Authors Posts by admin

admin

758 POSTS 0 COMMENTS

Deanna Waltens is giving back to the group that helped her so much in her time of need.

by Bobby Anderson, Staff Writer

Twenty five years ago, Deanna Waltens fled an abusive and threatening situation.
Life had put her in such a horrible situation that the prospect of leaving with nothing in hand was better than certain misery that waited for her at home.
“I was like Forrest Gump and I kept running and running and running,” Waltens laughed, looking back on her past heartaches.
“Maybe I could have done things better. Maybe I could have thought things out. Sometimes you don’t get that chance. So if you’re in that situation you just do what you have to do.”
Along the way she found people waiting to help.
She stayed at an emergency shelter.
“I saw all the hurt and all the need through all the little children that were there with their moms,” she said. “That really started opening my eyes a lot.”
Realizing she was homeless and chronically hungry she came back to Oklahoma.
Staying with her mom in Choctaw, she put her paralegal degree to work with a local attorney.
After more than a year she realized she needed something more permanent.
An application process through the federal government landed her a job with the immigration department.
After 15 years with the immigration department she retired.
Now she spends her days helping those in need at the Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Area command food pantry.
“I came here because actually I saw something in Oklahoma’s Senior News and Living about them needing summer volunteers,” she said. “I realized what it is to be hungry, cold and scared and all the things that go with the situation.”
She stopped by and hasn’t left since.
“It’s a lovely place,” Waltens said. “The people are so great. All the other volunteers are so sweet I really love it here. I decided this was for me.”
Waltens volunteers now, largely because it was volunteers who helped her journey.
Liz Banks, volunteer director at the Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Area Command, says that’s one of the beauties of the service. Lawyers, police officers, seniors, millennials – people from all walks and professions – come together with a common goal to help their fellow human being.
It truly is an army of people coming together to help those in need.
And the need is always great. That’s why Banks loves it when she gets a call for someone inquiring how they can help.
Right now, Banks is in immediate need of spanish translators. Help is ready but sometimes communication barriers make it difficult.
If you can help in any way with time or talent call 405-246-1107.
“I went to churches and they were good and helpful but nothing like this,” Waltens said. “To me this is the ultimate in food pantries. This is just really, really good.”
Waltens knows the need is there because it was once her.
Someday it could be you.
“I think maybe they understand some but unless you’ve been there you don’t understand the real impact of getting up and wondering if you’re going to have anything to eat today,” she said. “People don’t realize, I guess they think it’s third world countries that face it but you face it here.”
She likes the fact people can come and get short-term help while others can utilize services longer term.
“Makes me feel really good,” Waltens smiled. “I realize that the Salvation Army is just that, it’s salvation for a lot of people – not only temporarily but spiritually, too. So much good goes on here. I see the Red Shield Diner help people every day.”
“I know the shelter. I know it’s a great place to be. It’s just a helping situation.”
Waltens comes from a generation that takes great pride on self reliance. Hard times are just opportunities to pull up your bootstraps.
But sometimes life leaves you shoeless.
“Don’t worry about coming here if you need help because anyone of us is 24 hours away from something like that. Not only does it give them that experience and help but it gives us the opportunity to serve.”
“Everytime I help someone through there I think I’m getting a blessing.
“I get more out of it.”

Jennifer Melton, Ginny Curtis and Tonderai Bassoppo-Moyo help Oklahomans make decisions about their healthcare needs at MCM Insurance.

