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Lynn Horton, the CEO for Red Cross in Oklahoma and Arkansas was our guest speaker at the May 15th meeting. The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.​ 
Lynn explained what it was to become "Red Cross Ready". She told us affirm that:
  1. I know what emergencies or disasters are most likely to occur in my community.
  2. I have a family disaster plan and have practiced it.
  3. I have an emergency preparedness kit.
  4. At least one member of my household is trained in first aid and CPR/AED.
  5. I have taken action to help my community prepare.
History of the Red Cross: Since the founding by Clara Barton on May 21, 1881, the American Red Cross has been dedicated to serving people in need. We received our first congressional charter in 1900 and to this day we are tasked by the federal government with providing services to members of the American armed forces and their families as well as providing disaster relief in the United States and around the world.
Even while the Red Cross adapts to meet the changing needs of the people we serve, we always stay true to those roots. Are you familiar with the classic images of Red Cross nurses helping American soldiers and civilian war victims during World War I? In fact, as you read this Red Cross staff and volunteers are still deploying alongside America’s military. Maybe you’ve taken a class through the Red Cross, such as first aid certification or how to swim. Did you know we’ve been offering similar training since the early 1900s? Have you ever given blood or received donated blood? The Red Cross developed the first nationwide civilian blood program in the 1940s and we still provide more than 40% of the blood products in this country.
Today, as throughout our long history, the Red Cross depends on generous contributions of time, blood, and money from the American public to support our lifesaving services and programs. We invite you to learn about our history and hope you will feel inspired to become more involved with the Red Cross.

Cathy Williams-White from the Edmond Convention and Visitors Bureau was our speaker Tuesday May 8th. Of course, her primary topic centered on the spanking new Hilton Garden Inn and Convention Center at Covell and I-35.   The center offers 20,000+ square feet of flexible meeting space, state-of-the-art break-out space and the capacity to host large groups. This is a cooperative project supported by the City of Edmond, the Edmond Economic Development Authority, the Edmond Convention & Visitors Bureau and the I-35 & Covell development partners.  With a big smile she stated that it also was the headquarters for the Edmond Convention and Visitors Bureau.  Finally a location not hidden in a "Forgotten Corner" of some hard to find office in downtown Edmond.  Yeah!!!

Able to serve banquets of over 700 with flexible staging and lighting (the Convention Center can actually seat over 1000 in stadium type seating) it is an outstanding facility.  She was quick to point out that Edmond has many other facilities for special events including UCO, OCU, The MAC, The Lazy E Arena, The Downtown Community Center, The Fine Arts Institute, and several other hotels and restaurants with full AV equipped meeting rooms with and without food service.

Edmond is a great place to visit and now it is a great place to stay and meet.

Rotarian of the Day, Roland Herwig, far left, introduced Dana Shadid as our speaker at the May 1st meeting.  Dana, a long time Edmond resident, and former Executive Director of the Edmond Chamber of Commerce  was on hand to discuss the upcoming celebration of Oklahoma becoming the 21st state to give the right to vote in all elections. It was in November of 1918 that the amendment to the Oklahoma Constitution was added that gave the right to vote in all elections to women. It was two years later that the 19th amendment to the US constitution was ratified and became the law of the land. (Note: It was not until the comprehensive "Voting Rights Act" of 1965 which effectively removed the barriers which kept non-white Americans from voting in many predominantly southern states passed, that minorities fully realized their right to vote guaranteed in the 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution).  It was through the many years of both active and passive actions of suffragists and suffragettes that the bill was finally introduced and passed the Oklahoma legislature with a veto-proof margin.  Dana explained the Suffragists were the militant women who "gasp!" actually picketed the capitol and marched in parades (of all the nerve!!), and the suffragettes were the ones working behind the scenes in small groups and at home meetings to rally support.

Dana is working with women today to raise awareness of the need for the younger generation (50-60 years minus at least one generation PLEASE!) to become involved in local politics and work their way up into State and even National leadership roles. There is way to much hidebound thinking for real progress to be made when strides in manufacturing and technology are being made at the rate of nearly doubling the knowledge base each decade or quicker.
The Shadids came to Edmond 30 years ago with Dana becoming Executive Director of the Edmond Chamber of Commerce.  From there she spent several years working in economic development for Career Tech and Oklahoma City Community College.  She closed out her career with 10 years at the Oklahoma Community Institute. After retiring, Dana served as interim director of several non-profits.  Most recently, her life has been consumed with growing Edmond Democratic Women, an organization she founded in 2017.  She and her husband Randal share a love of art, food and travel.

