Inside the Chamber Website… Relocation

I promised a while back to talk in depth about the Chamber website but got a little side tracked by all the activities going on around town. So now that we have a tiny moment to breathe, I’m going to get back to that.

The portion of the website that comes to my mind first is our Relocation section. Lately I seem to be answering a lot of questions about housing and job opportunities in Frederick. So, if you head to www.frederickokchamber.org (and the “ok” part is super important unless you want to know about Frederick Maryland) you’ll notice the tabs along the top of the screen. Click on Relocation and a menu will appear with seven options.

The first item is history/government. In this section we talk a little about the history of Frederick and how our city and county governments are set up. Also there is  listing of current city councilmen, mayor, county commissioner and county officers as well as a link to the county website. If you haven’t visited the new county website then please do, there is a wealth of information available to you.

The next menu item is Census Information. This page gives basic population and weather information for the area. This is most helpful to those individuals moving to the area from other regions of the US.

Our Housing section has contact information for real estate agencies, apartment rentals as well as individually owned rent houses in town. These folks are our Chamber members who offer properties and do not represent all rental houses in town. There is also information regarding resources for building a home. Listings for concrete, construction, hardware, electric and maintenance can be found here.

In the Healthcare portion you will find healthcare information for both man and beast. Listings include mind, body, eyes, bones, teeth and medication. In addition, there is information regarding home health care, hospice care and for the local ambulance service. And as mentioned, information for our local veterinary clinic is available.

The Employment section gives statistical information about the make up of our labor force as well as a listing of major employers. Mostly importantly, this page includes current job listings by Chamber members. These are opportunities that have been turned in to me or I’ve noticed on Facebook and around town but are not the only job openings in town.

Our Education section should be a point of proud for Frederick residents. We are able to brag about an excellent Pre-k thru 12th grade public school system, a highly successful head start and early head start program as well as a technology center offering programming to both school kids and adults. We are also within commuting distance to a junior college and university making it easier to further one’s education.

The Religious Organizations page lists our member churches in Frederick and is only a small glimpse of the 20+ churches of varying denominations in Frederick. We are lucky to enjoy many community minded churches whose members engage in every opportunity to help others.

I hope you will take the time to explore the Relocation section in addition to the rest of the website as you have time. A lot of thought and effort has gone into making sure that it offers up information in a user friendly format. With that being said, we are only human and are bound to make mistakes so if you find one please let me know so that I can correct it.

Don’t Forget: Be Kind. Be Heard. Be Local.

Felisha Crawford,
Executive Director

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Committee Talk

I’d like to take this opportunity to talk about the committees we have here at the Chamber. These are the groups of volunteers who come together for a common purpose. Some of them may be broad, like the 500 Club, and some are very specific such as the Oyster Fry committee. But all of them need volunteers to function and hopefully different folks on each so that no one gets burned out.

I had someone tell me something this past week that I thought was really worthwhile and needed to be shared with the community. This particular person thought that to be on a committee in the Chamber you must be on the Board of Directors or specifically asked. Now I know that is not the case but my perspective if different than someone who is not in my shoes. I am so grateful she shared this with me so that I can look outside my own viewpoint and share some information with everyone else.