by Bobby Anderson, Staff Writer

Three decades ago Ginny Curtis began a career in insurance that would change her customers’ lives forever.
“We run the business like we’re working for our parents or grandparents,” says Curtis, owner of MCM Insurance LLC. “The question I always ask my agents is ‘Did you make a friend?’”
“If the answer is yes, then it wouldn’t matter if they made a sale or not” MCM is most concerned that the client is enrolled in the right plan.
MCM has grown their business to 30 agents statewide, including 3 of her children.
“It’s awesome,” Curtis said of working with family. “From early on I taught them the value of customer service and that it’s more about service and relationships than making a nickel.”
“They’ve adopted that philosophy and have seen it work over the years.”
As 2018 begins to wind down, one of the most important times of the year for seniors begins rapidly approaching. The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) occurs annually from (Oct. 15-Dec. 7). AEP is a time in which current Medicare beneficiaries can choose to change part of their coverage. They can change their Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) and/or Prescription Drug Plan (Part D). It’s a time to reevaluate based on their benefits, health, and finances. If they find a plan that is a better fit for their needs than their current plan, they can then switch to, drop or add a Medicare Advantage or Part D plan.
During AEP Curtis’ agency goes into overdrive to make sure that everyone that needs help facilitating the changes coming their way is reached. “It’s very important to us that each person that comes through our agency chooses their plan based on their specific needs,” said Ginny. During an appointment with the agents from MCM, they will compare plans based on the customers list of medicines and doctors to narrow down which plan will cover all their needs the best.
In addition to individual appointments, MCM offers no-cost Navigating Through Medicare informational sessions around the metro.
The hour-long informational sessions allow people to become more familiar with the ins and outs of Medicare in a low-key setting.
“We don’t talk company plans or premiums,” Curtis said. “It’s simply teaching them the basics of Medicare and how to navigate through it.”
MCM will open its Medicare Store Oct. 2-5 with every Medicare Advantage option available on display for customers to compare.
“It’s a great time for them to shop, ask a lot of questions and find the information they need without feeling the pressure of having to make a decision,” Curtis said. “Really what they should do is shop that first 2 weeks and then by Oct. 15 they can schedule a time to figure out what’s best for them and make a decision.”
MCM Insurance is family owned and operated. Their agents are all dedicated to helping seniors not only find the right healthcare solution but understand what they’re purchasing.
“We are a little different than some agencies, in that we represent all the Medicare Advantage companies,” Curtis explained. “We have a great contract with every carrier, and they all pay the same fees so there’s no reason for us to sway a client one way or another.”
While many appointments are scheduled in the comfort of client homes, Curtis staffs the office at 2232 W. Hefner Road in the Village so that clients can walk in anytime 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and speak with an agent directly without an appointment. During AEP they extend their hours to 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

MCM also has agents in Tulsa, Claremore and Lawton. You can reach the OKC office by calling 405-842-0494. You can also view their calendar and get more info on their website at www.mcmmedicare.com.

 

Blake Leeper, eight-time Paralympic Track and Field international medalist
Blake Leeper and his prosthetic team at Scott Sabolich Prosthetics.

“It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get back up.” – Vince Lombardi

