Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Calendar guys to attend luncheon & fashion show

The excitement is building for the 58th Annual Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary Christmas Luncheon &  Fashion Show to be held a week from yesterday. Beth Dennis, chair of the fashion show, and Judy White, manager of Miss Jackson’s, were guests on Good Day Tulsa  yesterday and I got to hang with them at KTUL-Tulsa’s Channel 8 while waiting for their segment.  KTUL is on top of Lookout Mountain in west Tulsa. Once, on my drive there very early in the morning, I picked the wrong street to take me up the mountain and I ended up in someone’s driveway. It was so isolated and wooded, I felt like if I went a few more feet I was going to run into a still. I’m from Southwest Virginia, so I know what I’m talking about. Anyway, Beth is so conscientious, she always has Carolyn Schutte, another auxiliary member, drive her to KTUL because Carolyn knows West Tulsa. Beth and Judy showed off a $2,000 diamond necklace donated by Moody’s Jewelry that will be auctioned. One of the most unusual items to bid on has to be dinner at a fire station with some of Tulsa’s finest firefighters. Two of the Tulsa Fire Department calendar models will be at the luncheon to encourage bidding on the dinner. I’m picturing a frenzy of bidding over the firemen dinner. You can be part of the action too – just call Jackie Pizarro at 918-369-9117 to make your reservation. See you there!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Girls swim an AMAZING number of laps in Broken Arrow

There are so many kids of staffers at the Broken Arrow Boys & Girls Club that it's hard to keep them straight.  But I’ll try, because two of them did something really outstanding recently and I want to congratulate them. The Aquatics Program staff at BA consists of Shelley Cramer, athletic director and Donna Burdick, aquatics director. These women along with club director Janis Fraley dreamed up an event thtat not only honored veterans on Veterans Day but encouraged them to stay heart healthy. The women named their event the Liquid Cardiothon, which I thought sounded like something a college fraternity would sponsor, but hey - they know what works in Broken Arrow! The idea was to have someone active in their indoor pool from 11 a.m. on Veterans Day to 11 a.m. on the following Saturday. Donna called me the following Monday, still excited about the event. She said they had someone coming or going from the club all hours of the night. But back to the children of staffers: Shelley’s daughters Neriah, 15, and Miai, 12, each stayed in the pool for all 24 hours. Neriah swam 1,700 laps and Miai swam 800 laps. I still can’t believe it – it’s all I can do to swim 20 laps! Congratulations girls – you rock!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Call in the Marines!

I’m still trying to catch my breath. Last week the number of people who have signed up for Christmas assistance climbed to 8,896. But as the numbers ramped up, so did the Tulsa community. Thursday, our longtime supporters, KTUL-Tulsa’s Channel 8 and Bank of Oklahoma, kicked off a toy drive to provide gifts for the forgotten angels – the kids and seniors people don’t adopt from the Angel Trees.

An hour later, we kicked off the Red Kettle Campaign at the Reasor’s on 15th and Lewis. We had wanted to honor veterans at our kick off and Jason Wolfe, a combat-decorated Army vet who counsels homeless veterans at the Center of Hope helped us out. I had lined up a retired Marine who still had his dress uniform to “guard” the Giant Red Kettle, but he had a last-minute conflict. But, just before the kick off began, TWO young Marines in their dress uniforms turned up!  Steve Lehto of Reasor’s gave us a check for $5,000. 

At 5:30 a.m. the next day, Jim Carey and Natalie Cash of K95 FM’s Cash & Carey Morning Show started “Occupy Krispy Kreme” and adopted out 400 angels. Their original goal had been 200 angels but by 9:30 a.m. they ran out of angels. We were happy to bring them 200 more and they found homes for all of them!

On Saturday, we held the Angel Tree Opening Ceremony at Tulsa’s Promenade and Woodland Hills mall, which KOTV-Channel 6 has sponsored longer than anyone can remember. Rich Lenz and LeAnne Taylor selected their angels from the trees and the Brass Band played. Thank you, Tulsa – 10,048 people are going to have a Christmas because of you!


Thursday, November 17, 2011


Natalie Cash and Jim Carey, hosts of the Cash & Carey Morning Show on K95.5 fm, will lead a new protest movement Friday called “Occupy Krispy Kreme.”  They will stay at Krispy Kreme from 5:30 a.m. until 200 “angels” are adopted from The Salvation Army Angel Trees or until 5:30 p.m., whichever comes first.  The Angel Trees have tags with the first names of thousands of kids whose parents have signed up for Christmas assistance from The Salvation Army.

A General Assembly will be held at 9 a.m. Friday at Krispy Kreme,  located at 10128 E. 71st. St. “We will discuss all issues pertaining to the Occupy Krispy Kreme movement, including but not limited to…adopting angels and eating donuts,” Cash said. “We’re exercising our First Amendment right to assemble peaceably on the grounds of Krispy Kreme and we’re prepared to occupy this ground until we adopt out every Angel on the Cash & Carey Salvation Army Angel Tree,” Carey said.