Ideally, we hope that if you are interested in something you’d volunteer to serve on that committee and help that event or thing prosper. So let me tell you about our committees we have here at the Chamber that we’d love you to support. They are: 500 Club-The 500 Club committee’s purpose is to fund projects that promote or enhance Frederick. Citizens of Frederick are welcome to join the 500 Club by donating $5.00 a month to the 500 Club fund, or by giving $60 annually; Agriculture Economic Development/Jr. Livestock Show- This committee is the reason our annual Tillman County Junior Livestock Show exists.  Members of this committee work hard to make each student’s livestock showing experience a meaningful one.  From the annual Trophy Auction to the Awards Banquet, this committee works several months out of the year for this project; Ambassadors-Frederick Chamber Ambassadors are qualified individuals elected by the board to represent the chamber in many different aspects.  Current ambassadors can be seen strengthening relationships with local businesses and reaching out to newcomers; Christmas Parade- The Christmas Parade Committee helps citizens in Frederick celebrate “the most wonderful time of the year!”  The committee takes charge of our main holiday event each December as well as the Chamber Bucks Give Away after; Cotton Festival- The Cotton Festival Committee is made up of individuals who wish to see the Annual Chamber Cotton Festival and Chili Cook Off succeed. This committee organizes and plans the event each fall; Economic Development- Economic Development is an important part of the city of Frederick and the Chamber of Commerce, which is why the Economic Development Committee was formed.  The purpose of this committee is to generate ideas, actions and opportunities to bring in new businesses around town; Oyster Fry- Frederick’s Fantastic Oyster Fry is our biggest event of the year.  For over 25 years this committee has helped make this crazy feast a success.  They order the oysters, coordinate volunteers and never back down…rain or shine; Oyster Fry Craft Show- What would our annual Oyster Fry be without a fabulous craft show right next door?  The Oyster Fry Craft Show Committee recruits vendors, mails out forms, collects sales tax and brings an awesome craft scene to Frederick; Teacher Appreciation Luncheon- Each August the Chamber welcomes teachers back to school by throwing them a Teacher Appreciation Luncheon.  This luncheon is organized by a small group of volunteers who gather prize donations, hire a caterer and make sure each teacher feels appreciated by the town of Frederick.; Technology- The Technology Committee was created in response to the ever demanding role of social media and internet technology in business marketing. The goal of the Technology Committee is to discuss technology needs of Frederick businesses while working to develop strategies for meeting those needs. It is also a goal of the committee to provide information and resources relating to social media, apps and basic tech tools as well as web page assistance and Tourism- The Tourism Committee is always coming up with neat and interesting ideas for showcasing Frederick’s finest attractions and events.  This committee helps with everything from brochures and signage to accommodations and support.  

If you are interested in volunteering with the Chamber come by and see me or give me a call, I’ll help you find just the spot and thank you profusely for stepping up to lighten the load of our current volunteers. If it’s not a Chamber committee you are interested in, I’ll help you find the group you need to talk to in order to help.

Don’t forget: Be Kind. Be Heard. Be Local.

Felisha Crawford
Executive Director

Cheering on our local heroes!

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.

Felisha Crawford
Executive Director

My Cup Runneth Over

I’m reminded each year about this time of all the good people we have in our community. Something about cold weather and holidays seem to bring out the best that is in us. It makes my heart happy to see others giving of their time, money and talents to serve others.

I think about the folks volunteering to help with the many events our community puts together. Whether it be a parade, festival or Breakfast with Santa, there are folks giving up their time at home to make these things possible. Of course there are those folks that give their time to the Food Bank to help feed others or distribute warm coats to some of the kids in our community. Again, they put others before themselves. Those free dinners that are offered at some of our local churches, well no one is getting paid to do those things. Those folks are giving up their time and often their money to feed others and spread some joy throughout our town.

Many of these folks are thanked but unfortunately some are not. Some helpers may go unnoticed although I can bet they aren’t volunteering for the accolades. Either way, I think it is our duty to tell them thank you for the gifts they offer our community regardless if we are the beneficiaries of their time. My community (and yours) is a better place because of all these people. Your community (and mine) is better for those who give up their hard earned money to buy food, coats or supplies so that others may enjoy them. They climb in that Santa seat year after year because it brings joy to children and adults in this community or ring the bell for the Salvation Army because it’s the right thing to do.

These are the people I am proud to know. They take part in making things better for our community, they take part in the solution and not the problem. You’ll rarely find them bashing others because they don’t agree but lifting others up regardless of their differences.

It is my wish that as you read this you know which category you belong to. Are you lifting others up or tearing them down? Are you helping out with things around town or encouraging those who do? And if not, what is holding you back? It’s not always easy, I can promise you that but the reward is worth it. The reward is seeing the smiles on others faces or knowing they have something to eat this evening. The reward is knowing you helped with something that brought a few more tax dollars to our community or confirmed the innocent belief in Santa Clause for a child. The reward is knowing that when someone sits down to Thanksgiving dinner they will count you on their list of blessings.

