous program of induction of incoming officers presented by Past District Governor/Council Chairperson Jacque Mooney of the Midwest City Lions Club. We are so proud of this year's slate of officers, as we have been for many, many years, and they just seem to keep getting better and better--a result of good leadership. Lion Mooney calls this her "Bandana Installation", presenting a colorful bandana to each officer installed with the indicated color for their particular office. What a unique approach of installation.
A rainbow is made up of seven different colors--red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. Each one of these colors are exquisite. However, when they all come together to form a rainbow, they become unequaled in beauty. Likewise LIONS CLUBS are made up of many types of people. Each person is unique, but by joining a Lions Club, a new member becomes a part of a colorful group unequaled in strength
Although there are only seven colors in the spectrum, there are over two million tints and shades of these basic colors. The tints and shades of the colors can be compared to the many talents and skills that individual members bring to a Lions Club. Some members have creative abilities, some have organizational skills, and some have leadership qualities
Today, the officers of the OKMULGEE LIONS CLUB will be installed using the colors of the rainbow. Just as each color of the spectrum is distinctive, each office of the club has specific tasks. When the officers successfully perform their duties, they help keep their Lions Club running smoothly. Will the newly elected officers please come forward as I call your title?
LION TAMER--Ron Martin. The color TURQUOISE represents the Lion Tamer. Before each meeting all items to be used must be in place and "good to go". You will be in charge of the responsibility for the club property. You will see that the flags, gong, gavel, and badge boards, etc., are properly placed. You are to assist the past president as the official greeter, always welcome and introduce guests.
TAIL TWISTER--Gary Volz. COWBOY/HORSE. What can I say about giving GARY this bandana. It kind of says it all, doesn't it? As Tail Twister you have permission to horse around, maintain harmony, and encourage good feelings, life and enthusiasm in the meetings. You shall impose and collect fines at meetings. You are to be resourceful in promoting fun, fellowship, and laughter at meetings. A little known fact is that you can be fined by a vote of the majority members present.
MEMBERSHIP/RETENTION--Raymond Kennedy. RED. You will lead the Membership Committee, and help to develop and implement a growth and retention program as approved by the club's Board of Directors. You will regularly report to the club and encourage members in bringing qualified people into the club. Since you will be ON FIRE for this club, please accept this RED bandana.
TREASURER--Pat Higgins will get two bandanas. The color GREEN symbolizes the Treasurer. GREEN represents money, energy, vitality, and perseverance. As Treasurer, your duties include collecting all dues and monies, paying all approved bills, and keeping accurate financial records. You will be giving of yourself in many ways to this Lions Club as you handle its financial responsibilities. May the GREEN color of your bandana give you the energy, vitality, and perseverance needed to fulfill these obligations.
SECRETARY--Pat Higgins. The color MULTICOLOR symbolizes the secretary and is considered to be a bright and optimistic color. Yours is one of the most important offices in the club. You are charged with helping pull all the colors together. The success of your club will be determined largely by the efficiency with which you perform the duties of your office. You are the President's "right hand" person. As Secretary, your duties include keeping an accurate record of all of the club's business, monthly reports of attendance, projects, and activities. Writing up each meeting's minutes will require a great deal of thought and accuracy. May the MULTICOLORS color of your bandana give you the mental concentration and optimism needed to fulfill your commitment
VICE-PRESIDENTS--James Thompson and Heather Sumner. The color LIGHT BLUE symbolizes the VP and represents healing, love, faith, loyalty, and inspiration. As VP's you are in training for the office of President. Your faith and loyalty are important to these Lions Club members and especially to the president who will rely on you for help. As chairman of various committees, you are to inspire members, old and new, to become active in your club. You must strive to keep members in harmony about projects and goals. May the LIGHT BLUE color of your bandanas give you the inspiration to face your challenges.
PRESIDENT--Duaine Janzen. The color PURPLE symbolizes the President. PURPLE represents leadership, greatness, and unselfish efforts. A regal color, purple is associated with royalty, or persons of high rank. As president, you will be treated royally for you have been elected to the highest office in your Lions Club. Being President is an honor and a privilege, but with the esteemed office, comes many responsibilities. Duties of the office include presiding at all meetings and dealing with all issues and opportunities. As president, you are also this Lion Club's representative to your community. May the PURPLE color of your bandana remind you to give unselfishly of yourself as you lead the OKMULGEE LIONS CLUB.
IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT--R.C. Morrow. The DARK BLUE bandana is a symbol of calm waters ahead. As Past President, you have served the club well. I am sure the Okmulgee Lions Club is extremely grateful for your service and your continued support of the club. Your contribution and loyal service has helped this club continue to be successful in this community. Thank you for your leadership and sacrifice of time, energy, and skill as you fulfilled the duties of your office,
DIRECTORS--Dr. Tom Alexander, Craig Brydges, Christian Tiews, Kyle Powell, Rusty Milroy, and Beth Flud. AMERICAN FLAG. You have been elected by the members to serve on the Board. You will assist in formulating and executing the policies of the club. All new business is considered and shaped by this Board. This AMERICAN FLAG represents a pride and loyalty to the OKMULGEE LIONS CLUB.
DIRECTOR FOR LIFE--Past District Governor Dean Craig. ORANGE will be the color of your bandana. As a Director For Life, you will be charged to light the way for the other directors. Without someone to guide the Club, there would be no direction. Your years of guidance and experience will be a benefit to others. You are to stand with the flame of your ORANGE bandana to guide the club to great things.