by Brandon Rabhar

Blake Leeper, an eight-time Paralympic Track and Field international medalist, world record holder and three-time American record holder, knows all too well the hurt that accompanies falling down. Physically, he has fallen down time and again due to being born with no legs. In the eyes of the Paralympics community, he has fallen from grace due to self-admitted bad personal life decisions.
But every time Blake Leeper has fallen, he has got back up stronger than ever before. And each time, he has risen with a newfound purpose in his life.
Born in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, Blake has defied the odds since the moment his parents Billy and Edith welcomed their baby boy in 1989.
“Being born missing one leg is a one in 40,000 chance,” said the jovial Leeper. “But being born without two legs? Those are astronomical numbers.”
Doctors told Leeper’s parents that the best case scenario for their legless son would be living life in a wheelchair. Fortunately for Leeper, his mother knew better. Edith worked as a nurse and was heavily involved in the medical community.
“This is not going to be his story,” Edith told those doctors and her husband nearly 30 years ago. Truly prophetic, Edith knew the key to changing the course of her son’s life was prosthetics.
Fast forward four years, and young Blake had major surgery so that his first legs would fit his little body better. For eight long weeks, Blake was in a full body cast and a wheelchair.
“I remember every single day being in that wheelchair and wanting to go outside. I knew in my head this was the last time I wanted to be in a wheelchair and it was,” recalls Leeper. “From that point on, I’ve been living life to the fullest.”
A purpose was born.
Blake, armed with legs for the first time, literally hit the ground running. He played any and every sport. He roller-bladed with his older brother Kris. So many times in those physically formative years, Blake’s legs would break or fall off, but he would always get back up. His main objective was to show the world how much he could do with his new legs.
In high school, Blake’s best friend just happened to be the best athlete on campus. His name was Coty Sensabaugh, who is currently starring at cornerback for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“Coty pushed me in a lot of areas where other people were afraid to push me,” said Leeper. “When you’re dealing with people with a disability, others are afraid to push us. But the only way we can get better is to be challenged.”
After high school, Blake enrolled at the University of Tennessee as a pre-med student. He was ready to hang up the sneakers and become an orthopedic surgeon. That all changed the moment he saw Oscar Pistorius sprint across his television during the 2008 Olympics.
“It was the first time I saw an amputee on TV in a major sport,” said Leeper. “I remember thinking, ‘This is what I want to do! I have to get those blades!’”
A purpose was redefined.
Blake got his first pair of running legs the next year. Before he even had time to start seriously training, he and his parents drove 14 hours to Oklahoma to participate in the Endeavor Games and his first ever race. As a rookie competing in a field stacked with national champs, the odds were stacked against him. The doe-eyed novice took first place in all three events he raced in: the 100, 200, and 400 meters.
Two whirlwind weeks later, Blake found himself racing in an international event in Brazil. He ran even faster than he did in Oklahoma, won a silver medal and came close to conquering the world champion.
In 2012, Blake tied Pistorius’s record time in the 400 meters going into the London Paralympics. He was ranked #1 in the 100, #1 in the 200, and #2 in the 400. In London, Blake won the silver medal in the 400 behind previous inspiration Pistorius and took home the bronze in the 200.
Only a few years after getting his running blades, Blake became a celebrated media mainstay. He played alongside superstars Kevin Hart and Chadwick Boseman in the NBA All Star Celebrity Game. His positive personality was welcomed on The Queen Latifah show, the Arsenio Hall show, and the Naomi Campbell fashion show. For the first time in his life, Blake was making big money.
“My life changed and I wasn’t prepared for it. I left college to quit partying, and I changed my environment but I didn’t change the person inside of me,” said Leeper. “I started hanging with the wrong people. Track, TV, interviews, flying everywhere for events. The only way I knew to balance that was to drink.”
Relying on talent, Blake was able to pull off the delicate balancing act of partying and still competing and winning. He broke every American record. He seemed invincible on and off the track.
In 2015, Blake did cocaine and a week later raced in the US Paralympic Nationals, breaking the American record. But he failed the drug test. The punishment was a one year suspension, reduced from two years behind the promise that Blake would get clean. The story broke in the Los Angeles Times.
“I lost my career, I lost my sponsorships, and I lost my legs,” said Leeper. “I hit rock bottom.”
A purpose was knocked down. But it would get back up.
Determined to come back stronger and faster after serving his suspension, Blake needed to find a new pair of running legs. Aaron Holmes from Wiggle Your Toes connected Blake with Scott Sabolich Prosthetics.
Blake walked into the building, back in Oklahoma where his racing career had begun, for the first time wearing two different pairs of legs that he had duct taped together.
“I had to go into my closet of legs I had collected over the years and put them together myself. I walked out with three pairs of legs,” said Leeper. “Scott Sabolich Prosthetics, they’re the best in the world. Their facilities, their lab, their staff. And for them to want to take a chance on me was truly amazing.”
Refocused, Blake was ready to prove that he was the fastest amputee in the world. Along with the new legs, he obtained new coaches, management, a trainer, and a nutritionist in preparation for the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. Running was no longer a hobby or a job, it was his life.
One year after testing positive for cocaine, Blake dropped his 400 meters time from 48 seconds, an American record at the time, to 46.1 seconds. He made the 2016 Paralympics team.
“My parents and my girlfriend Sadie are in Rio. We got a dog and named it Rio. Two weeks before the Paralympics, I got a call. The USA approved my deal, but the international committee did not,” Leeper said. “I was devastated, but I knew it was a self-inflicted wound. I took responsibility.”
After that life altering phone call, Blake went to his room, took off his legs and didn’t leave for three days. His coaches had to bust down Blake’s door to get him out. He walked out of that door a new man.
A fun and easygoing soul, Blake was mad and trained with a chip on his shoulder. The 46.1 he ran qualified him for the 2017 able body national championships, making history as the first amputee to qualify for any national championships.
At trials, Blake ran a blazing 45.5, qualifying for the semifinals. The man with no legs beat 2016 Olympians. The next day, Blake ran a 45.25 and broke Pistorius’s amputee world record, a personal goal of his from day one. He finished 12th overall out of top 64 fastest runners in the nation.
A purpose fulfilled.
To make the 2020 Olympic relay team, Blake needs to cut his time down about half a second and place top 6 overall. That’s his primary focus on the track these days. But it’s getting his life off the track back on the right track that defines the man.
“I love to talk about my failures because those were the most important days of my life. Being suspended actually saved my life,” Leeper said. “That’s my message. It’s one thing being born without legs. I didn’t have a choice. But as an adult, I had to lie in the bed I made. My mamma always said that.”
Edith Leeper was right. Being in a wheelchair would not be her son’s story. His story is one of triumph, tragedy, redemption and most importantly, purpose. And it’s a story that he fully embraces and loves.
“I’m living life to the fullest right now, trying to be present in the moment,” said Leeper. “But down the road, I’m gonna be like holy smokes, I played basketball with Black Panther!”