The Salvation Army never supports political causes but is making an exception for this event. “Starting a new protest movement is a tough job, but Cash and Carey will meet the challenge,” said Major Roy Williams, Salvation Army Tulsa Area Commander. “Occupy Krispy Kreme is a protest everyone should support.”

Cash and Carey are encouraging the police to converge on their Occupy Movement.  “We will not resist. We will give you donuts and thank you for your hard work,” Carey said. Unlike other “occupy” movements, Occupy Krispy Kreme has a clear purpose.  “Every kid deserves a Christmas present,” Cash and Carey said. 

Help! We’re serving 4,200 families this Christmas!

This summer, about the time our neighbor Yale Avenue Presbyterian Church put up a sign saying “Satan called. He wants his weather back,” we started accepting applications for Christmas assistance. Families came to the warehouse in our new headquarters.  And came, and came and came. Mothers with babies. Mothers with toddlers in strollers. Mothers with toddlers we wished were in strollers. In all, we will be providing for 4,200 families this Christmas. That’s 700 more families than we helped last year. Here’s how you and your friends can help: drop money in a red kettle – our bell ringers go out to 100 stores today and will be there until Dec. 24. Drop a new unwrapped toy in a collection box at any of the 36 Bank of Oklahoma locations. You’ll also find toy boxes at Woodland Hills Mall,  Tulsa’s Promenade mall and at the BOK Center during events. While you’re at the mall, adopt an Angel from our Angel Trees. You have until Dec. 12 to get your toy back to the mall. Click to donate online, or call K95.5 Friday during "Occupy Krispy Kreme" to adopt an Angel. You can text JOY to 85944 and make a one-time donation of $10.  Or give the old fashioned way by mailing a check to Salvation Army, PO Box 397, Tulsa, OK 74101.
And watch this blog for more opportunities to help us help the people who really need it this Christmas.


Friday, November 11, 2011

United Way celebrates

A bunch of us from the office attended the great “reveal” for the Tulsa Area United Way last night, and oh, what a night! It was in the new Lorton Hall at TU, which is beautiful. TAUW director Mark Graham pointed out that the artwork lining the halls was done by TU students and mentioned a print by Picasso in the same sentence. Campaign chair Jim Bender from Williams didn’t let him get away with that. “Every day I learn something new about Tulsa, and tonight I learned that Pablo Picasso graduated from TU. He’s a good painter too,” Jim said. We were all laughing and revved up as we waited to see how Mark would do the reveal. Picture a pregnant woman in a white t-shirt with a giant dollar sign. She came up on stage followed by eight people, young and old, with numbers on their t-shirts. As it turned out, each person had been helped in some way by a United Way agency. Then Mark brought his 85-year-old mother on stage and told how she and his father had been helped by three United Way agencies. He said that everyone on stage “looked like you and me, because they are you and me.” It was the perfect thing to say.

Every day I work for the Salvation Army I think, ‘but for the grace of God, there go I.’ Mark wore the number four and a young man to his left wore a two. The 24 million dollar goal was reached and thousands of people will be helped in 2012. Thank you to everyone who worked on the campaign and the United Way.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sapulpa Boys & Girls Club instructors get creative

 I love water aerobics. There’s just something so relaxing about being in the water with a bunch of friends. And unlike Jazzercize, for example, where instructors have bodies like beauty pageant contestants, in every water aerobics class I’ve taken, the instructor has had a body more like mine. I like that, and apparently so do 31 water exercisers in Sapulpa. The water aerobics classes taught mornings on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the Boys & Girls Club, used to have about eight to 12 students. Then volunteer water aerobics teacher Darlene Roberts and head lifeguard Mary Swan told class members that if they could get attendance up to 30, they  would hold a drawing for five free classes. Last week, there were 31 students in the class and the ladies are hopeful the trend will continue.  However, the doubled class size has created one problem: each student needs two water noodles and they’re down to just a few.  I’m confident Mary and Darlene won’t let it slow the class down. These women have creativity and drive to spare.


Friday, November 4, 2011

Learning Smart Moves

Since I’ve been blogging about drug addiction and the Salvation Army, here, here and here I’ve learned about the importance of prevention. I also learned that we now have a national expert on kids and drug prevention among our staff, Greg Parker.  Greg became a national trainer for the Boys & Girls Club Smart Moves program this summer. He’s one of six specially trained Smart Moves instructors and the only one in the country from The Salvation Army. Smart Moves instructors teach kids 5 to 15 to make healthy choices and avoid using alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. 

The younger kids do fun activities related to the subject, such as drawing pictures of their families and creating collages. But what I found the most surprising is that the primary activity for the 13-15 age group is journaling. At the Sand Springs club, kids spend an hour every Thursday afternoon writing in their journals. Then while the kids watch, the instructor locks the journals up until the next Thursday. Nobody gets to read them. I would have loved having that kind of privacy at that challenging age -- to know that I could write anything, absolutely anything, in my journal and my mother couldn’t read it!  Greg and I talked about how much easier it is for kids to talk to adults at the club about their issues when they’re also writing about them in their journal. Sounds like a smart program to me.