Our Rotarian of the day April 17th was Dave Evans, who introduced Mary Robertson, (R), and Deb O'Day (C) who partner with Paws For Life to help the Edmond Animal Shelter at 2424 Old Timbers Dr, in Edmond keep adoption fees down as low as $25.00 by sponsoring fundraisers like the Mutts and More 5K run and 1K dog walk that was held Saturday at Mitch Park. Upwards of 200 participants attended and the weather cooperated.  The funds raised will pay for spay-neutering, bone setting, infections, shots, heartworm detection and correction if needed, as well as parvo treatment and so on. Some of these procedures would cost upwards of $600.00 or more but are all paid for and done when the pet is ready for adoption.

I encourage you to check out and donate to the tax exempt fund, Paws for Life’s “SPECIAL NEEDS MEDICAL FUND. at  

Lyn Smith with the Edmond Pregnancy Resources Center, pictured Center at left was our speaker last Tuesday.  Introduced by Rotarian of the day, Suzy Thrash, far right and was accompanied by co-worker Summer Garcia 
Lyn explained the Edmond Pregnancy Center / Hope Pregnancy Resources is a Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children funded Charity. They provide various services to women in crisis situations in a compassionate, non-judgmental environment.
A woman with an unplanned pregnancy can be feeling scared, lost, and alone. She might not know where to turn or what to do next. But she doesn't have to face these tough decisions alone. Hope Pregnancy Center is a free Oklahoma pregnancy resource center, and they want to be there for women in crisis.
Our caring and compassionate volunteers have helped hundreds of Oklahomans who were facing unplanned or surprise pregnancies. Our services are free and confidential. We simply want to help the individual  sort out her options and make the best decisions for her own future.
There are two things a woman needs to know: Is she really pregnant, and how far along is the pregnancy?
Hope Pregnancy Center offers free pregnancy tests, free ultrasounds, and free pregnancy option education to Oklahoma women who need guidance and support. If you know a young girl or woman who thinks she might be pregnant and needs confirmation or guidance, have her contact the nearest Hope Pregnancy Center today. or

Rotarian of the Day, Kayla Blount, far left, introduced Nichole Schoonover, Director of the Oklahoma City organization "Health, Wealth and Lipstick".  HW&L provides resources for women who find themselves suddenly single due to divorce, death, etc.  The primary focus of the organization as Nichole stated is "To get women able to stand on their own two feet".  Assistance with banking, insurance, credit, automobile, bills, and other mundane items that the husband may have handled are now the responsibility of the remaining spouse. She may have zero knowledge of how any of the bills are paid, where assets are, or, in the case of divorce, if any assets are hidden or worse. The organization is a group of "Life Coaches" to sometimes struggling women, or those who may just need a bit of advice in some area.

Nichole also stated that the organization was not out to promote divorce, but to give the wife some backing in order to hopefully strengthen and begin recovering and healing the relationship if possible. She stated that "In most cases it is hard to be mad at someone you don't care about."  The organization has its roots in California and has gained traction across the nation. The Oklahoma branch is independent and not tied to using the California rules and regulations.

The HW&L organization is looking for professionals (Female and Male) in automotive, finance, tax industries to volunteer to speak and become mentors to women who come to the meetings for assistance.  Meetings are held the first Saturday of each month, but the location was not revealed.  To learn more go to :

The website information states that HW&L is "Empowering women to make informed, confident decisions at a time when emotions are high. Their events are designed for those seeking to develop new skills they will need as a result of being separated, divorced (or in the process), or widowed. Participants will learn how to better manage their new lives and how to thrive in the new, and sometimes unexpected or unwanted role of "single person." Health, Wealth & Lipstick: Health - from self esteem to physical health, women have to take care of themselves; Wealth - money issues, legal issues, mortgages, buying a car, really all kinds of money issues; Lipstick - beauty both inside and out, women want to look good."