Oklahoma city metro interior designer Ronette Wallace will donate her time and talent at the annual Christian Women of Oklahoma City Bazaar.

Bobby Anderson
Staff Writer

Seventy-six years ago, a group of Oklahoma City Christian women gathered in a home for a few hours of fellowship.
Little did they know that first coffee klatch would spark lifelong friendships for several generations of Christian women in Oklahoma City and change the lives of countless others.
“It’s like going to get your batteries charged,” said C.J. Judd, who has been a member for four years.
Those meetings are still going on, although the increased numbers have moved the meetings outside of members’ homes and into the Quail Creek Country Club.
And the centerpiece has become a bazaar that raises thousands of dollars for needy Oklahoma charities.
This Oct. 17 from 11a.m. to 1:30 p.m. the Christian Women of Oklahoma City will host their annual bazaar. Tickets are $20 and available only in advance by calling 405-413-0908. All proceeds go to local charities.
Tables for purchase have already been sold out for the past couple of months. Last year’s event raised nearly $3,000.
The monthly luncheons are also a source of funds for the group, which donates to four charities each year. A pass of the hat – along with the annual bazaar – raises anywhere from $1,000 to $1,500 for each of those selected charities.
Each month, speakers from all walks of life bring their experiences in front of the Christian ladies on the third Wednesday of every month. Sometimes the message is humorous, other times riddled with tragedy.
But the message is always uplifting
Ronette Wallace, owner/designer at OTW Interiors, started going to the meetings a few years ago. Running a thriving business keeps her from attending every month but she makes as many as she can.
She’s never disappointed.
“I think it’s a great organization and I have a lot of good friends that attend and they love it,” Wallace said. “I think it’s not denominational, it’s just about women loving Jesus coming together, feeding off of each other, learning about each other and having relationships.
“I believe God calls us to have relationships. We can become so stagnant in saying we can only be in this group or that group and what we really need to be doing is reaching out to everybody.
Wallace and her husband run a ministry of their own – Rise Above Ministries, a non-profit that reaches those in addiction and life controlling issues.
Wallace started OTW Interiors in 2002 and focuses her talents in clients’ homes.
She routinely donates her time and talent to the bazaar.
The meetings have always been non-denominational with the focus solely on Christ.
Judd said the group has and always will be open for women looking to pour into and be poured into themselves.
“Most people walk in alone and most people don’t do that at an event because they have to have someone with them,” Judd said. “You just feel good. You find things going on in the community. It’s picked me up off the ground several times.”
Becky Grantham found the event two years ago.
“It was just perfect for me personally,” Grantham said. “It’s a nice refreshing break towards the end of the month to be able to get around like-minded people, hear the testimonies, the education and getting to meet a lot of really wonderful ladies.
Robin Gunn’s mother talked her into coming 10 years ago.
“I went to the first one and I was hooked and now I’m on the board,” she said.
The bazaar will allow people to shop for the upcoming holiday season. Baked goods, table decorations and holiday gift ideas will be on display.
All that follows lunch, fellowship and a motivational speaker, all for $20.
“They come and they leave with just good inspiration,” Judd said. “A lot of women get friendships for years. Most of them if they come once they come again. If people just knew about it, it’s a great place to come.
“It’s an unusual place. It’s not like a club. It’s a wonderful thing. I walk away with more self worth.”
Come alone and leave with lasting friendships or at least inspiration to get you through life.
I just love the fact it’s a non-judgemental, inspirational place that you can come to fellowship without any airs,” Gunn said.