During this ceremony, each officer has been installed with a different color. Alone, each color is striking, but when the colors come together, a larger more beautiful thing occurs. A rainbow is created. Each color is needed to make the rainbow complete--just as each officer is necessary to make the Lions Club run properly. As Council Chair of Multiple District 3, it is my great pleasure to declare these Lions duly installed into their perspective offices to which they have been elected.
Incoming President Duaine Janzen presented a President plaque to outgoing President R.C. Morrow in appreciation of his outstanding year. President Morrow presented a 50-year membership patch to Lion Dean Craig and a President Appreciation Award to Anita Craig for her outstanding behind-the-scene work she does for the club even though she is not a member. We still are looking for a few more good men and women to join us. Think about it! "WE SERVE".
(Photo and information provided by Dean Craig with the installation text by Jacque Mooney).
Twin Hills Baptist Church invites you to attend Vacation Bible School June 25th-June 30th from 6:00pm-8:30pm! There will be classes for 3 year olds through 6th graders!
There will be a Kick-off Event Saturday, June 24th, at 3:00 pm.
They will have hot dogs, cotton candy, popcorn, sno cones, games, and music! You will also be able to pre-register for VBS during our kick-off event. Please bring your kids to learn more about how much God loves each and every one of us!
By Wesley Coburn - ONN
There’s something going on in Okmulgee every week or two recently, according to Mayor Steve Baldridge. Following right on the heels of the Pecan Festival and the upcoming Muscogee (Creek) Nation Festival, the City of Okmulgee is putting on their seventh annual Fourth of July Celebration on Tuesday, July 4, in Municipal Park, located by the YMCA.
The free celebration opens at 7 p.m. while the fireworks show, synchronized to music under the supervision and orchestration of certified pyrotechnician Ken Anderson, will begin around 9:30 p.m.
Besides the actual fireworks show itself, other attractions will be live music, a water slide, bounce houses, face painting, sand art, a petting zoo and a circus train. “It’s just a great event for the community, and it’s all free,” Mayor Baldridge said. “Hopefully the weather will cooperate.”
Hot dogs, popcorn and snow cones will be provided, and there will be an available shuttle service from the Wal-Mart parking lot.
Last year an estimated crowd of 2,000 attended the event, “and that’s not counting everyone who watched it from their yards,” Baldridge added, estimating around 1,500 hot dogs were given away.
“It’s just gotten better and better over the years, and the community’s been really great to support it.”
To quote the late Yogi Berra, "it's almost like deja vu all over again", because that's what happened to Tuesday's Lions Club program--another late cancellation. The only difference this time, we did not have another program waiting in the wings. However, it afforded President Morrow the opportunity to recap the Lions' activities at last week-end's Pecan Festival
The Great American Turtle Race was a roaring success, led by Lions Rusty Milroy and Beth Flud, in awarding a total of $200 in cash prizes for first, second, and third place winners in the boys division and the girls division.
The Oklahoma Lions Mobile Health Screening Unit was open Friday and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. We screened 85 adults and 58 children for the spot vision camera, with only three "failures" for the children. Our saving grace was that the OSUIT Nursing program furnished seven faculty/student nurses on both days. President Morrow told the club that we have contracted for the Health Screening Unit and the spot vision camera to be available for the projected air show in Okmulgee on September 30, and the OSUIT faculty/student nurses have again pledged their support.
The tent is already up on Highway 75 north of the Loop in front of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Housing Building for our fireworks stand. It is 60' X 40' so you can't miss it. We plan to open for business on June 24 and we encourage you to buy your fireworks from the Lions because ALL of our proceeds are returned to the community. This is our biggest fundraiser of the year, so we ask for your support. And everybody gets the "family discount". "WE SERVE".
(Photo and information provided by Dean Craig).
July Schedule of Meetings
4 NO MEETING
10 Board Meeting Noon 1st Nat'l. Bank
11 Beth Rengel Former News Reporter/Author
Program Chair Heather Sumner
18 Colleen Fowler Lions Meadows of Hope
Program Chair R.C. Morrow
25 Clay Patterson N.E.O. Head Football Coach
Program Chair Beth Flud
The Pecan Festival Great American Turtle Race, sponsored by the Okmulgee Lions Club and led by Lions Beth Flud and Rusty Milroy, is history. While the Turtle Race and Belmont Stakes were both held on the same Saturday, I'm sure the kids whose turtles won first, second, or third place prize money are just as happy as the horse owners whose horse finished first, second, or third for them. First place turtles won $50, second place won $35, and third place won $15 for each of the boys division and the girls division. I don't know how they determined which turtle would be in which race, but I guess it was determined by an old colloquialism--"ya' dance with the one who brung ya'".
Winners in the boys division: 1st place--London Bruner, 2nd place--Kason Carter, and 3rd place--Markel Holloway.
Winners in the girls division: 1st place--Ciara Reagan, 2nd place--Mallory Karbowski, and 3rd place--Kimber Collins.
The winning turtles were spirited away before I could get their names and the location where they were released remains a secret, so you'll have to find your own turtle for next year's race. Doesn't kids make life fun? "WE SERVE".
(Photos and information provided by Mr. Tur-Tell).