I can tell you that personally my list of blessings has a whole lot of names on it. Names that run through my head at various times, faces I see at events or walking down the streets. My cup runneth over, what’s in my cup may not be perfect but I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Don’t Forget: Be Kind. Be Heard. Be Local.

Felisha Crawford,
Executive Director

Thank You

I just don’t know if a person can say thank you enough. I bet I have said thank you a million times over the past few weeks while planning and being at the Cotton Festival & Chili Cook Off. Thank you to those who help plan, those who work, those who entered and those who attended. It takes an army of people to put together events like this one and I often find a lot of familiar faces in that process. Saying thank you to all these folks is something I just don’t think I can say enough.

So yes, I’m going to be brave and attempt to list all those people that had a specific job to do last Saturday or leading up to it. Each thing these people did helped to ensure that our festival was a success and everyone who attended enjoyed their time.

Our planning committee is where I will start, Thank You to Michelle Green, Shane Kendrix, Tiffany Bagwell, Kent Smith and Ben Crawford. Then there is the Trade Day & Downtown Market crew who take a load off of my shoulders by handling that whole section of the Courthouse lawn… Thank you to Jay & Katherine Sharp and their children work so hard to bring us good food and good vendors. Without Gilbert Nuncio and Gwenna Prescott delivering folks to Tillman Producers Gin, Brandon Winters and Brandon Varner couldn’t show them the ins and outs of the gin. The Van der Laan family always makes sure we have a pretty little dairy cow to help declare our winner in Cow Patty Bingo and Sweet Caroline did her job well this year. Of course I have to thank all of our chili cook off teams, we’d be awfully hungry if it weren’t for them! So thank you to the Frederick Fire Department (Champs & People’s Choice Award winners), BancFirst (1st Runner Up), 2nd Wind Chili (2nd Runner Up), 183 Flat Country Store, Denver Olsen, First Baptist Church, Kole & Kinzer Barnett, Maria Olivas and SW Ag Services. Thank you also to those four folks who judged our contest, I’ll let you remain anonymous!

Now to all those who helped make our Little Miss Cotton Boll and Maid of Cotton pageants happen. Tiffany Bagwell makes my life easier, period and I am so thankful for that. All those precious little girls and their parents as well as support system make it worth the work each and every year. This is my second year at the Chamber but my 5th year helping with the pageant, I enjoy it so much. Cacy Caldwell and Amie Jensen took on the task of getting all the numbers straight in a hurry and Vinson Orr saved us by running the sound system. He is like my guardian angel, always there when I need help. Add in some donations from Bagwell Crop Insurance, Box Inc, Pinky’s Flowers & Gifts and Tillman Producers Coop with some love from our emcee Miss Frederick Logan Coleman and you had one heck of a show.

Remember all those tables and chairs we used? You can thank Gary Tyler at the Great Plains Technology Center and the Tillman County Historical Society for those. Gam Arumagum and crew with the City of Frederick made sure we had trash cans and traffic cones to keep things orderly on the Courthouse lawn that the County Commissioners allow us to use. Thanks to all of those guys for chipping in.

Lastly, I’d like to say another thank you to Ryan Ade, John Amyx, James Heap, Shannon Vanderburgh, Eddie Whitworth, Cacy Caldwell, Ben Crawford and Delia Crawford for helping keep things straight Saturday in the money and supplies department. They manned the Chamber booth and did their very best to keep things rolling along smoothly. Saturday was a group effort of epic proportions and I’m proud to say this is something the Frederick Chamber of Commerce does well.

We ended our evening at the 2nd Annual Big Pasture Classic Ranch Rodeo which was a resounding success. So hat’s off and thank you to Ethan Treadwell and the Tri-County Cattleman’s Association… you all did an amazing job of putting together a great event.

Don’t forget: Be Kind. Be Heard. Be Local.

Felisha Crawford, Executive Director