Christa Boren, LPN, has a blast every summer working as a camp nurse at J.D. McCarty Center in Norman.

by Bobby Anderson, Staff Writer

It’s early afternoon in the hot, Oklahoma sunshine and Christa Boren, LPN, pulls back on the slingshot straps and lets a water balloon fly.
The wooden SpongeBob target 20-feet away survives a dousing as the balloon splashes to the ground.
Boren laughs.
It’s good to be home.
“It’s amazing,” she says. “I really miss the center so when they gave me this opportunity I had to jump on it.”
Boren worked at J.D. McCarty Center in Norman for a number of a years as a nurse and nurse manager. When family business moved her away she thought she’d never get to work at the center for children with developmental disabilities again.
She was wrong.
Boren has worked as the evening and night shift nurse at Camp ClapHans for three years now.
Horseback riding, movie nights, talent shows and dance parties are just some of the events offered at camp ClapHans. Several members of the University of Oklahoma football team visited this summer as well as some church groups.
“That allows our kids to interact with other kids who are age-appropriate,” Boren said. “Our kids get to really play with those kids and they’re not being judged. It also allows those kids from these groups to come out and interact with our kids and learn. Maybe next time they’re out and they see a wheelchair they’re not going to stare … because they are just kids.”
Camp ClapHans is a residential summer camp for kids with special needs ages eight to 18.
The camp is located on the south end of the McCarty Center’s 80-acre campus in Norman.
It features two cabins, a multi-purpose building and is built next to an 11-acre lake. The camp features summer camp activities like archery, canoeing, fishing, horseback riding, camp fires, swimming, indoor and outdoor games, arts and crafts and much more.
J.D. McCarty provides a one-to-one camper-to-staff ratio with a nurse on site 24-hours a day.
That’s where Boren comes in.
“It was a little overwhelming but really the worst thing about camp is the heat,” she said. “The kids are amazing. We have a group of counselors every summer who are college students … and they come out and they do this for free five weeks out of the summer and are an amazing group of kids.”
When her husband opened a physical therapy clinic in Elk City Boren quit her job at J.D. McCarty and moved with her family.
Boren became a nurse at 20 and had worked in the hospital setting before settling into her role with J.D. McCarty.
“It’s absolutely amazing. I loved the fast-paced stuff but at times it does get a little overwhelming. In the acute-care settings in the hospitals you have to deal with all the sad stuff – giving people cancer diagnosis and all that stuff that comes with nursing,” Boren said. “Here at camp we don’t have that at all. These kids love to be here. It’s so laid-back and we get to really enjoy the kids and try to make their time here as enjoyable as possible.
“These kids would normally not get to do this at a regular camp.”
When she’s not in camp, Boren still makes the drive from Elk City to Norman to take her six-year-old son for therapy at JD McCarty.
Last school year, Boren was a teacher’s aide but admits most of her time is spent being the mom to three boys active in sports.
The move to Elk City was a good but so has the opportunity to bring her child to treatment at J.D. McCarty.
The J. D. McCarty Center was founded in 1946, by a veterans group called the 40 et 8 of Oklahoma. The 40 et 8 was an honor society within the American Legion. When the McCarty Center first opened its doors to patients it only treated one diagnosis – cerebral palsy.
Today, the center has treated more than 100 different diagnoses in the developmental disability category.
Kids come to Norman for treatment from all over the state of Oklahoma.
Children referred to the hospital are evaluated and treated by a team of pediatricians, pediatric specialists, registered nurses and LPNs, direct care specialists, physical, occupational, speech and language therapists, a dietitian, a clinical psychologist and psychology clinicians and social workers who focus on getting a child to their highest level of functionality and independence. “Any kid who comes through the door becomes your kid,” Boren said.

