By Henry Primeaux III
HONORING VISIONARIES: The 2005 Tulsa Community College Vision in Education Leadership Award Dinner, held September 22 at the Crowne Plaza Tulsa, was a huge success. As the chairman of the TCC Foundation Board of Directors, I am proud to be associated with such fine people who do so much for our community. I was thrilled to be at the awards table before the dinner. From left is Honorary Chair Stan Lybarger, Ruth Ann Fate, who represented her late husband Martin Fate, yours truly, and TCC’s impressive president, Dr. Tom McKeon. The awards themselves are unique, and I talk about them and their artist in the column.
This is always a great time of the year, not just because November is my birthday month, but also because the air is so crisp, the leaves are beautiful, and football is in the air!
Most of all, it brings the season when our families can come together, fireplaces make our homes cozier, and we can reflect on what a great nation we live in!
My thoughts continue to be with those people, including relatives and many friends of our family, who have suffered from Katrina and the other storms that have hit the South this year.
Last summer I had made plans to attend the Tulsa football game with Tulane in New Orleans. The Green Wave team has suffered throughout the long ordeal with the players having to take classes at another campus and play their home games at other football fields. Many people are still feeling the impact of Katrina. As you may know, as a way to give back to our beloved New Orleans, Jane and I have launched a charitable campaign titled Big Easy Rising. Look for the special purple, green and gold bracelets with the three words embossed. Each and every dollar from the sale of the special bracelets will go toward helping under-insured small businesses rebuild in New Orleans. Please continue to pray for those affected by Hurricane Katrina and give generously to help our fellow Americans in this time of need.
I have mentioned in last month’s column the nine Oklahomans who were recognized for their contributions to early childhood education at the Tulsa Community College Vision in Education Leadership Award Dinner in September at the Crowne Plaza Tulsa.
The annual dinner, organized by the TCC Foundation, benefits programs, grants and scholarships for TCC students, faculty and staff. Stan Lybarger, Honorary Chair for the Dinner, announced during his opening comments that $110,000 had been raised by the Dinner Committee to support student scholarships and programs for students, faculty and staff.
Each year the TCC Foundation honors an individual in the field of education. This year’s honorees have proven themselves in developing and improving the state’s early childhood education programs. Recipients honored were Martin Fate, posthumously, Leonard Eaton, Bill Doenges, former Mayor Robert LaFortune, George Kaiser, Nancy McDonald, Pete Churchwell, Sen. Ted Fisher and Rep. Ron Peters.
It is my honor while serving as the chairman of the TCC Foundation to have known so may people who have done so much for our community.
The recipients were awarded beautiful trays, made special because they were handcrafted by William Derrevere, who serves as an assistant professor of art at TCC. He has designed the awards for the honorees for years, and he exemplifies the talent that is so prevalent at our top-rated community college.
The Tulsa Talons are very happy to announce Bill Paddock’s position as general manager. Arena football continues to grow in Tulsa and throughout the nation, and we expect many great things for our team in the future, especially due to moving into our new home, the Bank of Oklahoma Center. Last year we averaged over 5,000 fans a game, and we expect to more than double that amount in the new building, which will seat over 16,000 for arena football. Bill will help us get to where we want to be in the community: the region’s top sports entertainment venue.
We wish everybody the best in health and happiness, and if you’re out and about, cruise on down old Route 66 or I-44 and see us at Crown Bristow at 910 South Roland. We’ll be happy to visit, and we’ll beat any deal.