I got the luxury of attending an OKC Thunder game over the holidays with my precious kiddo. She and I have a wonderful time when we attend the games and are usually lucky enough to snag an autograph or two before game time. Thanks to some wonderful friends we get two really good seats a couple of times a year and have been doing this for many years. We take a pic in the same spot each game and it has been so fun to watch from year to year how she grows up and changes with the Thunder. But I am getting off topic here, my goal wasn’t to tell you about how quickly my little girl is growing up!
This past game the Thunder organization honored a Police Office from the Tulsa area, he was the Hero of the Game. The officer and his family were brought to half court, presented a plaque and cheered by the fans and players alike. It was pretty amazing and brought a tear to my eye. Here were 20,000 people cheering on a Hero, a fella who not only serves daily in his community but also in the Army and now the Reserves. As we cheered him on I noticed the two EMT’s who stay courtside to assist with anything that might go wrong and wondered if anyone had cheered them on. Then when an overhead light caught on fire I wondered if anyone had cheered on the policemen that secured the area under the light in question so that no one got hurt.
This brings me to an ever larger question, are we cheering on our own heroes around Frederick? I hope we are taking the time to tell all of those in emergency services Thank You for all they do. The folks that brave the heat and cold to take care of the rest of us, the folks who fight fires to keep surrounding buildings safe and those who have to see those things that would break the rest of us. The poor guys who dig up a water line that has burst because of the arctic weather so that you and I can have running water. We are truly blessed in our community to have a lot of people performing those duties and often times without the pay they deserve.
There are also those heroes who hold full time jobs and volunteer to keep things running. The Gary Tyler’s and Loyd Benson’s of our town who work as many hours on the Nursing Home and clinic as they do their regular jobs. What about the Julane Whitworth’s and Rhonda Euceda’s of town that hustle so the Food Bank can function and serve others? They have a crew of volunteers to help them receive, organize and distribute to those in our community in need. Then there are the Shannon Vanderburg’s who not only excel at their job from 7-4 but take their own time to visit our students when they are in the hospital or sit with a staff member suffering a tragedy. Our administrators in our school system go well beyond what they are paid for in order to support both staff and student. Ever notice Virginia Walker and Sue Ann Kauffman pulling weeds at the Pioneer Townsite Museum? No one is paying them to do that job, they love their community and want to take care of it. Heck, I have a full board of volunteers to step up to help with community events, as well as the many other thankless tasks that a Chamber of Commerce handles. There are so many names I could insert into this column from our community.
My point to all this is that while sports are amazing I hope we are all taking the time to cheer on our heroes that do not have shoe endorsements or signing bonuses. Our heroes have jobs, families and other obligations that sometimes take a back burner to our community. Our heroes risk their lives at times to keep us safe and protected.
I hope your 2018 is already off to a wonderful start, may it be productive and meaningful to us all!
Don’t forget: Be Kind. Be Heard. Be Local.