Tress Hindman, RN, was the recipient of The DAISY Award for her compassionate patient care, but also for her kindness and support of the staff.

SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital – Shawnee recently recognized one of its nurses with The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses. The award is part of the DAISY Foundation’s program to recognize nurses that go the extra mile for their patients, family and team members.
Tress Hindman, RN, was the recipient of The DAISY Award for her compassionate patient care, but also for her kindness and support of the staff.
In Hindman’s nomination, the staff stated, “Tress as ‘an angel with hidden wings.’” We are thankful for Tress selflessly taking time out of her busy schedule to be of service to her colleagues in their time of need. She is truly an angel indeed!”
The not-for-profit DAISY Foundation is based in Glen Ellen, CA, and was established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes. Patrick died at the age of 33 in late 1999 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a little known but not uncommon auto-immune disease. The care Patrick and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families.
Nurses may be nominated by patients, families, and colleagues, and they are chosen by a committee of nurses at St. Anthony Hospital to receive The DAISY Award. Awards are given throughout the year at presentations given in front of the nurse’s colleagues, physicians, patients, and visitors. Each honoree receives a certificate commending her or him for being an “Extraordinary Nurse.” The certificate reads: “In deep appreciation of all you do, who you are, and the incredibly meaningful difference you make in the lives of so many people.” The honoree is also given a beautiful and meaningful sculpture called A Healer’s Touch, hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Africa.

Jonathan Beck Reed is featured along with Teri Bibb.