Multiple pages of forms, referral letters, Doctors physicals, references from teachers and administrators, and lots and lots of signatures have been the normal for the household of Jeff and Andrea Amos. The process of preparing to send their daughter Elizabeth to be a Rotary  Youth Exchange Student for her Sophomore high school year is well underway. Rotarian of the Day, Jeff Amos explained the adventure that began when Elizabeth first voiced her wish to have the opportunity to become a Rotary Exchange Student to a foreign  country of her choice for her sophomore year and leapt at the opportunity the Rotary Youth Exchange offered.

 Elizabeth Nichols, pictured with her dad Jeff, also gave some of her thoughts of the journey so far, including the "lottery system" she used to narrow her choices of destinations once she was given the nod by the Rotary Exchange Selection Board. It appears the effervescent Elizabeth will be headed to Spain for the coming school year. It should be noted that now at the same time, a student from  Spain is now preparing to come to America to study, thus the Exchange part of the Rotary program.

This is the basis of the Rotary Youth Exchange student program which exposes some of the brightest students from far flung nations to other cultures, which in turn encourages communication and ultimately brings about more understanding between cultures and eventually may lead to world peace.  We wish you well Elizabeth, as you join the host of other students going into the greatest adventure most young people could only imagine.   

We were delighted to host Shannon Price, Executive Director of the Edmond Fine Arts Institute as our speaker at the March 13th meeting. Shannon is a native Edmondite and has been a part of the community her entire life. The Fine Arts Institute is an extension of her appreciation for her community.  She was recently awarded the 2017 Edmond Chamber Woman of the Year award.  Under her leadership, the FAI has initiated a wide assortment of art and cultural related program at the institute. These include programs for Alzheimer's patients, mentally and emotionally challenged students and adults, and senior adult classes.  Ongoing childrens programs including plays and arts and craft classes are continuing and expanding continuously.  

A big challenge for Shannon has been arts classes in the Edmond school system, not that the schools are unwilling to have them but the increasing demand of time and activities on the students.  Because art and music along with physical activity have been proven to improve the academic success of students, the arts have been encouraged by the Edmond school system and are growing in the schools. The FAI building is available to host private events and was the site of the March 16th Summit Rotary Social. 

Pictured Left is Shannon making a point during her presentation and at Right, Shannon Price with Rotarian of the Day Bob Donaldson.

Neal Wooldridge, far left,  Vice President for Planned Giving for Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children was our guest speaker Tuesday. Neal was presented a check for $1000.00 by club president Koorosh Zahrai, from proceeds of the 2017 Edmond Summit Rotary Sporting Raffle and Skeet Shoot. The funds will be directed to the clothing fund of the Edmond Boys Town Ranch to help provide new clothes for the young men as needed and as they enter school for the 2018-19 school term. Clothing purchased will be modelled by the boys at the annual awards banquet this summer prior to the next school term.

 Boys Ranch Town (BRT) is a 145-acre working ranch located in a rural setting within the city limits of Edmond. The campus contains modern cottages, each with a capacity for eight residents and a married couple serving as houseparents. The family arrangement in the cottage models how a Christian household should operate. Each cottage contains a spacious living room, kitchen, and dining room for family style dinners. It also has a laundry room, four bedrooms, each with a private bath and an apartment for the houseparents and their family. In most cases two residents share a room and a bathroom.

Neal provided information on leaving a legacy to provide for care for young men and girls to try to assist in keeping them from getting lost in the DHS foster care system. OBHC currently cares for a little over 400 children through young adult age kids in family group home like Boys Ranch and crisis pregnancy centers for young girls kicked from their homes due to unwanted pregnancies. However, there are over 10,000 kids in the DHS system being cared for by foster parents and institutions who do not have the opportunities the OBHC can provide. For more information and articles on how to help go to:

In the past 3 years, Edmond Summit Rotary has donated over $12,000 to benefit local area charities through proceeds from the annual raffle and skeet shoot and their other fundraising events. This is in addition to providing funds to Rotary International for Polio vaccinations globally and assisting in projects including building schools and providing clean drinking water and sanitation and medical facilities in impoverished countries. 



Summit Rotary President, Koorosh Zahrai shown at left pins the Rotary emblem to our newest Summit Rotarian, Eriech Tapia during the Feb. 27th meeting.  Eriech is a Reporter with The Oklahoman and his classification is Reporter - Journalist.
Welcome to Edmond Summit Eriech, more important though, welcome to the world of Rotary International.
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