Photography and Text by Terry “Travels with Terry” Zinn t4z@aol.com

The abundance of theatrical talent in Oklahoma is no secret as it has been exhibited for decades by a number of theaters and venues. The upcoming Concert Version of an all time favorite of Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man In Concert, hosts a number of professional and amateur performers familiar to Oklahoma audiences.
What makes this production, co-produced with Oklahoma City Community College’s Performing Arts Series, September 28 – 30, special, is it’s a community wide celebration, where non equity actors and actors associated with other theater groups, as well as long time Oklahoma performers are brought together with young people from across the community. It’s not only a celebration of the 60th anniversary of this Broadway classic, but a celebration of Oklahoma talent, many of them are senior citizens.
As an active senior citizen, I am particularly pleased to have passed the double open audition process and will be supporting the cast in the ensemble. In a way this is a “Circle of Life” experience as I first began my theatrical roles in the ensemble of Lyric Theater of Oklahoma in 1972. As so many of this cast can, I’m paying tribute to the solid theatrical foundation given by my Oklahoma City University professors, including; Grant Kilpatrick, Mariana Davenport and Florence Birdwell.
This production features Jonathan Beck Reed and Teri Bibb as the unconventional romantic couple of Professor Harold Hill and Librarian Marian Paroo.
Reed, one of Oklahoma’s favorite actors, reprises the role he has played many times, including the 30th Anniversary revival tour all across north America. Having performed the role 504 times, Reed says with tongue in cheek, “I love this show and I love this role, and this time, God willing with the distinguished Harry B.Parker’s guidance, I’m hoping to finally get it right.”
This concert version will be directed by Harry Parker, who is returning to his native Oklahoma City for the occasion, with Musical direction by Dr. Sandra Thompson and choreography by Hui Cha Poos.
Bibb, an Oklahoma native and OCU graduate returns to Oklahoma City and the CityRep stage. Bibb is a highly regarded Broadway veteran, having logged more than 1000 performances of the role of Christine in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera, as well as performing Amalia in She Loves Me on the great white way. Bibb has also given a command performance at The White House and earned a Helen Hayes Award nomination and a Carbonell Award for her performances.
CityRep describes the show as, “..following traveling salesman Harold Hill as he cons the people of River City, Iowa, into buying instruments and uniforms for a boys’ band that he vows to organize — despite the fact he doesn’t know a trombone from a treble clef. His plans to skip town with the cash are foiled when he falls for Marian, the town librarian, who transforms him into a respectable citizen by curtain’s fall.”
This show marks the start of CityRep’s 17th season as Oklahoma’s award-winning professional theatre. Don Jordan, Founding Artistic Director explains that, “THE MUSIC MAN IN CONCERT is part of a new trend in leading American regional theatres. The concept is known as PublicWorks. Introduced by the Public Theatre in NYC in the past 5 years, leading theatres across the country, including the Dallas Theater Center, have begun to expand the concept.”
Jordan says “The idea is to encourage community-wide involvement in the art form. We have reached out across our community to have extraordinary participation from a wide variety of fellow organizations including Oklahoma City Community College, University of Central Oklahoma, The Ambassadors Show Choir, RACE Dance company, OETA, Painted Sky Opera, The 405 Barbershop Quartet, OU, OCU and others. We anticipate the final company will be more than 100 strong, from across a wide swath of our community! This project embodies the Oklahoma “Good Neighbor” spirit.”
Jordan goes on to say that, “THE MUSIC MAN has been one of America’s most-beloved musicals for 60 years, and this unique concert version allows us to all celebrate our love for this classic and to embrace its message of community and of the power of the arts to enrich every life! CityRep’s mission is to serve Oklahoma’s diverse artistic, educational and civic needs by providing dynamic professional theatre. We entertain, enlighten and Inspire! Our vision is to be a vibrant regional theater that is vital to the cultural, educational and economic life of Oklahoma.”
It would be a shame not be charmed once again by the fast talking salesman in this family-friendly, 6 time Tony Award winning musical comedy.
The Music Man In Concert will be performed at the, Visual and Performing Arts Center Theater at Oklahoma City Community College, Friday September 28 and 29th at 7:30pm and Sunday September 30 at 1:30pm
For more information and tickets call: Box Office: 405-848-3761 Direct Cell: 405-505-7828

Dulce de Donké is a new Made in Oklahoma company specializing in donkey milk and skincare products. The Traywicks’ daughters are shown here.

Dulce de Donke offers health products through unusual commodity

Donkey milk may be an uncommon drink for most people, but for Walt and Saundra Traywick, it is the answer to their prayers.
In 2014, their 6-year-old daughter became sick with a common case of strep throat, which caused an autoimmune disease that attacked her brain.
The doctors said the only options were hospitalization for immunoglobulin treatments via an IV or antibiotics every day for the next 12 years. Luckily, the family discovered donkey milk, which helped heal their daughter, and surprisingly, turned into a family business, Dulce de Donke.
The Traywicks began with three donkeys and now own 14 American Mammoth donkeys.
“We use the donkey milk that our daughter and other sick children don’t drink to make our line of organic donkey milk soaps and skincare that we sell on our website and through select retailers,” Saundra Traywick said.
Using donkey milk for skin care is known to for its anti-aging abilities and can heal eczema and psoriasis, Traywick said. Dulce de Donke offers organic donkey milk soap, all-natural and aluminum-free deodorant, moisturizer, and a leave-in organic conditioning balm.
Traywick said consuming donkey milk helps kids who can’t drink cow or soy milk, and it helps with other ailments like her daughter faced. It has also been prescribed to help everything from asthma to cancer, and although it is rarely used in the U.S., it is very common in other countries, she said.
“It’s packed with anti-inflammatory omega 3s, calcium, phospholipids, probiotics, vitamins A, C, D and E, and ceramides, and it’s naturally antibacterial with a high content of lysozymes and lactoferrin,” Traywick said.
The Traywicks give sick children their first jar of donkey milk free. The family is continuously looking for ways to teach the public about their operation.
“Unfortunately, our farm isn’t open to the public on a daily basis,” she said, “but we are planning a Donkey Dairy Day event and hope to offer farm stays at our Oklahoma Donkey Dairy in the future. When kids come to our farm, they never want to leave. Our dream is for our farm stay to be a place to unplug and wake up to the crow of a rooster and a hee haw instead of an alarm clock.” Traywick says the goal of Dulce de Donke is to “help as many sick children as possible with donkey milk, to bless others with natural skincare that is an effective, healthy alternative to chemical-laden products, to provide an Oklahoma Donkey Dairy farm stay destination that is a place for spiritual and physical rest and rejuvenation, and to educate others about the incredible heritage breed of American Mammoth donkeys so they’ll fall in love with them too.”
Dulce de Donke has been in operation since 2014 and joined the Made in Oklahoma Program this year. To learn more about the Traywicks’ donkey farm, find Dulce de Donke on Facebook and Instagram. To find a retailer who carries Dulce de Donke products, visit madeinoklahoma.net/products/dulce-de-donke or order products at www.dulcededonke.com.

By Ron Hendricks

Gallons of ice cream — chocolate, strawberry, black walnut, my favorite — were consumed by Central Oklahoma Chapter of Hearing Loss Association of America (COCHLAA) members and guests on Saturday at the annual Ice Cream Social. This is the un-official kick off of the chapter’s new year. New chapter officers were available, speakers for the fall meetings announced and meeting programs discussed, a history of COCHLAA’s first 28 years was read, and the invitation issued to attend the open house to celebrate Hearing Helpers Room’s 20th anniversary. The highlight of the event, introduction of the two scholarship recipients and door prize winners of the GN Resound hearing aids and the Home Loop System. Jessica James Huddleston and Lauren Lewis are the our 2018 scholarship winners. Sharon Howard & Sylvia Frank are both long time members of COCHLAA won the Door Prizes. Sharon, won a set of GN Resound hearing aids complete with initial and follow up audiologists visits given by Hearts4Hearing. Sylvia will be happy to have a Hearing Loop installed in her home by Assist2Hear. This will make Sylvia the first person in Oklahoma to have a Hearing Loop installed in her home but she joins many well known Loop owners like Civic Center, Nichols Hills City council chamber, St Eugene church and the Rodeo Opera Theatre to name a few. Listen for more to come.
COCHLAA begins the 29th year of service to Oklahomans who have hearing loss with two meetings monthly AND the Hearing Helpers Room. The night group meets every second Monday at 6:30 – 8PM and the day group’s meetings are held on the third Thursday, 1- 2:30PM. All meetings are free and open to the public and held at the Lakeside United Methodist Church 2925 NW 66. Hearing Helper’s Room is open week days 10-3 at 5100 N Brookline, Suite 100. Visit our website for more information www.OKCHearingLoss.org

Social